Brief Facts About Hungary

1. Hungary is a land-locked country in Central Europe sharing its borders with Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine. The population of Hungary is 9,919,128.

2. Its capital city is Budapest with a population of 1.709 million (2011).

3. Hungary was once part of the Celtic world, then the Roman Empire. Following the fall of Rome, the Huns settled in the plains of Pannonia and gave their name to Hungary.

4. Founded in 897, Hungary is one of the oldest countries in Europe (before France and Germany became separate entities, and before the unification of Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms.)

5. Around 1000 CE, the Kingdom of Hungary was one of the largest states in Europe, bigger than France. Later, it became one of the two “eagle heads” of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

6. Hungarian language is known as Magyar and is the direct descendent of the language spoken by the Huns. It is not an Indo-European language and has only two related languages in Europe (Finnish and Estonian).

7. Around two-thirds of the Hungarian people are Roman Catholic, about a quarter are Calvinist. The rest of the population is either belongs to the Lutheran, Jewish, Greek Orthodox.

8. The country fell under communist rule following World War II.

9. The 1986 Hungarian Grand Prix was the first Formula One race to take place behind the Iron Curtain.

10. Communism in Hungary ended 1989 and the country became a parliamentary republic. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU five years later.

11. Inventions by Hungarians in Hungary include the noiseless match (by János Irinyi), Rubik’s cube (by Erno Rubik), and the krypton electric bulb (Imre Bródy).

12. Remember, earlier I’d mentioned the spa and the hot springs at the Hotel Gellért? Hungary has one of the most important thermal spring cultures in Europe. The country boasts no less than 1,500 spas, typically featuring Roman, Greek and Turkish architecture.

13. Hungary has a long tradition of classical music with famous composers like Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály and Franz Liszt.

14. As of 2007, 13 Hungarians had received a Nobel Prize (this is more than Japan, China, India, Australia or Spain) in every category except peace.

15. Spends 4.9% of GDP (2010) on Education.

16. Literacy of total population is 99%.

17. Hungarians won gold medals at every summer Olympics except Antwerp 1920 and Los Angeles 1984 when they did not compete.

18. According to 2013 OECD figures: “As in other Eastern European countries, upper secondary attainment in Hungary is traditionally high (82% for 25-64-year-olds, compared with an OECD average of 75%). This applies across all age groups: 87% of 25-34 year-olds and 75% of 55-64 year-olds hold an upper secondary qualification against an OECD average of 82% and 64%, respectively.

19. Hungary has, together with Sweden and the US, the lowest completion rate at tertiary level among OECD countries: in 2011, only 53% of students graduated from the program they entered, in comparison with the OECD average of 68%.

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