Home > Hungary > The 2011 Hungarian census: Some startling changes in the last ten years

The 2011 Hungarian census: Some startling changes in the last ten years

March 31, 2013

It’s time to talk about the latest census. When I mentioned to an American friend that the final results of the census were just released, she looked a little puzzled: “When do they take censuses in Hungary?” In the first year of every decade, I answered. Why is it so late? Because the Orbán administration is noted for its incompetence. Why would the Central Statistical Office (Központi Statisztikai Hivatal) be any different? One reason for the delay might be Viktor Orbán’s decision in July 2011 to sequester the 2.5 billion forints set aside for the 2011 census. It was predicted that unless money was found by September, data processing would be delayed. And it was.

I don’t think it surprised too many people that Hungary’s population dropped again in the past ten years, although from media reactions it seems that the size of the decrease was not expected. In 2001 the population of the country was 10,198,000. Ten years later, 9,938,000. So, the decrease was 261,000. Zsolt Németh, not the undersecretary of the foreign ministry but the head of the Statistical Office, claimed that one third of these “missing persons” can be found in western European countries. My feeling is that the number is much higher than indicated by Németh and that some of the people who are currently abroad were actually included by parents or spouses in the census. Especially since answers to the questions from the Statistical Office could be returned online.

nepszamlalasThere were two surprises in the released short summary of the census. The number of Gypsies and other nationalities has grown tremendously while the number of people declaring religious affiliation has decreased across all denominations. The loss was especially large for the Hungarian Catholic Church.

One newspaper came out with this startling headline: “More Gypsies, fewer Hungarians.” But the fact is that not only Roma people felt freer to identify themselves as belonging to a minority, a despised minority at that, but suddenly people with German ethnic roots came forward in much greater numbers than ten years ago.

Here are a couple of figures. In 2001 only 205,720 individuals claimed to be of Gypsy origin. Ten years later the number is 315,583. According to estimates, the actual number of Roma in Hungary is around 700,000 and therefore about 50% of the Gypsies still refuse to identify themselves. Yet the increase is a hopeful sign of greater ethnic self-awareness.

In 2001 Germans numbered 120,344;  ten years later this figure swelled to 185,696. The number of Romanians more than doubled (from 14,781 to 35,541). Even the number of Russians went up from 5,512 to 13,337. In 2001 9.4 million people declared themselves to be Hungarian, today this number is only 8.4 million.

As for the statistics concerning religiosity and church affiliation, they were described by Index as “earthshaking.” In 2001 5.5 million people claimed to be Catholic. Today this number is only 3.9 million. The other churches all registered loss as well, but the Catholic statistics were the most shocking. At the same time those without any religious affiliation grew from 1.5 million to 1.8 million. One ought to add to this number those who simply refused to answer the question regarding religious affiliation. In 2001 1.1 million people; in 2011 2.7 million.

The secretariat of the Conference of Catholic Bishops tried to explain this phenomenon without losing face. They claimed, apparently with some justification, that the questions concerning religious affiliation were differently formulated in 2001 and in 2011. Ten years ago the question read: “Your religion/church?” In the last census the question was much more specific: “To which religious community do you feel you belong?” Therefore, says András Máté-Tóth, professor of theology at the University of Szeged, the two different sets of data cannot really be compared. There is something in that. If a person was confronted with the 2001 question on religious affiliation, he might have considered it an inquiry about his baptismal certificate. But a much more specific question on belonging or feeling close to a specific religious community cannot be answered automatically. And it seems that a lot of people were not ready to commit themselves to a religious community about which they might know nothing. A baptismal certificate is simply not enough when confronted with this question.

As for those who refused to answer. The specificity of the question might be a factor, but there is something else that leads me to believe that the 2011 data more accurately describe the real situation. In 2001 there was no possibility of returning one’s answers electronically. The census taker visited all the households and hovered over members of the family while they were answering the questions. They were empowered to answer queries from members of the household. This assistance might have influenced the answers. This time the Central Statistical Office encouraged online replies and therefore outside influence was more limited. The combination of these two factors most likely resulted in more realistic results.

To repeat, ten years ago about 1.5 million Hungarians claimed no religious affiliation; today it is 1.8 million. While in 2001 1,104,330 refused to answer the question, today it is 2,699,025. Altogether there are 4.5 million people in Hungary who either profess no religious affiliation or refuse to answer. Half a million more than declared Catholics.

