Hungarian diaspora

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

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

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.[citation needed][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"[citation needed] 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,[2] but that has not been as drastic as for certain other Central European countries like Poland or Slovakia.

Distribution by country[edit]

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, moved from Transylvania Hungarians in Romania
 Slovakia 458,467 (2011)[6] Autochthonous[7] Hungarians in Slovakia
 Serbia 253,899 (2011)[8] Autochthonous in Vojvodina Hungarians in Serbia
 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 Hungarians in 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 95,250 (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
 Sweden 33,018 (2018)[21] Immigrants
  Switzerland 20,000 to 25,000 (2000s) Immigrants
 Czech Republic 14,672 (2001) Immigrants
 Turkey 6,800 (2001) Immigrants Hungarians in Turkey
 Mexico 3,500 (2006) Immigrants Hungarians in Mexico
 Ireland 3,328 (2006)[22] Immigrants
 Finland 3,000 (2017)[23] Immigrants Hungarians in Finland
 Poland 1,728 (2011)[24] Immigrants
 New Zealand 1,476 (2006) Immigrants Hungarian New Zealander
 Norway c. 5,000 (2019) Immigrants
 Philippines 206 (2010) Immigrants
 Kazakhstan 457 (2018) Immigrants
Total 4.9 – 5.1 million Hungarians

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[edit]

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.[25] 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.[26]

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.[27] Between 2011 and 2012, 200,000 applicants took advantage of the new, accelerated naturalization process;[28] there were another 100,000 applications pending in the summer of 2012.[29] As of February 2013, the Hungarian government has granted almost 400,000 citizenships to Hungarians ‘beyond the borders’.[30] 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.[31]

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.[32] A month later however, the Fidesz government announced that it intended to grant the right to vote to its new citizens.[33] 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.[34] 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."[35]

Famous people of Hungarian descent[edit]

Country Name Occupation Source
Austria Austria Ferenc Anisits Engineer
United States United States Albert-László Barabási Scientist scale-free networks
United States United States Drew Barrymore entertainer/actress [36]
Austria Austria Béla Barényi Inventor: Most patents in Europe +2500
Germany Germany Josef von Baky Film director
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 [37]
United States United States György Buzsáki[38] Scientist-"Brain Prize" winner (1st time)
United States United States Mihály Csíkszentmihályi Scientist: Concept: Flow (psychology)
United States United States Larry Csonka American football fullback
United States United States Tony Curtis entertainer/actor [39]
France France György Cziffra Pianist
United States United States Louis C.K. entertainer/comedian [40]
United States United States Rodney Dangerfield entertainer/comedian [41]
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 [42]
United States United States Zsa Zsa Gabor entertainer/actress [43]
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 Escapologist & Magician
United States United States Tim Howard Soccer goalkeeper
Sweden Sweden
Germany Germany
George de Hevesy scientist/inventor [44]
United States United States John George Kemeny scientist/inventor [45]
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"
Mexico Mexico Luis Mandoki Film director
United States United States Ilona Massey Actress
United States United States Paul Nemenyi scientist/mathematician [46]
United States United States John von Neumann mathematician Father of the Computer. [47][48]
United States United States Thomas Peterffy engineer/NASDAQ-founder
United States United States Joaquin Phoenix entertainer/actor [49]
United States United States Joseph Pulitzer journalist [50]
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 [51]
United States United States Jerry Seinfeld entertainer/comedian [52]
France France Nicolas Sarkozy 23rd President of the French Republic [53]
Canada Canada Hans Selye Scientist
United States United States Charles Simonyi Scientist
United Kingdom United Kingdom Péter Somogyi [54] 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" [55]
United States United States Edward Teller scientist/inventor "Father of H-bomb" [56]


See also[edit]


