Hungarian diaspora

Hungarian diaspora (Hungarian: magyar diaszpóra) is a term that encompasses the total ethnic Hungarian population located outside current-day Hungary.

Hungarian diaspora in the world (includes people with Hungarian ancestry or citizenship).
  + 1,000,000
  + 100,000
  + 10,000
  + 1,000
Areas with ethnic Hungarian majorities in the neighboring countries of Hungary, according to László Sebők.[1]

There are two main groups of the diaspora. The first group includes those who are autochthonous to their homeland and live outside Hungary since the border changes of the post-World War I Treaty of Trianon of 1920.[2][note 1] The victorious forces redrew the borders of Hungary so that it runs through Hungarian majority areas. As a consequence, 3.3 million Hungarians found themselves outside the new borders. These Hungarians are usually not counted into the term "Hungarian diaspora"[3] but are regardless listed in this article. The other main group is the emigrants who left Hungary at various times (such as the Hungarian Revolution of 1956). There has been some emigration since Hungary joined the EU, especially to countries such as Germany,[4] but that has not been as drastic as for certain other Central European countries like Poland or Slovakia.

Distribution by country

Country Hungarian population Note Article
Neighbor countries of Hungary
 Romania1,227,623 (2011)[5] (not including Csángós[6])Autochthonous in Transylvania,[7] Csángó people in Moldavia, moved from TransylvaniaHungarians in Romania
 Slovakia458,467 (2011)[8]Autochthonous[9]Hungarians in Slovakia
 Serbia253,899 (2011)[10]Autochthonous in VojvodinaHungarians in Serbia
 Ukraine156,600 (2001)[11]Autochthonous in Zakarpattia OblastHungarians in Ukraine
 Austria90,000 (2013)[12][13]Autochthonous in BurgenlandHungarians in Austria
 Croatia14,048 (2011)[14]Autochthonous in Croatia, except Istria and DalmatiaHungarians of Croatia
 Slovenia10,500 (2021)[15]Autochthonous in PrekmurjeHungarians in Slovenia
Other countries
 United States1,563,081 (2006)[16]ImmigrantsHungarian Americans
 Canada348,085 (2016)[17]ImmigrantsHungarian Canadians
 Israel200,000 to 250,000 (2000s)[18]Most immigrants are Hungarian Jews
 United Kingdom200,000 to 250,000 (2020)[19][20]ImmigrantsHungarians in the United Kingdom
 France200,000 to 250,000 (2021)[21][22]ImmigrantsHungarians in France
 Germany207,000 (2017)[23]ImmigrantsHungarians in Germany
 Brazil80,000 (2002)[24]ImmigrantsHungarian Brazilians
 Russia76,500 (2002)ImmigrantsHungarians in Russia
 Australia69,167 (2011)[25]ImmigrantsHungarian Australians
 Chile50,000 (2012)[26]ImmigrantsHungarians in Chile
 Argentina40,000 to 50,000 (2016)[27]ImmigrantsHungarian Argentines
 Sweden33,018 (2018)[28]Immigrants
  Switzerland27,000 (2019)[29]Immigrants
 Netherlands26,172 (2020)[30]Immigrants
 Czech Republic20,000 (2013)[31]Immigrants; people of Hungarian descent forcibly relocated from the Slovak part of the Third Czechoslovak Republic
 Belgium15,000 (2013)[32]Immigrants
 Italy14,000 (2019)[33]Immigrants
 Spain10,000 (2019)[34]Immigrants
 Ireland9,000 (2019)[35]Immigrants
 Norway8,316 (2015)[36]Immigrants
 New Zealand7,000 (2013)[37]ImmigrantsHungarian New Zealander
 Turkey6,800 (2001)ImmigrantsHungarians in Turkey
 Denmark6,000 (2019)[38]Immigrants
 Bosnia and Herzegovina4,000 (2021)[39]Immigrants
 South Africa4,000 (2013)[40]Immigrants
 Venezuela4,000 (2013)[41]Immigrants
 Mexico3,500 (2006)ImmigrantsHungarians in Mexico
 Finland3,000 (2019)[42]ImmigrantsHungarians in Finland
 Uruguay3,000 (2013)[43]Immigrants
 Greece2,387 (2018)[44]Immigrants
 Luxembourg2,000 (2019)[45]Immigrants
 Poland1,728 (2011)[46]Immigrants
 Jordan1,000 (2019)[47]Immigrants
 Cyprus620 (2018)[48]Immigrants
 Kazakhstan500 (2021)[49][50]Immigrants
 Portugal482 (2015)[51]Immigrants
 Montenegro400 (2021)[52]Immigrants
 Latvia300 (2021)[53]Immigrants
 Uzbekistan300 (2021)[54]Immigrants
 Philippines206 (2010)[55]Immigrants
 Iceland200 (2015)[56]Immigrants
 North Macedonia200 (2021)[57]Immigrants
 Estonia173 (2018)[58]Immigrants
 Bulgaria153 (2015)[59]Immigrants
 Vietnam100 (2015)[60]Immigrants
 Liechtenstein44 (2015)[61]Immigrants
 Lithuania23 (2015)[62]Immigrants
Total5.2 – 5.5 millionHungarians

