Hungarian diaspora

Areas with ethnic Hungarian majorities in the neighboring countries of Hungary, according to László Sebők.[1]

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

There are two main groups of the diaspora. In the first one are 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.[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", regardless, they are listed in this article. The other main group are the emigrants, who left Hungary at various times (e.g., the Hungarian Revolution of 1956). There has been some emigration since Hungary joined the EU, especially to countries such as Germany,[2] although this 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
 Romania 1,227,623 (2011)[3] (not including Csángós[4]) Autochthonous in Transylvania,[5] Csángó people in Moldavia Hungarians in Romania
 Slovakia 458,467 (2011)[6] Autochthonous[7] Hungarians in Slovakia
 Serbia 253,899 (2011)[8] Autochthonous in Vojvodina Hungarians in Vojvodina
 Ukraine 156,600 (2001) Autochthonous in Zakarpattia Oblast Hungarians in Ukraine
 Austria 55,038 (2014)[9] Autochthonous in Burgenland Hungarians in Austria
 Croatia 14,048 (2011)[10] Autochthonous in Croatia, except Istria and Dalmatia. Hungarians of Croatia
 Slovenia 6,243 (2001) Autochthonous in Eastern Slovenia
Other countries
 United States 1,563,081 (2006)[11] Immigrants Hungarian Americans
 Canada 315,510 (2006)[12] Immigrants Hungarian Canadians
 Israel 200,000 to 250,000 (2000s) Most immigrants are Hungarian Jews
 Germany 120,000 (2004)[13] Immigrants Hungarians in Germany
 France 100,000 to 200,000 (2000s)[14] Immigrants Hungarians in France
 Brazil 80,000 (2002)[15] Immigrants Hungarian Brazilians
 Russia 76,500 (2002) Immigrants Hungarians in Russia
 Australia 67,616(2006)[16] Immigrants Hungarian Australians
 United Kingdom 52,250 (2011) [17][18][19] Immigrants Hungarians in the United Kingdom
 Chile 50,000 (2012)[20] Immigrants Hungarians in Chile
 Argentina 40,000 to 50,000 (2000s) Immigrants Hungarian Argentines
  Switzerland 20,000 to 25,000 (2000s) Immigrants
 Sweden 16,193 (2014)[21] Immigrants
 Czech Republic 14,672 (2001) Immigrants
 Turkey 6,800 (2001) Immigrants Hungarians in Turkey
 Ireland 3,328 (2006)[22] Immigrants
 Poland 1,728 (2011)[23] Immigrants
 New Zealand 1,476 (2006) Immigrants Hungarian New Zealander
Hungary TOTAL 4.9 - 5.1 million

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.[24] 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.[25]

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 waved.[26] Between 2011 and 2012, 200,000 applicants took advantage of the new, accelerated naturalization process;[27] there were another 100,000 applications pending in the summer of 2012.[28] As of February 2013, the Hungarian government has granted almost 400,000 citizenships to Hungarians ‘beyond the borders’.[29] 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.[30]

The citizenship new 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.[31] A month later however, the Fidesz government announced that it intended to grant the right to vote to its new citizens.[32] 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.[33] 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."[34]