These statistics are especially interesting in view of the aggressive Catholic pressure via the Christian Democratic Peoples Party (KDNP) and to some extent the majority government party, Fidesz.  Rózsa Hoffmann, who suddenly discovered her religiosity, clearly favors the policy of handing over more and more schools to the churches. Most of these schools naturally ended up in Catholic hands. Because of pressure by Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, parochial schools receive all sorts of extra benefits from the state , so local communities felt that perhaps their schools would be better off if they were ceded to the churches. Naive parents believe that their children will receive a better education in the local parochial school, which is a doubtful proposition in the first place without taking into consideration that the kind of education their children will receive there might not prepare them well for the modern, secular world. Just the other day I mentioned Iván Sándor’s critique of the education of the 1920s and 1930s that the Orbán government is emulating. It produced non-thinking, obedient robots.

I simply can’t believe that the Orbán government’s efforts to make a religious country out of Hungary can succeed. This is not the trend anywhere in Europe, and it seems that Hungary is no exception.

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  1. Blumi
    March 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm | #1

    Hungarians were never religious and never will be. But people are full of contradictions. Hungarians value the family the most in Europe, people consistently plan a lot of kids in polls, but eventually Hungary has the lowest birthrate in Europe (perhaps Lituania is in front of us).

    People don’t go to church, but they are happy to know that their kids go to a church managed school, in fact they would fight for keeping such schools. Note that legally churches are private institutions and thus the principle of non-discrimination does not apply to them (ie gypsis or gays can be discriminated against, which is what the majority wants).

    I guess that most people understood that the questions on religion was not about going to churches, but about baptism and family tradition. In fact I don’t think much has changed in the religiousness in Hungary in the last ten years (ie people in general do not go to church and as the number of weddings decrease the number of weddings in chrches must also).

    With my wife we are also Catholics by baptism, but like millions, we absolutely refused to answer any questions beyond the most basic questions at the census. The census was carried out at the time when for more educated people it was already clear that Fidesz will use the census data (with names, so before getting the data sheets anonymised) for its personal uses, so it’s better not to help them. It also shows how much people (under general legal obligation to answer) refuse to talk to even to the government, let alone polling companies. I guess it was not the religuious Fidesz supporters who refused to talk.

    Plus it is not so much about Orbán transforming Hungary in that sense, it is more about making sure that national networks (organisations with units down to the most rural of places where MSZP or Bajnia cannot even dream to have any supporter or any infr about the people) such as Catholics, Lutheran churches etc. are on board (that is if they get unlimited funds for various causes will help Fidesz when necessary such as during campaigns, but also potentially in opposition).

  2. March 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm | #2

    Just to underscore your suspicion “My feeling is that the number [of “missing persons” can be found in western European countries] is much higher than indicated by Németh and that some of the people who are currently abroad were actually included by parents or spouses in the census. Especially since answers to the questions from the Statistical Office could be returned online.”
    My only observation that it is not only western European countries. I did fill out the questionnaire and I reside in Canada.

  3. March 31, 2013 at 6:11 pm | #3

    This is a general announcement. I just created an “Archives.” You will find it at the top of the page, right next to “About.” All posts can be found there in chronological order starting with the latest and ending with my very first attempt at writing a post. I hope it will be more useful than the long list broken down by month ever since June 2007. I also moved this long list to the bottom of the page. This way the more important pieces of information are more visible.

  4. tappanch
    March 31, 2013 at 6:25 pm | #4

    More data are out in excel tables

    “In 2001 Germans numbered 120,344; ten years later this figure swelled to 185,696″

    http://www.ksh.hu/nepszamlalas/docs/tablak/teruleti/00/1_1_6_1.xls

    gives 62,105 ethnic Germans for 2001 and 131,951 for 2011.

    ——————-
    I think the numbers do not add up.

    Look at http://www.ksh.hu/nepszamlalas/docs/tablak/teruleti/00/2_1_7_1.xls

    On the one hand, there are 3,871,881 Catholics.

    On the other hand, go down, 3,839,976 of them ethnic Hungarians and
    334,687+394+249+2592+153+28,274+25,650 are of other ethnicity.

    This sum is much larger than 3,871,881 !

    ——————-

    Something is really wrong with the numbers, or it is too late for me.

