The pro-life policies of the nationalist government in Hungary are producing a massive surge in marriage rates and birthrates. It is true, nationalist Christian Hungary is absolutely thriving, with rising marriage rates, falling abortion numbers and the highest birthrates in over 20 years. We are going to take a look at the demographic miracle that is going on in Hungary, and how it is all just par for the course of a new and vibrant conservative age.
Let’s dive in here. There is good news all over the place in the midst of this pandemic, as horrible as it is, and one of those wonderful bright spots is coming out of the nation of Hungary. As most of you know, but just to recap a bit, Hungarian politics has been dominated by the conservative nationalist prime minister Viktor Orban who is currently serving out his third straight term as prime minister, his fourth overall. He has made the revitalization of Hungary as a vibrant Christian democracy, a nationalist, populist, and traditionalist Christian democracy as the center piece of his administrative agenda. As I have written about in my books like the ‘Triumph of Tradition’ and ‘The Return of Christendom’, the Orban administration has made the revitalization of the traditional family one of its highest priorities. As a result, it has implemented a number of measures to incentivize higher fertility rates. Hungary has had alarmingly low fertility rates, around 1.2 children per woman, which is significantly below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. So, they are instituting programs and incentives for higher fertility rates how? By incentivizing marriage because high rates of marriage result in proportionately high fertility rates.
Hungarian government has instituted measures such as providing grants to married couples with children. That is key in the Hungarian strategy, which really is quite brilliant is that the grants are provided to MARRIED couples because studies show that marriage is the primary impetus for children. The higher the marriage rates, the higher the fertility rates. Hungary is providing grants for married couples to get their first home paid in full. The amount of the grant that they have to pay back is determine by how many children they have. Upon having their first child, one third of the loan’s repayment would be waved. With the birth of the second child, the couple would only have to pay back half of the loan. And if they have a third child, they will not have to pay a dime - the entire load is written off. It gets even better. Starting this year, in 2020, if you have a fourth child you and your spouse no longer pay income tax for the rest of your lives! If you have four children, you can get your first house paid for completely by the government and you will never have to pay income tax again! Who wants to move to Hungary?!?
Now we have the data on those policies to see now how such incentives are working. My, it is really nothing short of a miracle! As of January of this year (now keep in mind, this is actually during the coronavirus pandemic) Hungary has seen an increase of nearly 10 percent more births and an increase of almost a hundred percent more marriages. The number of marriages almost doubled in January alone with a ten percent increase in fertility. The result is that, as of January, the population decline has slowed by an astonishing 47 percent. But it gets even better! Reported in Hungary Today and the Voice of Europe.com, These stats from January are just par for the course of the trends that have been going on since 2010, when these policies were first implemented. Since 2010, overall, marriage rates in Hungary have gone up 43 percent. Not only that, divorce has dropped by 23 percent in the same time period. You know what else has dropped? Hungary’s abortion rate, during the same time period since 2010, has dropped nearly 35 percent. There were less than 27 thousand abortions in the entire nation in 2018. Hungary does allow abortion only up until the 12th week of pregnancy, so it’s limited to the first trimester and only in what they call a ‘grave crisis situation’. They have a mandatory waiting period combined with mandatory counseling, and there has to be an approval from a medical committee. Hungary is clearly walking the talk here. The country is currently experiencing its highest fertility rate in 20 years …..and its highest marriage rate in over 40 years! We are talking the future of Europe here! The future of Europe is not the Middle East or Northern Africa, as much as the Turkish President Erdogan is hoping it to be. No, the future of Europe is found in the pro-life policies of nationalist populist governments who are taking the demographic crisis that has plagued Europe over the last three decades very, very seriously! As Lyman Stone, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, has pointed out Hungary is not just experiencing a fertility spike; Hungary is actually winding back the clock on much of the fertility and family-structure implosion that demographers have long considered inevitable in Europe. Hungary is now standing as an exception to that rule.
You might know, Hungary is not alone. Poland and Russia and the Republic of Georgia have all instituted pro-life, pro-family policies that are effectively reversing their respective fertility declines. Some really impressive numbers in Russia that have just been released show that abortions have dropped 10 percent in Russia for the year 2018 and down around 40 percent in the last seven years! There are reports that abortions have dropped by two-thirds, by 63.5 percent since 2000 according to Interfax. And the number of Russians who identify as pro-life has tripled in the same time period. There seems little question that we really are seeing nothing less than a nationalist traditionalist baby boom going on in Europe for those nations that have fully re-embraced their cultures, customs, and traditions as powerful resources for a flourishing future. These are the countries that have turned back to the Christian foundations so indispensable to European civilization and as such are preserving a magnificent civilization for us, for the whole of the West, and indeed, for generations to come.
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