Hungarians in the United Kingdom
Hungarians in the United Kingdom include Hungarian-born immigrants to the UK and their descendants, of whom there are a substantial number. Since Hungary joined the European Union in 2004, the UK's Hungarian population has grown significantly. Although official ONS estimates are that there were about 98,000 Hungarians living in the UK in 2019, other organisations estimate that the correct number is about 200,000.
|52,250 (2011 Census) |
98,000 (2019 ONS estimate)
200,000-220,000 (unofficial 2020 estimate)
|Regions with significant populations|
|British English and Hungarian|
|Catholicism · Protestantism · Judaism|
The first Hungarian student known by name to have matriculated at Oxford University was one Nicolaus de Ungeria, and it is likely that he spent some time in London. Scores of Hungarian students came to study at English and Scottish universities, but the first to settle in London for good was János Bánffyhunyadi (1576–1646) in 1608. He dabbled in alchemy and became a lecturer in chemistry at Gresham College. Marrying an Englishwoman, he had a house in London, and was often visited by fellow countrymen passing through. In 1659, after a short spell in Oxford, Pál Jászberényi settled in London, where he opened a public school for the children of noblemen. He taught them Latin, using innovative techniques. One of the most resourceful scholars who made their home in London at the time of Pepys and Wren was János Mezolaki. He was teaching Latin and philosophy, and died as a patient of Bedlam, in 1693.
As with other displaced persons from Central Europe, many Hungarians came to Britain during and after World War II. Furthermore, up to 200,000 Hungarians left their home country after the revolution of 1956, and settled in other countries across the Western world — especially those that formed the Western Bloc. This included refugees to the UK, such as the actor Sandor Elès.
Since Hungary joined the European Union in 2004, the UK's Hungarian population has grown significantly. It was estimated that 13,159 Hungarian-born people were resident in the UK at the time of the 2001 UK Census. According to the 2011 census there were 48,308 Hungarian-born residents in England and Wales. 17,803 were in London where they made up 0.22% of the population. Just 576 were in North East England, making up 0.02% of the population there. The Hungarian-born population in England and Wales was 0.5% of the population of Hungary. By comparison the Polish-born population of 579,121 was 1.5% of the population of Poland. The Polish-born population is more spread-out around England and Wales. 55% of the Hungarian-born population were in London and South East England, compared to 41% of the Polish-born population and 30% of the total population. There were also 2,943 Hungarian-born residents in Scotland out of a total population of 5,295,403 (0.06%), and 999 Hungarian-born residents in Northern Ireland out of a total population of 1,810,863 (0.06%). This gives a 2011 census total for the whole of the United Kingdom of 52,250.
The Office for National Statistics estimated that in 2019 there were 98,000 Hungarian-born people resident in the UK: 47,000 males and 50,000 females. However, there are other estimates that between 200,000 and 220,000 Hungarians were living in the UK in 2020.
Notable Hungarian immigrants and Britons of Hungarian origin
Literature and media
- Oscar Deutsch (1893–1941) – founder of Odeon Cinemas
- Frank Furedi (Füredi Ferenc) – commentator
- John Halas (Halász János) (1912 – 1995) – animator
- Arthur Koestler (Kösztler Artur) (1905–1983) – novelist, journalist
- Sir Alexander Korda (1893-1956) – producer, director
- Dr Sebastian Gorka Military and Intelligence Analyst, Trump Administration Advisor, Social Commentator
- Mina Loy – artist, poet, playwright, novelist
- George Mikes (Mikes György) (1912–1987) – writer
- Baroness Emma Orczy (Orczy Emma) (1865–1947) – writer
- Emeric Pressburger (1902–1988) – screenwriter, film director, producer
- Egon Ronay (Rónay Egon) (1915–2010) – food critic
- Petronella Wyatt – journalist
- George Szirtes – poet
Musicians and performers
- Miki Berenyi – singer, songwriter (Lush)
- Joe Bugner (born József Kreul Bugner in 1950) - actor and former Heavyweight boxer
- Sandor Elès (1936–2002) – actor
- Justine Frischmann – artist, musician (Elastica)
- Stephen Fry – writer, actor
- Romola Garai – actress
- Leslie Howard (1893–1943) – actor
- Princess Julia (born Julia Fodor) – DJ, music writer
- Kerry Katona – singer
- Mark Knopfler – singer, songwriter (Dire Straits)
- Michael McIntyre – comedian
- Edina Ronay – fashion designer, former actress
- Steve Sarossy – actor
- Catherine Schell – actress
- Georgia Slowe – actress
- Sir Georg Solti (Solti György) (1912–1997) – conductor
- Rachel Weisz – actress
- Leo Amery (1873-1955) – Conservative Party politician
- Dennis Gabor, CBE, FRS (Gábor Dénes) (1900–1979) – Nobel Prize–winning physicist
- Ernő Goldfinger (1902–1987) – architect, furniture designer
- Nicholas Kurti, FRS (1908–1988) – physicist
- Imre Lakatos (1922–1974) – philosopher
- Michael Polanyi (Polányi Mihály) (1891–1976) – scientist, polymath
- Sir Marc Aurel Stein (Stein Aurél) (1862–1943) – orientalist
- George Soros (born 1930) – investor, business magnate, and philanthropist
- More Hungarians Live in the UK Than Official Statistics Show
- A study of the history of Hungarian refugee movements over the 20th century
- "Hungary's 1956 brain drain"
- "Country-of-birth database". Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Archived from the original on May 11, 2005. Retrieved 2009-11-07.
- "Census 2011 - Country of birth (expanded)". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- "Scotland's Census 2011 - National Records of Scotland - Country of Birth (detailed)" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "Census 2011 - Country of Birth - Full Detail_QS206NI". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 28 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
- "Table 1.3: Overseas-born population in the United Kingdom, excluding some residents in communal establishments, by sex, by country of birth, January 2019 to December 2019". Office for National Statistics. 21 May 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2021. Figure given is the central estimate. See the source for 95% confidence intervals.
- More Hungarians Live in the UK Than Official Statistics Show
- "Screenonline:Oscar Deutsch (1893 - 1941)". Retrieved 2009-07-03.
- "IMDB:Miki Berenyi". Retrieved 2009-07-03.