Today, Hungarians live in many countries of the world, and, as such, the Hungarian language is spoken across the globe.
Hungarians were the last major ethnic group to arrive in Europe during the time of what is known as the “Great Migrations.” Today, more than 10 million Hungarians reside within the country’s borders. More than five million residents live outside of Hungary. With more than two million Hungarian residents, Transylvania has the second largest national minority in Europe, after the Albanians in Yugoslavia.
According to the 2001 Census, most Hungarians inside the country live in or near major cities. This report says two million residents live in Budapest, 220,000 in Debrecen, 211,000 in Miskolc, 185,000 in Szeged, 179,000 in Pécs and 130,000 in GyÅr. Of course, these numbers are likely to have changed since the report was published.
It has not been solely in modern times that Hungarians have been “on the move,” however.
The land of pre-World War I Hungary was slashed by more than 72 percent following the Trianon Peace Treaty of 1920. At this time, the total land mass of Hungary was drastically cut, from 325,111 square kilometers prior to the Treaty, to 98,073 square kilometers. The land which previously the Hungarian Empire is now part of some of the seven neighboring countries, with most of the prior land now in Romania, Slovakia, Serbia and Ukraine.
Following this land acquisition, many Hungarians were forced to flee the country, choosing a variety of “new homes” across the world. In fact, the country lost more than 64 percent of its previous population, from nearly 21 million residents to just fewer than eight million.
More than two million Hungarians settled in Romania, 730,000 in the United States, 700,000 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, 220,000 in Israel, 200,000 in the former Soviet Union, 140,000 in Canada, and several thousand Hungarians moved to various other countries across the world.