Hungarian immigration patterns to Western Europe increased in the 1990s and especially since 2004, after Hungary's admission in the European Union. Thousands of Hungarians from Hungary sought available work through guest-worker contracts in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Spain and Portugal.

Hungarian citizenship

A proposal supported by the DAHR to grant Hungarian citizenship to Hungarians living in Romania but without meeting Hungarian-law residency requirements was narrowly defeated at a 2004 referendum in Hungary.[63] The referendum was invalid because of not enough participants. After the failure of the 2004 referendum, the leaders of the Hungarian ethnic parties in the neighboring countries formed the HTMSZF organization in January 2005, as an instrument lobbying for preferential treatment in the granting of Hungarian citizenship.[64]

In 2010 some amendments were passed in Hungarian law facilitating an accelerated naturalization process for ethnic Hungarians living abroad; among other changes, the residency-in-Hungary requirement was waived.[65] Between 2011 and 2012, 200,000 applicants took advantage of the new, accelerated naturalization process;[66] there were another 100,000 applications pending in the summer of 2012.[67] As of February 2013, the Hungarian government has granted almost 400,000 citizenships to Hungarians ‘beyond the borders’.[68] In June 2013, Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén announced that he expects the number to reach about half a million by the end of the year.[69]

The new citizenship law, which took effect on 1 January 2011, did not grant however the right to vote, even in national elections, to Hungarian citizens unless they also reside in Hungary on a permanent basis.[70] A month later however, the Fidesz government announced that it intended to grant the right to vote to its new citizens.[71] In 2014, the Hungarian citizens from abroad are able to participate in the parliamentary elections without Hungarian residency, however they can not vote for a candidate running for the seat in the single-seat constituency but for a party list.

In May 2010, Slovakia announced it would strip Slovak citizenship from anyone applying for the Hungarian one.[72] Romania's President Traian Băsescu declared in October 2010 that "We have no objections to the adoption by the Hungarian government and parliament of a law making it easier to grant Hungarian citizenship to ethnic Hungarians living abroad."[73]

