Births decline, deaths up sharply in Q1

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In the first quarter of 2017, 22,072 children were born, 1.7% fewer than in January-March 2016. The number of deaths was 38,589, a significant increase of 16% compared to Q1 2016, according to a first release of data from the Central Statistical Office (KSH) today.

As a result, Hungaryʼs natural decrease - the population decline measured by subtracting the birth rate from the mortality rate - grew from 10,941 in January–March 2016 to 16,517 in the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 51%.

Within the first three months of 2017, the increase in the number of deaths in January and February was significant (at 26% and 22%, respectively), an unfavorable process that slowed down considerably in March (which saw 1.9% more deaths year-on-year).

The KSH attributes the natural decrease partly to the fact that 2016 was a leap year, so that the examined period was one day shorter this year. Without this effect, the number of births decreased to a lesser extent, by only 0.6% compared to the same period of 2016.

However, the rise in the number of deaths since last September has continued. In January–March 2017, 38,589 people passed away, a considerable growth of 16%, or numerically 5,187 more deaths, compared to a year earlier. Taking into account the leap-day effect, the increase in the number of deaths was even higher, at 17%. Similarly to the trend two years ago, the peak of the flu epidemic may be in the background of the considerable mortality surplus, notes the KSH.

There were 9.1 live births and 16.0 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants in the first quarter. The number of infant deaths was 3.2 per 1,000 live births in the first three months.

The long-lasting increase in the number of marriages in Hungary stopped, and in January–March 2017 a decline occurred compared to the equivalent period of the previous year.

The 6,035 marriages registered in the first three months of this year was 575 (8.7%) fewer than a year earlier. Taking into consideration the leap-day effect, the decrease was somewhat lower, at 7.6%. The decline in the off-season of February was especially significant, when the adjusted number of marriages decreased by 13%.

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