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Despite slowing in July, natural decrease continues

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In July 2017, there were 2.6% fewer live births but also 7.1% fewer deaths than in the same month of 2016. The monthly natural decrease was thus 31% less than a year earlier. In the first seven months of the year, however, the number of live births was 0.1% less than in the previous year, while deaths increased by 6.8%.

Due mainly to a significant surplus of deaths at the beginning of the year, the natural decrease in January-July 2017 was 26,527 persons, 5,060 - or 23.6% - more than in the corresponding period of the previous year, according to figures from the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

The greatest rise in deaths occurred in January–February this year, when the adjusted number of deaths rose by 25% year-on-year on average. Thereafter, it rose by 3.0% in March–May, then fell by 2.6% in June and by 7.1% in July. Similarly to the trend two years ago, the peak of the flu epidemic may explain the considerable excess mortality at the beginning of 2017.

The increase in the number of marriages that had continued since 2011 came to an end. The 28,158 marriages registered in the first seven months of this year was 5.4% fewer than the corresponding period a year earlier. Except for a 1.9% increase in January and 6.5% growth in June, the number of marriages fell each month. There were 9.4% fewer marriages in July.

The declining population figures match the trend revealed by figures from Eurostat, the EUʼs statistical office, which envisages Hungaryʼs population dropping to below 9 million by 2070.

Eurostat predicts that the decrease in the population will continue, given the low birth rate, the inclination to have fewer children, and the rising average age at which women give birth, as well as the impact of emigration of Hungarians seeking higher wages abroad.

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