• Number of the week: 11 million

    The number of financial benefits for families in Hungary is unprecedented. Married couples where the wife is under 30 are entitled to an interest free loan of 11 million HUF (30,000 euros) which they don’t have to pay back if they have three children. They can also take out a subsidised loan of 50 million HUF (130,000 euros) to buy a house, as a few examples.

    The problem? The plan is not working. 2023 saw an all-time low in Hungarian births.

    It appears Hungarian couples prefer good schools, proper healthcare and fair wages over hand-outs for babies. None of these alternatives seem to be on offer by the government.

    This article is part of the "The demographic battleground" edition
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