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Le recensement de 2011

The results of the 2011 census were published by the Central Statistical Office in March 2013. This latest census has been the first one for which citizens had the possibility to fill in the form via the internet (this took only a few minutes). The population of Hungary has decreased by 260,000 people in ten years, to 9.9 million inhabitants.

The data on religion are difficult to compare with earlier surveys. Whereas in 2001 the question was simply “religion”, in 2011 the questionnaire asked what community one was feeling to belong to. Obviously, many have a sense of a denominational identity but do not feel a belonging. Notwithstanding methodological aspects that make comparisons difficult there are remarkable changes with regard to data on religious affiliation.

Whereas in 2001 only 1.1 million inhabitants refused to answer the question on religious affiliation, ten years later 2.7 million did not provide an answer. The number of those declaring not to have a religious affiliation has risen from 1.48 million to 1.80 million as 20% of younger generations do not belong to any denomination. Consequently, the number of those who declared to belong to a religious community has dropped. Denominational proportions, however, did not change significantly. Whereas ten years ago 5.55 million declared to be Catholic, this time only 3.87 million declared to belong to the Catholic Church. The number of Calvinists has dropped from 1.62 million to 1.15 million. Ten years ago 304 thousand declared to be Lutherans, now only 214 thousand. Other traditional communities, like Jews and Orthodox have also lost (declared) adherents. 167 thousand belong to other religious communities (96 thousand ten years ago) as some minor communities have changed their policy with regard to the census. Whereas ten years ago they recommended to their adherents not to answer the question on religion, now they urged them to confess their religion. With younger generations (under 40) non-adherence rises, but the proportion of declared atheists does not rise. Elder generations (over 60) show a higher adherence to religion (almost ten times more declared a belonging than no adherence). Under the age of 40, only two times more stated a belonging than no affiliation, subsequent years, however, do not show secularization on a rise. Among other religious communities the most significant are Jehovah Witnesses with 31 thousand declared adherents (elderly and less educated overrepresented), 18 thousand belong to Faith Church (an evangelical congregation with a relatively young membership), over 9 thousand Buddhists (dominantly urban adherents with higher education), 18 thousand Baptists, 6 thousand Adventists, 9 thousand Pentecostals, 2.4 thousand Methodists, 6.8 thousand Unitarians (traditional small Christian communities are ageing). The number of Muslims has risen to 5,579 (2,907 in 2001). 2.3 thousand Muslims declared to be Arab, 2.2 thousand stated different other ethnicities. As a multiple ethic affiliation is possible, 4 thousand Muslims also claimed to be ethnic Hungarians.

D 19 avril 2013    ABalázs Schanda

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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