  5. Mutt
    March 31, 2013 at 8:32 pm | #5

    Two tidbits to illustrate the Orban government policies:

    #1 The number of people who spoke foreign languages

    2001 – 20% – 10% English – 10% German
    2011 – 25% – 15% English – 10% German

    That is all 5% increase went to the English language. Annoying because of the anti-rhetorics. Remember Rozsa Hoffmann trying to prove that they should learn something else, not English? Maybe the government doesn’t know better …

    #2 Number of civil unions in 2-parent unions (married vs. not married)

    2001 – 272,000
    2011 – 405,000

    This also means it went up from 10% to 20% compared to the total number of 2-parent unions. The Orbanites do not accept civil unions (heterosexual) as families.

  6. Mutt
    March 31, 2013 at 8:34 pm | #6

    Sorry, I meant “anti-American rhetorics”.

  7. Mutt
    March 31, 2013 at 8:37 pm | #7

    Interesting. The number of people who speak German didn’t increase only the number of Germans … Hmmm. Silent Germans?

  8. March 31, 2013 at 8:46 pm | #8

    Eva S. Balogh :
    This is a general announcement. I just created an “Archives.” You will find it at the top of the page, right next to “About.” All posts can be found there in chronological order starting with the latest and ending with my very first attempt at writing a post. I hope it will be more useful than the long list broken down by month ever since June 2007. I also moved this long list to the bottom of the page. This way the more important pieces of information are more visible.

    Thank you for this. I wonder whether it would be possible to display a much larger number of new comments, instead of listing all the months from 2007. This may allow those of us who want to read all new comments but only look at the site late in the day not to miss any (or at least to miss fewer of them).

  9. cheshire cat
    March 31, 2013 at 9:00 pm | #9

    They probably used to admit to speaking German but not to BEING German! :-D

  10. wolfi
    April 1, 2013 at 3:13 am | #10

    It took Fidesz more than a year to digest/interpret these data, so we’ll probably also need some time to analyse it. Is there an English summary available ?

  11. -Paul-
    April 1, 2013 at 4:22 am | #11

    The religion must disappear. Throughout the history is has done much more bad than good.
    Other countries show declines too – for example the 2011 Czech census recorded 1.1 Roman Catholics compared to 2.8 million in 2001.
    Instead, there are 15,000 adepts of Jediism (and almost 200,000 in UK).

  12. April 1, 2013 at 5:01 am | #12

    Mutt :
    Interesting. The number of people who speak German didn’t increase only the number of Germans … Hmmm. Silent Germans?

    The traditional German (“Swabian”) minority in Hungary, decimated by assimilation, WWII-related migrations and deportations, has largely lost the contact to its traditional Swabian dialect, and many of them, even if they still identify themselves with the Swabian ethnicity and traditions, practically only speak Hungarian. The younger generations now learn Standard German at schools (after which, according to what I have heard from colleagues, practically all high-school graduates plan to continue their studies in Austria or Germany).

    As for the census data on languages, the census questionnaire showed a catastrophal ignorance about the basics of language and linguistics. (Those who read Hungarian will find expert criticism at http://www.nyest.hu/hirek/listazzunk-nyelveket .) For instance, the list of languages (in the Internet questionnaire) contained numerous phantom or extinct languages (Old Prussian, Cuneiform Hittite…), while dealing with the – often debated or problematic – language-vs.-dialect debates in a very haphazard manner. The most scandalous example of ignorance: Romani language proper bundled together with the language of the “Beás cigányok” (the latter is a dialect of Romanian and thus only extremely distantly related with Romani). Obviously the authorities were only interested in knowing how many people there still are who speak “some Gypsy language”.

  13. Marxy
    April 1, 2013 at 5:48 am | #13

    Is this a quote from Karl Marx?

    -Paul- :
    The religion must disappear. Throughout the history is has done much more bad than good.
    Other countries show declines too – for example the 2011 Czech census recorded 1.1 Roman Catholics compared to 2.8 million in 2001.
    Instead, there are 15,000 adepts of Jediism (and almost 200,000 in UK).

  14. JGrant
    April 1, 2013 at 6:07 am | #14

    gdfxxx :

    Eva S. Balogh :
    I wonder whether it would be possible to display a much larger number of new comments, instead of listing all the months from 2007.

    @gdfxxx – On my blog, albeit it’s a Blogger one, the archives on the side can be collapsed into years, thus not taking up so much space. I wonder if WordPress does that too?