Famous people of Hungarian descent

Country Name Occupation Source
List is sorted alphabetically.
Austria Austria Ferenc Anisits Engineer
United States United States Albert-László Barabási Scientist scale-free networks
United States United States Drew Barrymore entertainer/actress [35]
Austria Austria Béla Barényi Inventor: Most patents in Europe +2500
Germany Germany Josef von Baky Filmdirector
United States United States Béla Bartók Composer
United States United States Zoltán Bay Scientist
United States United States György von Békésy Scientist-Nobel Prize winner
United States United States Pal Benko Chessplayer-Most US master ever
United States United States Adrien Brody entertainer/actor: Youngest ever AA winner in his category [36]
United States United States György Buzsáki[37] Scientist-"Brain Prize" winner (1st time)
United States United States Mihály CsíkszentmihályiScientist: Concept: Flow (psychology)
United States United States Tony Curtis entertainer/actor [38]
France France György Cziffra Pianist
United States United States Louis C.K. entertainer/comedian [39]
United States United States Rodney Dangerfield entertainer/comedian [40]
United States United States Frank Darabont Film-director/screenplaywriter (Shawshank Redemption: IMDb No. 1)
United States United States Ernst von Dohnanyi Composer/pianist/conductor
United States United States Bobby Fischer (Neményi) Chessplayer
Germany Germany Ferenc Fricsay Conductor
United Kingdom United Kingdom Stephen Fry entertainer/comedian [41]
United States United States Zsa Zsa Gabor entertainer/actress [42]
United States United States Andrew Grove business/entrepreneur
United States United States Peter Carl Goldmark scientist/inventor
United States United States Mickey Hargitay artist/bodybuilder
United States United States Harry Houdini magician
Sweden Sweden
Germany Germany
George de Hevesy scientist/inventor [43]
United States United States John George Kemeny scientist/inventor [44]
United States United States Laszlo B. Kish Scientist
Austria Austria Ferenc Krausz Scientist
Belgium Belgium Alexandre Lamfalussy Economist
Germany Germany Phillipp Lenard Scientist-Nobel Prize winner
United States United States Bela Lugosi Actor-"Dracula"
United States United States Ilona Massey Actress
United States United States Paul Nemenyi scientist/mathematician [45]
United States United States John von Neumann mathematician Father of the Computer. [46][47]
United States United States Thomas Peterffy engineer/NASDAQ-founder
United States United States Joaquin Phoenix entertainer/actor [48]
United States United States Joseph Pulitzer journalist [49]
United Kingdom United Kingdom Árpád Pusztai Scientist Leader on plant lecitins.
Slovakia Slovakia Ľudovít Rajter Conductor
Austria Austria Franz Schmidt Composer
United States United States Monica Seles Tennis player
United States United States Gene Simmons entertainer/musician [50]
United States United States Jerry Seinfeld entertainer/comedian [50]
France France Nicolas Sarkozy 23rd President of the French Republic [51]
Canada Canada Hans Selye Scientist
United States United States Charles Simonyi Scientist
United Kingdom United Kingdom Péter Somogyi [52]Scientist (1st "Brain" Prize)
United States United States Victor Szebehely Scientist
United States United States Albert Szent-Györgyi Scientist-Nobel Prize winner
United States United States Maria Telkes Scientist
United Kingdom United Kingdom Kálmán Tihanyi Scientist/Inventor Television
France France Victor Vasarely Artist-Founder of OP-art
United States United States Gabriel von Wayditch Composer: 14 Grand operas, the longest ever
Germany Germany Richárd Zsigmondy Scientist-Nobel Prize winner
United States United States Leó Szilárd scientist/inventor "Father of A-bomb" [53]
United States United States Edward Teller scientist/inventor "Father of H-bomb" [54]

