(LifeSiteNews) — Hungary has logged its highest birth rate in 27 years at the end 2021, owing to the country’s commitment to family values.
According to the Hungarian Central Statistical office (KSH), Hungary had a birth rate of 1.59 children per woman between January to November last year, which represents a 78% increase since 2010, when the birth rate was at 1.25.
It is also the country’s highest birth rate since the year 1995, which had a birth rate of 1.57 children per woman.
However, this birth rate is still well under the 2.1 mark required for a population to replace itself. Currently, no country in Europe is even close to reaching that significant threshold but Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he’s hoping Hungary will reach it by 2030.
Hungary’s Ministry of Human Resources has said that the birth rate has returned to pre-1995 levels.
Thanks to Orban’s pro-family policies, it has risen from the all-time low 1,2 during the socialist government in 2008 to 1,59.
The reversed trend is unique in the Western world. pic.twitter.com/qP6Tcl19Bj
— Visegrad 24 🇨🇿🇭🇺🇵🇱🇸🇰 (@visegrad24) January 3, 2022
The rising birth rate was seen as a sign of Hungary’s success in it its decade-long commitment to pro-family policies under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Bence Rétvári, the Hungarian deputy state secretary of the ministry of human resources and member of the Christian Democratic Party (KDNP) called the increase in the birth rate “a potential turnaround” in the country’s struggle against population decline.
“We strongly believe in families, so we have done everything in the last decade to help families have children … and improve their standards of living,” Rétvári told Hungarian newspaper Magyar Nemzet’s Friday.
The birth rate had been on a steady decline since 1979, when it dropped from the 2.0 rate recorded that year to 1.8 during the 80s and 90s, and an all-time low of 1.2 following the 2008 financial crisis.
Austerity policies imposed by various left-wing governments over the years made it hard for Hungarian people to support large families. But over the last decade, Hungary’s ever-increasing support for families under the Orbán government has created an environment where marriages and families are flourishing and abortion numbers are dropping.
During a May 21, 2018, conference in Rome, Katalin Novàk, Hungary’s Minister of State for the Family, Youth and International Affairs, had already expressed the government’s commitment to helping families.
“A precondition of the medium and long-term social development and the sustainability of Hungary is a lasting turn in demographic trends,” Novàk said.
“This objective can be achieved with a stable, complex, targeted and flexible family policy that is capable of adapting to changing needs and conditions,” she added.
Hungary’s approach consists in assisting families with reconciling work and family obligations.
Available help includes maternity support, paid childcare leave, family tax benefits and housing allowance, tax allowances that encourage young couples to marry, vacation benefits, no-charge holiday camps for children, subsidized textbooks, and decreased utility costs. Families have seen significant financial gains, including a 63.8% increase since 2010 in net average earnings due to the family tax reduction alone.