  15. JGrant
    April 1, 2013 at 6:15 am | #15

    @Marxy – No, it is most certainly not a Marx quote. He never said that religion must disappear. On the contrary, by describing it as the opium of the masses, he made clear that at times people will run to religion through ignorance and a need for a prop. However, he also said that while religion should never be suppressed, it will gradually disappear in a socialist society because education, consciousness, and in the final analysis a total lack of need for it, people will discard it. So, why are so fewer people professing allegience to a religion in Hungary today? I think it has a lot to do with education and an understanding of the world through world wide communications and news exchange. It also could be a reaction to the role religion – all sorts of religions – have had in the past in wars, persecution etc. But, the bottom line, in my view, is a combination of both a rejection of something that is irrelevant to their lives these days as well as a certain amount of fear at admitting to anything which the authorities will have on reconrd about them.

  16. CharlieH
    April 1, 2013 at 6:22 am | #16

    Győr Calling!

    Wow, Eva. Fantastic archive! Much easier to review too – and ‘cntrl+F’ searchable for key words in your titles. It even works looking with English keyboard entry – ‘orban’ will show Orbán.

    I notice it is a blog entry so presume it will switch to a second page when it’s reached a threshold? (I have refrained from leaving any comment there so it can take more titles!)

    Thank you.

    ****************************************************************************

    The Census.

    I believe the census figures – thank you Tappanch- are flakey too.

    As we have discussed before the (EU) population figures are extremely sensitive to the Hungarian Government – huge numbers are working or leaving for abroad and the figures do not compute. There is a huge disparity between what the EU may consider the head count and the Government’s figures.

    The KSH was set up by Charles East in 1857 – but its later incarnation is just not independent enough.

    The KSH lacks integrity and rigour of independence – and trust in the numbers is appropriately questioned.

    There is no way that a Prime Minister should be able to remove the head and install a ‘place-(wo)man’.

    Neither should the statistical body be starved of funds – or any delays be accepted.

    In England the Royal Statistical Society is the professional body for statisticians – and was founded in 1834 by such leading lights as Charles Babbage and Florence Nightingale.

    So the statistics of the (very) independent Central Statistical Office (CSO) of England has a very illustrious foundation.

    It is inconceivable that the UK governments could fiddle the figures and there has been notable resistance when they have tried. It is fiercely independent.

    It introduced fixed dates for publishing data – so there can be no manipulation of bad numbers that a government would prefer to hide. And this has been adopted by many statistical bodies around the world.

    So Hungary then….lies..damned….(Shush!)

    As I said before what do you think the population is? Divided by the number of estimates – and we will have a better figure than the KSH!

    I guess 8,142,001!

    Regards

    Charlie

  17. CharlieH
    April 1, 2013 at 6:35 am | #17

    and btw – ‘population’ is simply those people who reside in Hungary, pay taxes or receive a pension – or who unemployed – and are part of Hungarian society.

    No trianoning here please!

  18. April 1, 2013 at 7:55 am | #18

    Happy to announce that two problems have been solved at once. First, thanks for the suggestion of shortening the list of the sidebar archives. The month format couldn’t be changed but WordPress has the option of choosing a dropdown menu format. By changing the format of the sidebar archives, the list of recent comments was also solved. The maximum number is 15 and now all 15 can be seen.

  19. Paul Wal
    April 1, 2013 at 9:06 am | #19

    OT..sorry Eva.

    http://brandpunt.kro.nl/seizoenen/2013/afleveringen/31-03-2013/fragmenten/onrust_in_de_achtertuin

    Not only the German tv is highly critical about the current regime. This Dutch documentary will be shown on TV over here this evening. A devastating portrait ot the Fidesz regime.

  20. Lecso
    April 1, 2013 at 11:09 am | #20

    Shame that a census wasn’t taken before, and against after the Orbán goverment. 2011 was still too early for “Orbánist brainswashing” to take its effect.

  21. spectator
    April 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm | #21

    I think it’s not about religion, but rather being anti-communist, as it supposed to mean something by the orbanist standard.

    As I see it, there is quite a decent confusion regarding the proper definition of political terms, like democracy, communism, dictatorship, oppression, etc., by the way.
    Funny enough – if you have the mood to laugh, that is, – to watch the reaction of the people to the original Fidesz directives..!
    It became clear – to me at least – that the brainwashed orbanist zombies have no idea of the true meaning, they have no inkling toward ideology, only the great leader’s words of “against” someone/everyone matters…!

    If you confront them with questions of general political standpoints – like: is that right, that Orban want to lower the cost of living to everyone – they will shout “YES” with no objection – but when you ask, is that right, that it means that Orban will lower the cost not only to himself, but to Gyurcsany and Bajnay too, they literarily shocked..!

