Demographics and General Information
As of July 2009, the population was nearly 10 million, but that number is lower than the previous year and seems to be declining. A reason that the population numbers are decreasing is that, in Hungary, the death rate is higher than the birth rate. The death rate is 12.94/1,000 people, but the birth rate is only 9.51/1,000. In fact, the fertility rate is only 1.35 children per woman. Within the existing population, the median age is 39.4 years old. Though the average life expectancy is 73.1 years, the expected number of healthy years is only 57.6. (Wikipedia, 2010)
When Lajos Bokros was appointed as Finance Minister in 1995, many changes occurred, including many welfare cutbacks such as free dental service, reduced family allowances, lowering subsidies of pharmaceuticals, and raising retirement age. These changes increased investor confidence, but were not welcome by the Hungarian people. That is understandable, since these changes have a huge effect on the people, especially during the 15 years of their declining health.
According to the 2001 census there are 16 recognized ethnic groups in Hungary. Of course, ethnicity is self-determined and there is a dispute as to the actual number of the Roma population in Hungary. Slightly over 200,000 of those who completed the census considered themselves Roma, but it is estimated that the actual number could be much higher. The population of the Roma is increasing quickly and this rapid growth is causing a great deal of concern. (Wikipedia, 2010) As opposed to the other ethnic groups, the Roma are less educated. Only 80% of their children complete a primary education. As a result, they don’t have the best choices as far as unemployment and the majority of them live in poverty. Their health is poor and their life expectancy is 10 years less than the rest of the ethnic groups.
In Hungary, education is free for people ages 5-18. This includes...