Famous people of Hungarian descent

Country Name Occupation Source
AustriaFerenc AnisitsEngineer
United StatesAlbert-László BarabásiScientist scale-free networks
United StatesDrew Barrymoreentertainer/actress[74]
AustriaBéla BarényiInventor: Most patents in Europe +2500
GermanyJosef von BakyFilm director
United StatesBéla BartókComposer
United StatesZoltán BayScientist
United StatesGyörgy von BékésyScientist-Nobel Prize winner
United StatesPal BenkoChessplayer - won the U.S. Open a record 8 times
United StatesAdrien Brodyentertainer/actor: Youngest ever AA winner in his category[75]
United StatesGyörgy Buzsáki[76]Scientist-"Brain Prize" winner (1st time)
United StatesMihály CsíkszentmihályiScientist: Concept: Flow (psychology)
United StatesLarry CsonkaAmerican football fullback
United StatesTony Curtisentertainer/actor[77]
FranceGyörgy CziffraPianist
United States
Louis C.K.entertainer/comedian[78]
United StatesRodney Dangerfieldentertainer/comedian[79]
United StatesFrank DarabontFilm-director/screenplaywriter (Shawshank Redemption: IMDb No. 1)
United StatesErnst von DohnanyiComposer/pianist/conductor
United StatesBobby Fischer (Neményi)Chessplayer
GermanyFerenc FricsayConductor
United KingdomStephen Fryentertainer/comedian[80]
United StatesZsa Zsa Gaborentertainer/actress[81]
United StatesAndrew Grovebusiness/entrepreneur
United StatesPeter Carl Goldmarkscientist/inventor
United StatesMickey Hargitayartist/bodybuilder
United StatesHarry HoudiniEscapologist & Magician
United StatesTim HowardSoccer goalkeeper
George de Hevesyscientist/inventor[82]
United StatesJohn George Kemenyscientist/inventor[83]
United StatesLaszlo B. KishScientist
AustriaFerenc KrauszScientist
BelgiumAlexandre LamfalussyEconomist
GermanyPhillipp LenardScientist-Nobel Prize winner
United StatesBela LugosiActor-"Dracula"
MexicoLuis MandokiFilm director
United StatesIlona MasseyActress
United StatesPaul Nemenyiscientist/mathematician[84]
United StatesJohn von Neumannmathematician Father of the Computer.[85][86]
United StatesThomas Peterffyengineer/NASDAQ-founder
United StatesJoaquin Phoenixentertainer/actor[87]
United StatesJoseph Pulitzerjournalist[88]
United KingdomÁrpád PusztaiScientist - Leader on plant lecitins.
SlovakiaĽudovít RajterConductor
AustriaFranz SchmidtComposer
United StatesMonica SelesTennis player
United StatesGene Simmonsentertainer/musician[89]
United StatesJerry Seinfeldentertainer/comedian[90]
FranceNicolas Sarkozy23rd President of the French Republic[91]
CanadaHans SelyeScientist
United StatesCharles SimonyiScientist
United KingdomPéter Somogyi[92]Scientist (1st "Brain" Prize)
United StatesVictor SzebehelyScientist
United StatesAlbert Szent-GyörgyiScientist-Nobel Prize winner
United StatesMaria TelkesScientist
United KingdomKálmán TihanyiScientist/Inventor Television
FranceVictor VasarelyArtist-Founder of OP-art
United StatesGabriel von WayditchComposer: 14 Grand operas, the longest ever
GermanyRichárd ZsigmondyScientist-Nobel Prize winner
Czech RepublicTomáš UjfalušiFootball player
United StatesLeó Szilárdscientist/inventor "Father of A-bomb"[93]
United StatesEdward Tellerscientist/inventor "Father of H-bomb"[94]


Ever since the Hungarian diaspora can vote in elections in Hungary, they have supported the ruling Fidesz with major records, in the 2014 Hungarian parliamentary election Fidesz won over 95% of the vote,[95] in the 2018 Hungarian parliamentary election over 96% while in the 2019 European Parliament election in Hungary fidesz got 96%.[96]


See also


  1. During World War II, some areas were regained by Hungary, but lost with the 1947 Treaty of Paris


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  3. "Diaspora and scattering" (in Hungarian). Retrieved 2021-05-05. Hungarian communities abroad can be divided into at least two major categories. On the one hand, the so-called indigenous (autochthonous) minority communities - established as a result of border changes, mainly the new state borders set out in the Treaty of Trianon. On the other hand, diaspora communities of migratory (allochthonous) origin.
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