  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". Archived from the original on 2009-02-26.
  2. ^ "See page 21 of this report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-10-25. Retrieved 2014-04-26.
  3. ^ "2011 Romanian census" (PDF).
  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 Archived 2008-10-02 at the Wayback Machine 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. ^ AUSTRIA, STATISTIK. "Bevölkerung nach Staatsangehörigkeit und Geburtsland".
  10. ^ "World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Croatia : Overview (2001 census data)". United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. July 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
  11. ^ Bureau, U.S. Census. "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
  12. ^ "Canadian Census 2006".
  13. ^ Hungarians in Germany Archived February 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Hungarians in France Archived February 4, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Hungarians in Brazil Archived September 22, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Estimation 2002 Archived 2008-01-10 at the Wayback Machine Hungarian-Australians according to national census 2006, Australia.
  17. ^ "Census 2011 - Country of birth (expanded)". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2013. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  18. ^ "Scotland's Census 2011 - National Records of Scotland - Country of Birth (detailed)" (PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  19. ^ "Census 2011 - Country of Birth - Full Detail_QS206NI". Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Los obreros húngaros emigrados en América Latina entre las dos guerras mundiales. Ilona Varga" (PDF).
  21. ^ Befolkning efter födelseland och ursprungsland 31 december 2018
  22. ^ Irish census 2006 Archived August 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^
  24. ^ Ludność. Stan i struktura demograficzno-społeczna. Narodowy Spis Ludności i Mieszkań 2011 (National Census of Population and Housing 2011). GUS. 2013. p. 264.
  25. ^ Rogers Brubaker (2006). Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town. Princeton University Press. p. 328. ISBN 978-0-691-12834-4.
  26. ^ 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.
  27. ^ Mária M. Kovács, Judit Tóth, Country report: Hungary, Revised and updated April 2013, EUDO Citizenship Observatory, page 1 and 7
  28. ^ Mária M. Kovács, Judit Tóth, Country report: Hungary, Revised and updated April 2013, EUDO Citizenship Observatory, page 11
  29. ^ Mária M. Kovács, Judit Tóth, Country report: Hungary, Revised and updated April 2013, EUDO Citizenship Observatory, page 18
  30. ^ Hungary and Romania. Flag wars, 21 Feb 2013, The Economist
  31. ^ Open wound. Trianon remembered 93 years on Archived 2013-06-14 at the Wayback Machine, Budapest Times, 12 June 2013
  32. ^ New double citizenship law does not change voting rights, EUobserver, 28.05.2010
  33. ^ Dual citizenship at its logical conclusion. Policy Solutions’ analysis: A vote for lost Hungarians is a vote for the right Archived 2016-08-10 at the Wayback Machine, Budapest Times, 7 February 2011
  34. ^ Slovaks retaliate over Hungarian citizenship law, BBC, 26 May 2010
  35. ^ Romania backs Hungarian citizenship law, 18 October 2010, AFP text syndicated to
  36. ^ her mother is a Hungarian immigrant."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-12-08. Retrieved 2006-06-10.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) "She is half Hungarian on her mother's side" [1] "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."
  37. ^ Fox, Chloe (November 12, 2006). "The prime of Adrien Brody". London: Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
  38. ^ "The Brain Prize Winners 2017 - Lundbeckfonden - The Brain Prize".
  39. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-04-30. Retrieved 2016-07-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) [2] "Born Bernard Schwartz in 1925 to Jewish-Hungarian parents, Curtis grew up in New York’s matinee movie-palaces..."
  40. ^ Vogel, Laura (May 27, 2007). "Louis C.K." New York Post. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
  41. ^ 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."
  42. ^ ""Who Do You Think You Are?", Series Two: Celebrity Gallery".
  43. ^ [3] "Zsa Zsa Gabor born, Budapest Hungary. Though some sources say 1918, 1919, or 1920. 1936 Elected Miss Hungary."
  44. ^ George de Hevesy: life and work : a biography, Hilde Levi, A. Hilger, 1985
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ Nicholas, Peter (September 21, 2009). "Chasing the king of chess". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
  47. ^ Doran, p. 1
  48. ^ Nathan Myhrvold, "John von Neumann". Time, March 21, 1999. Accessed September 5, 2010
  49. ^ Naomi Pfefferman (2002-04-12). "The Days of Summer". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2007-09-01.
  50. ^ András Csillag, "Joseph Pulitzer's Roots in Europe: A Genealogical History," American Jewish Archives, Jan 1987, Vol. 39 Issue 1, pp 49–68
  51. ^ Biography Archived 2012-09-06 at Retrieved on February 1, 2011.
  52. ^ "Jerry Seinfeld's Biography". The New York Times. Retrieved July 18, 2010.
  53. ^ Schmemann, Serge (15 May 2007). "Opinion - The New French President's Roots Are Worth Remembering" – via
  54. ^ "The Brain Prize Winners 2017 - Lundbeckfonden - The Brain Prize".
  55. ^ Blumesberger, Susanne; et al. (2002). Handbuch österreichischer Autorinnen und Autoren jüdischer Herkunft. 1. K. G. Saur. ISBN 3-598-11545-8.
  56. ^ Video in which Teller recalls his earliest memories.