    Are the Hungarians really that stupid?

    I have problem to believe, but they are rather convincing..!

  22. tappanch
    April 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm | #22

    For the record:

    There was a possible infighting between the Roman Catholic and Greek Catholic clergy during the 2011 census:

    http://nol.hu/belfold/nepszamlalas__a_ksh_helyt_adott_a_katolikus_tiltakozasnak

    The Roman Catholic church protested that there were separate Greek and Roman Catholic categories in the census (historically, this was always the case), so the Census Authority changed the questionnaires during the census. They created the joint Catholic category.
    My guess is that people marking Catholic were sorted into the Roman Catholic at counting.

  23. spectator
    April 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm | #23

    tappanch :
    My guess is that people marking Catholic were sorted into the Roman Catholic at counting.

    My guess is, that it falls ‘nicely’ with the complete ignorance regarding clear definitions, as I stated above.

    Long live the “soccer above all” nation in Orbanistan!
    Hajrá!

  24. Lecso
    April 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm | #24

    Can I ask why was my last post deleted? I don’t think I said anything bad.

    By the way, slightly OT, does anybody know the exact quote by Edward Teller on the Hungarian language? Thanks in advance.

  25. Kati
    April 1, 2013 at 8:29 pm | #25

    I’m new to this blog so I will go ahead and apologize in advance if I speak out of turn; do to a misunderstanding on my part. From what I have read so far,,,, Is that the outcome or discrepancies (whichever way you view them) of the 2011 Census verses the 2001 is because of everything from social, political, economic and religious shifts in Hungary, and the results therefore became somehow more realistic?? How does the internet, data, and answering “technically” anonymous questions relate to something being factual or vise-versa?? Is it easier to mislead a machine or a real person? Anonymity is not synonymous with honesty. So is it reasonable to believe statistics have nothing to do with the outcome and it is just a matter of opinion…… Seems to me nothing much has changed, accept for technological advancements! Guess the pen (or keyboard) is mightier than the sword,,,

  26. David Balazs Beleznay
    April 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm | #26

    Reply to Ms Balogh’s article on the 2011 Hungarian Census
    .
    I have been a reader of this excellent blog for the past year or so, but I feel I must take issue with Ms. Balogh’s statement regarding the comment about the recent Census results reflecting a growing trend of “self-awareness” among Gypsies.
    I assure you we are all aware of who we are: the ultimate “Other” in our own country.

    The fact that 74 years after the Pajermos (Holocaust) the wast majority or Roma Hungarians do not identify themselves as such, is less about “self-awareness” and more about FEAR. People have learned the hard way that the only sure way of not getting discriminated against is to hide who you are, if you can.

    The very question of belonging is phrased in a way which reflects the false dichotomy of two conflicting ethnic categories: Magyar vs. Roma. In fact it is the ethnification of the Majority as “Magyar” I find highly questionable for I doubt that the forefathers of Mr. Vona or Mr. Orban – or for that matter Ms Balogh – rode in with Arpad’s tribes. It is this communal imagined identity as “Magyars” which allows non-Jewish, non-Roma Hungarians to perpetuate the systematic disenfranchisement of their fellow countrymen. This powerful illusion allows people to see themselves as the true Hungarians who are victimized by “outsiders”.

    I tell you right now: there are WAY more Hungarians – Magyars – who are Sinti, Roma or Manush than 700000.The “Majority” has a very limited understanding of the history of these multi cultural, multi-ethnic groups.
    “Gypsies” are portrayed as a homogenic group with fixed physiological and cultural boundaries. You do not recognize us because we do not fit into Your Idea of what a Gypsy looks like. But we are here.
    True self-awareness is sorely missing in Hungary. It should start with the “majority” Hungarians who believe themselves to be “ethnically Magyar” as opposed to the “Minority”.

  27. Blumi
    April 2, 2013 at 2:31 am | #27

    Lecso, I guess the wordpress system is not perfect, I also had a number of comments deleted, some appeared then disappeared for good. It depends on the browser as well.

  28. April 2, 2013 at 8:40 am | #28

    tappanch :
    Something is really wrong with the numbers, or it is too late for me.

    It was too late, I guess. :)

    Mrs Balogh used the last column of table 1.1.6.2, which offers a somewhat larger concept of “nationality belonging” based on several criteria (questions 34-37), than table 1.1.6.1 (question 34 & 35). Plus, you could choose two ‘nationalities’ (questions 34 & 35), which probably explains for the sum being greater than the population number.

