Hungarians in the United Kingdom

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Hungarians in the United Kingdom
Total population
Hungarian-born residents
13,159 (2001 Census)
52,250 (2011 Census)
Regions with significant populations
British English and Hungarian
Catholicism · Protestantism · Judaism.

Hungarians in the United Kingdom include Hungarian born immigrants to the UK and their descendants, of which there are a substantial number. Since Hungary joined the European Union in 2004, the UK's Hungarian population has grown significantly, with the Hungarian-born population rising from 13,000 in 2001 to 52,000 in 2011. Of the 52,000 in 2011 18,000 were living in London.


The first Hungarian student known by name to have matriculated at Oxford 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 which was often visited by his 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 the London of Pepys and Wren was János Mezolaki. He was teaching Latin and philosophy. He died as a patient of Bedlam, in 1693.[1]

Many Hungarians (as with other displaced persons from Central Europe) came to Britain during and after World War II. Also, up to 200,000 Hungarians left after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and settled across other countries of the Western world, especially those forming the Western Bloc. This included refugees to the UK [2] such as the actor, Sandor Elès.

Since Hungary joined the European Union in 2004, the UK's Hungarian population has grown significantly. The Office for National Statistics estimates that, as of 2011, 48,000 Hungarian-born people were resident in the UK,[3] compared to 13,159 at the time of the 2001 UK Census.[4] Of the estimated 48,000 Hungarian-born in the UK in 2011, 42,000 were in England, 1,000 in Wales, 3,000 in Scotland and 2,000 in Northern Ireland.[5] This estimate had increased to 50,000 in 2012.[6]

According to the 2011 census there were 48,308 Hungarian-born residents in England and Wales.[7] 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%),[8] and 999 Hungarian-born residents in Northern Ireland out of a total population of 1,810,863 (0.06%).[9] This give a 2011 census total for the whole of the United Kingdom of 52,250, somewhat higher than the ONS estimate of 48,000.

Famous Hungarian immigrants and Britains of Hungarian origin[edit]

Literature and media[edit]

Musicians and performers[edit]


  • Leo Amery (1873-1955) - Conservative Party politician


See also[edit]



  • Zakar, Dr. Andras: The Persecution of Jews in Hungary and the Catholic Church [1]

External links[edit]