Orban is a well-known critic of immigration and the Hungarian government caused controversy in the European Union, of which Hungary…
Orban is a well-known critic of immigration and the Hungarian government caused controversy in the European Union, of which Hungary is a member when it (along with its Eastern European neighbors) refused to allow asylum seekers to enter the country during the migration crisis on the continent in 2015.
Hungary’s government led by Orban’s Fidesz party has also been accused of backtracking on democratic values, rule of law, minority rights and media freedoms. As a result, it could now face EU criminal measures, along with Poland, following the vote of MEPs last year to trigger disciplinary proceedings against it, as it was perceived as a violation of the core values of the block.
Like other conservative, nationalist governments in Europe, Hungary is concerned about migration and its falling birth rates. Eurostat data from mid-2018, the latest available, shows that birth rates continue to decline in the EU as a whole. In 2017, 5.1 million children were born in the EU, 90,000 less than the year before. The same year, 5.3 million deaths were recorded.
While birth rates remain robust in Ireland, Sweden, the UK and France, the lowest birth rates were recorded in Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain. Birth rates in Hungary are below the EU average. In Hungary, the annual birth rate in 2017 was 9.7 per 1000 inhabitants, just below the EU average of 9.9 per 1000 inhabitants.
In 2017, 94,600 live births were registered in Hungary and 131,900 deaths were registered, which corresponds to a population decrease of just over 37,000 people, Eurostat data shows.