See also


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


  1. Sebők László's ethnic map of Central and Southeastern Europe
  2. See page 21 of this report
  3. 2011 Romanian census
  4. 1,370 persons Archived March 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. declared themselves Csángós at the 2002 Romanian census. Some estimates of the Csángó population run higher. For instance, the Council of Europe suggests a figure as high as 260,000.
  5. Patrick Heenan, Monique Lamontagne (1999). The Central and Eastern Europe Handbook. Taylor & Francis. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-57958-089-6.
  6. Slovak census 2011 Archived November 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. Roseann Duenas Gonzalez, Ildiko Melis (2001). Language Ideologies: Critical Perspectives on the Official English Movement. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. p. 302. ISBN 978-0-8058-4054-4.
  8. Serbian Census 2011
  9. "World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Croatia : Overview (2001 census data)". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. July 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  10. 2006 Community Survey
  11. Canadian Census 2006
  12. Hungarians in Germany Archived February 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. Hungarians in France Archived February 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. Hungarians in Brazil Archived September 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. Estimation 2002 Hungarian-Australians according to national census 2006, Australia.
  16. "Census 2011 - Country of birth (expanded)". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  17. "Scotland's Census 2011 - National Records of Scotland - Country of Birth (detailed)" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  18. "Census 2011 - Country of Birth - Full Detail_QS206NI". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  19. Hungarian Immigration in Latin America
  20. Statistics Sweden
  21. Irish census 2006 Archived August 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. Ludność. Stan i struktura demograficzno-społeczna. Narodowy Spis Ludności i Mieszkań 2011 (National Census of Population and Housing 2011). GUS. 2013. p. 264.
  23. Rogers Brubaker (2006). Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town. Princeton University Press. p. 328. ISBN 978-0-691-12834-4.
  24. Tristan James Mabry; John McGarry; Margaret Moore; Brendan O'Leary. Divided Nations and European Integration. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 112. ISBN 978-0-8122-4497-7.
  25. Mária M. Kovács, Judit Tóth, Country report: Hungary, Revised and updated April 2013, EUDO Citizenship Observatory, page 1 and 7
  26. Mária M. Kovács, Judit Tóth, Country report: Hungary, Revised and updated April 2013, EUDO Citizenship Observatory, page 11
  27. Mária M. Kovács, Judit Tóth, Country report: Hungary, Revised and updated April 2013, EUDO Citizenship Observatory, page 18
  28. Hungary and Romania. Flag wars, 21 Feb 2013, The Economist
  29. Open wound. Trianon remembered 93 years on, Budapest Times, 12 June 2013
  30. New double citizenship law does not change voting rights, EUobserver, 28.05.2010
  31. Dual citizenship at its logical conclusion. Policy Solutions’ analysis: A vote for lost Hungarians is a vote for the right, Budapest Times, 7 February 2011
  32. Slovaks retaliate over Hungarian citizenship law, BBC, 26 May 2010
  33. Romania backs Hungarian citizenship law, 18 October 2010, AFP text syndicated to
  34. her mother is a Hungarian immigrant. "She is half Hungarian on her mother's side" "Drews Mother - Jaid Barrymore (nee Ildiko Jaid Mako) [was] Born on 8 May 1946 in Brannenburg, West Germany in a camp for displaced persons. Jaids parents (Drew's grandparents) were Hungarian."
  35. Fox, Chloe (November 12, 2006). "The prime of Adrien Brody". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
  37. "Born Bernard Schwartz in 1925 to Jewish-Hungarian parents, Curtis grew up in New York’s matinee movie-palaces..."
  38. Vogel, Laura (May 27, 2007). "Louis C.K.". New York Post. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  39. Rodney Dangerfield: A Lifetime of No Respect but Plenty of Sex and Drugs by Rodney Dangerfield "The whole family had come to America from Hungary when my mother was four. My mother's father--my grandfather--was almost never referred to in that house. Rumor has it he's still in Hungary--and still drinking."
  40. ""Who Do You Think You Are?", Series Two: Celebrity Gallery".
  41. "Zsa Zsa Gabor born, Budapest Hungary. Though some sources say 1918, 1919, or 1920. 1936 Elected Miss Hungary."
  42. George de Hevesy: life and work : a biography, Hilde Levi, A. Hilger, 1985
  43. Weibel, Peter (2005). Beyond Art - A Third Culture : a Comparative Study in Cultures, Art, and Science in 20th Century Austria and Hungary. Springer. p. 350. ISBN 3-211-24562-6.
  44. Nicholas, Peter (September 21, 2009). "Chasing the king of chess". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
  45. Doran, p. 1
  46. Nathan Myhrvold, "John von Neumann". Time, March 21, 1999. Accessed September 5, 2010
  47. Naomi Pfefferman (2002-04-12). "The Days of Summer". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
  48. András Csillag, "Joseph Pulitzer's Roots in Europe: A Genealogical History," American Jewish Archives, Jan 1987, Vol. 39 Issue 1, pp 49–68
  49. 1 2 Biography. Retrieved on February 1, 2011.
  50. her father was a Hungarian immigrant
  52. Blumesberger, Susanne; et al. (2002). Handbuch österreichischer Autorinnen und Autoren jüdischer Herkunft. 1. K. G. Saur. ISBN 3-598-11545-8.
  53. Video in which Teller recalls his earliest memories.
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