Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has long been a notable champion of pro-natal policies. In his 2019 speech at the 3rd Budapest Demographic Summit, Orbán said his government is “protecting the traditional family model”, because they “believe that families and children are in themselves the precondition for the biological regeneration of our national community.”
According to President Katalin Novák, the Hungarian government has spent 6% of the country’s GDP, the “highest ratio in the world” on family support schemes.
Since 1 January 2023, employers in Hungary must grant flexi-work arrangements where reasonable. Other measures of note include family allowances, including childcare allowances that can be paid to grandparents, a zero-interest loan of 33,000 euros for a birth within five years, and substantial financial assistance for the purchase of a seven-seater vehicle for three children or more. These family-friendly measures were cited by the French news portal Boulevard Voltaire as “the cornerstone for maintaining the identity of a country but also for the survival of its social system”. Hungary is one of the few countries in the developed world that experienced an uptick in birth rates over the last decade: in 2010, Hungary had 1.25 children per woman; in 2021, 1.6 children per woman.
Despite the number of childbearing-aged women shrinking each year, Hungary has managed to maintain a fairly consistent number of actual births, suggesting that measures have worked. According to Novák, the birth of 115,000 more children since 2010 were the direct result of Hungary’s family policies.