    Alas, neither the detail of those who chose two nationalities nor the formula for calculating the “nationality belonging” figure do seem to be available. Too bad, for – and I’ll second David Balazs Beleznay here – it really doesn’t help to understand that identities are more mixed, and that their borders are more blurred, than they appear in those figures.

  29. April 2, 2013 at 8:42 am | #29

    @ Mr Beleznay: I loved your comment. In a perfect world what you wrote it makes perfect sense. On a census, as in every country they try to identify what is the “background” of a person. In Canada for example the questions are more definable, like Mother Tongue (8), Knowledge of Official Languages (French, English), Language Spoken Most Often at Home, Other Language Spoken Regularly at Home. These question help to determine for example of all the “social strategies” in a bilingual country. (French schools, and even local publicly founded after school language education for Serbians, Polish, Chines, Hindi, etc., as well as Aboriginal strategies) There isn’t a direct question about nationality, but I about mother-tongue and religion.Question about Conjugal Status and Opposite/Same-sex Status for Persons Living in Couples in Private Households is also present.
    Now, if I could compare any of the “self-awareness” issue, I would most likely use the Aboriginal questions, as certainly w/o a doubt all ABoriginals in CAnada are Canadian, and yet to find someone who would identify them as “natives” versus Canadians, although it is commonly used as a secondary identity “tag”. THe native population of Canada do have their similar struggles as the Roma population of Hungary, but the special programs in place actually encourage and helps with assimilation w/o loosing one’s “ethnicity”. It is well understood that there is no Canadian race, and its embraces every and each pieces of the puzzle. Children are encouraged in school to speak about their background, to share ethnic stories and dishes. All kids identify themselves as Canadians and than as part of some ethnic group or having some ethnic background, that actually they encouraged to embrace. Maybe versus visiting so many countries that may can solve Hungary’s economical problems, it is time for the Fidesz entourage to visit some countries that could help them to solve the identity crises of Hungary.

  30. Ms KKA
    April 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm | #30

    I fear comparing the census of Hungary and Canada, or any “old world” country with any “new world” country, ends up being “apples and oranges”, because, other than the Native Americans from all of the Americas, who have been here for thousands of years, we have no long-standing homogeneous ethnicity, as is found in “old world” countries.

    That being said, our census here in the US is much more akin to Hungary’s than Canada’s, in that its questions are directed at separating groups out, rather than including them in. It got so bad, in fact, that there was a big brouhaha over one of the ethnicity questions that clearly smacked of prejudice during the last census…the question was eventually changed.
    The situation here has improved somewhat over the years, but not much, when it comes to ferreting out bloodlines, especially where negro blood is concerned. It used to be that one drop of non-caucasian blood in your system would label you as a negro, thereby branding you for life as something less. As I said, it’s not quite that bad, but – look at President Obama, as a perfect example of what I’m saying…he is as much white as he is black, but he somehow how became out first black president!!! However, calling him an African- American is actually completely correct – his father was from Africa, and his mother from America!

    While I agree with most everything DBB said in his terrific post, and loathe as I am to put words in Eva’s mouth, I believe that, at least, part of what she meant by more “self-aware” was, perhaps, less fearful. Also, if one completed the questionnaire on-line, without a government official in their living room asking the questions, and they believed this provided them with anonymity, they would probably be much more willing to provide their “non-Magyar” (ain’t that a crock of BS) than in a face-to-face interview.

  31. Ms KKA
    April 2, 2013 at 5:43 pm | #31

    I really need to read my posts more closely before hitting the Post Comment button:
    look at President Obama, as a perfect example of what I’m saying…he is as much white as he is black, but he somehow became our first black president!!!
    they would probably be much more willing to provide their “non-Magyar” (ain’t that a crock of BS) status, than in a face-to-face interview.

  32. April 3, 2013 at 5:35 am | #32

    Some1 :
    On a census, as in every country they try to identify what is the “background” of a person.

    In every country ? There’s no such thing in France, Germany, Italy nor Spain for instance. This is not a matter of common sense.

    Some1 :
    [In Canada] There isn’t a direct question about nationality, but I about mother-tongue and religion.

    Actually, until 2011 the compulsory “long form” of the Canadian census asked several direct questions about ‘ethnicity’, an equivalent to ‘nationality’ in the Hungarian context.

    Those questions – which had existed since 1871 under different formulations – were moved in 2011 from the census to a voluntary “National Household Survey” on a 30% sample of the general population. They’re still out there.

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