Fertility rate increases; Number of abortions is falling
Hungary presents the results of 10 years of successful family policy: It is worth investing in families.
The family policy implemented in Hungary is one of the most successful in Europe and its secret lies in its goal: to ensure that getting married, starting a family and having children does not entail any financial or social disadvantages.
Balázs Molnár, former Deputy State Secretary for European Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office, described in detail the effects and results of a decade of family policy that has created a favorable, family-friendly environment in his country: the number of marriages increasing, the number of divorces falling, more births, fewer abortions, more families with their own homes, appreciation of motherhood and the role of grandparents, and younger people with a desire to raise a family.
The numbers are overwhelming: the fertility rate rose from 1.25 in 2010 to 1.55 in 2020, the highest since 1996; the number of live births rose by 2.1% and abortions fell by almost half.
Between 2002 and 2010, during the time of the leftist governments, the number of marriages fell by 23%, but since 2010 it has increased by 89.5% and the number of divorces has fallen by 57%. According to the Hungarian Central Statistics Office, the majority of young people, 90%, want to have children, 43% at least two and 18% three or more. And all of these data have not had a negative impact on female employment, which rose from 54.6% in 2010 to 67% in 2020.
In fact, despite the pandemic, the overall employment rate will reach 75% in 2020, which is above the European Union (EU) average, while the unemployment rate will be the sixth lowest on the continent at 4.2%. This is a favorable development in employment rates. The figures show that a healthy economy and prioritizing the family as the focus of government efforts are not opposites, on the contrary.
Young marriage subsidies, government-sponsored home loans, and mortgage loans decrease with the arrival of children, and the progressive reduction in income tax advances with the number of children (many families in the country with 3 or more children do not pay income tax).
Balázs Molnár emphasized that, unlike other countries, Hungary’s family policy is not geared towards giving money to have children, but rather building up a broad system of support so that families “do not live on their children, but for their children.”
There is also support for buying vehicles for large families, financial support for mothers who look after their young children, a wide network of kindergartens for those returning to the labor market, a system where grandparents can do the work taking care of childcare, paid grandchildren and tax reduction for companies hiring mothers, among other things. All with the aim of creating a favorable social environment for families and guaranteeing parents a predictable horizon. In Europe, the Hungarian government spends the most on families, at almost 5% of GDP.