Hungarians in the United Kingdom
13,159 (2001 Census)
52,250 (2011 Census)
80,000 (2015 estimate)
95,000 (2016 estimate)
|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 whom 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. This is estimated to have increased to 80,000 in 2015 (with 30,000 living in London), with Reuters reporting in 2016 that 95,000 Hungarians were working in the UK.
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 actorSandor 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 2015 there were 80,000 Hungarian-born people resident in the UK: 38,000 males and 42,000 females. Of these, 71,000 were estimated to be in England, 2000 in Wales, 6000 in Scotland, and 1000 in Northern Ireland. 30,000 were estimated to be living in London, with a further 8000 in South East England.
Notable Hungarian immigrants and Britons of Hungarian origin
Literature and media
- Frank Furedi (Füredi Ferenc) – commentator
- John Halas (Halász János) (1912 – 1995) – animator
- Arthur Koestler (Kösztler Artur) (1905–1983) – novelist, journalist
- Mina Loy – artist, poet, playwright, novelist
- George Mikes (Mikes György) (1912–1987) – writer
- Baroness Emma Orczy (Orczy Emma) (1865–1947) – writer
- Egon Ronay (Rónay Egon) (1915–2010) – food critic
- Petronella Wyatt – journalist
- George Szirtes – poet
Musicians and performers
- Miki Berenyi – singer
- Joe Bugner (born József Kreul Bugner in 1950) - actor and former Heavyweight boxer
- Oscar Deutsch (1893–1941) – founder of Odeon Cinemas
- 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)
- Sir Alexander Korda (1893-1956) – producer, director
- Michael McIntyre – comedian
- Emeric Pressburger (1902–1988) – screenwriter, film director, producer
- 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
- Hungarian immigrant workers in UK won't be affected by Brexit: Hungarian PM
- A study of the history of Hungarian refugee movements over the 20th century
- "Hungary's 1956 brain drain"
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- Zakar, Dr. Andras: The Persecution of Jews in Hungary and the Catholic Church