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Report: Hungary Counters Europe’s Demographic Winter

Family
JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images
THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D.

Hungary has offered a model to the West of how to effectively address the widespread demographic crisis, writes Catholic University of America theology professor Chad Pecknold.

While European nations languish with rapidly declining birthrates, Hungary stands out with rising marriage rates, falling abortions, and its highest birthrate in 20 years, Pecknold notes in an essay in the Catholic Herald Thursday.

Marriage is up by 43 percent since 2010, while divorce has dropped by 22.5 percent in the same period. This demographic turnaround has not been an accident, but the fruit of deliberate programs to promote marriage and the family while defending Hungary’s cultural identity and Christian roots.

“After we won the election in 2010 with a two-thirds majority, we decided to build a family-friendly country and to strengthen families raising children,” said Hungary’s Minister for the Family, Katalin Novak.

Standing firm in its position despite fierce opposition from the socialist left, the Orbán government enacted legislation resulting in “a comprehensive family-support system, a family-friendly tax system, a housing program, 800,000 new jobs, and many opportunities to create a balance between life and work,” Ms. Novak stated.

As Breitbart News has reported, the Orbán government has introduced seven family-friendly government programs encouraging Hungarians to have children in response to the European Union’s mass migration agenda.

“We are living in times when fewer and fewer children are being born throughout Europe. People in the West are responding to this with immigration,” Prime Minister Orbán said at the State of the Nation address in Budapest in February.

“Hungarians see this in a different light. We do not need numbers, but Hungarian children,” the Fidesz party leader added.

The new law will come into effect July 1 and includes pro-family incentives such as a 3,000 euro mortgage reduction for a second child, a 12,000 euro reduction for a third child, a car-purchasing program for large families, and comprehensive daycare.

As of 2020, mothers with four or more children will enjoy a lifetime personal income tax exemption.

“Hungary is proving that pro-family policies are better for nations than those policies which deracinate and diminish the family by the whims of ideological dictate,” Pecknold observes.

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