by Jennifer Y.

General Description

Hungary is a country located in Central Europe. It is right under Slovakia, and to the right of Austria. The capital of Hungary is Budapest, located in Northern Hungary. The people of Hungary speak Hungarian, and the dominating religion is Roman Catholic.

In this SMORE Newsletter, you will learn about the specific geography, government, ethnicities, and culture of Hungary.

The Geography of Hungary

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Maps Listed Above

  1. Hungary in the Map of Europe
  2. Hungary's Major Cities
  3. Physical Map of Hungary

All Credits To:

Geographical Information

Hungary is located in Central Europe, below Slovakia, above Croatia, and to the right of Austria. The capital city is Budapest, which is located in Northwest Hungary. Other major cities, include Debrecen (in the far east of Hungary), Miskolc (Northeast Hungary), Szeged (far south of Hungary), Pecs (far south), and much more.

Natural landforms include the Great Hungarian Plain. Hungary is a mostly flat country, with the Great Hungarian Plain covering about 56% of the country. The plain ranges from flat to rolling plains. Another plain landform is the Little Hungarian Plain.

Near the border of Slovakia, the plains rise to some low mountains. The highest mountain in Hungary is Mt. Kekes (3,330 ft, or 1,015 m). Some mountain ranges include the Transdanubian Mountains, in the Northwestern region of Hungary, and the North Hungarian Mountains, at the very tip of Hungary, which is home to Mt. Kekes.

The Danube River nearly cuts Hungary in half. This river in navigable inside Hungary for about 418 km. Other major rivers include the Drava and Tisza Rivers.

Hungary has three major lakes. Lake Balaton, one of the lakes, has a length of 78 km, and an area of 592 square km long. Balaton is Central Europe's largest freshwater lake.

Most of the people live in Budapest, Pecs, Debrecen, and Miskolc. These cities are all around relatively major sources of water, such as rivers or lakes.

Low temperatures in Hungary are typically at around 0-36 degrees F in the winter, 35-55 degrees in the Spring, 45-65 degrees in the Summer, and 25-55 degrees F in the Fall. High temperatures are usually around 12-45 degrees F in the Winter, 40-70 degrees in the Spring, 60-80 degrees in the Summer, and 50-72 degrees F in the Fall.

The usual climate of Hungary is warm, dry summers, and fairly cold winters.

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Above: Lake Balaton with the Danube River


Government of Hungary

Government Type and Leaders

Hungary is a parliamentary republic. A parliamentary republic is a republic whose head (usually a prime minister), is the leader of the political party with the most members.

Also, Hungary is a limited government. The government cannot do anything they want, and they still have to also listen to the citizens' thoughts and opinions. Also, the government doesn't control everything in the country. Part of the country is shared with the citizens.

Currently, the prime minister of Hungary is Viktor Orban, and the president of Hungary is Janos Ader. But, the president is more of a ceremonial role, and the prime minister is the actual head of the executive branch.

Actually, the position of Viktor Orban in Hungarian, miniszterelnök, translated into English, is "minister-president". But, they still went along with the designation "prime minister" to go along with the English language.

Citizen Rights and Responsibilities


  1. Every citizen has the right of liberty and freedom.
  2. Every citizen in equal and has the right to defend themselves against any accusations.
  3. Every citizen has the right of conscience and religion.
  4. Every child has the right to be able to enjoy care and protection as part of their families.
  5. Every citizen has the right to express their opinions to the public.


  1. Every citizen has the responsibility to pay taxes to the government.
  2. Every citizen has the responsibility to vote. Citizens vote every 5 years.
  3. Every citizen has the responsibility to defend the country.

Interactions with Other Countries

Hungary is part of the United Nations, along with 192 other countries. Hungary joined the United Nations in 1955. Hungary also joined the European Union and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) sometime in 1999.

Hungary has been known for giving many forms of aid to multiple countries, despite the recent conflict with the refugees. Some forms include medical aid and other humanitarian activities, mainly contributing to the healing of injuries. Hungary has also received aid before from other countries. For example, the US donated over at least 18 million dollars to Hungary in the last year or so.

Hungary also has some bonds with other countries. The UK is a good friend of Hungary, and Poland is extremely close to Hungary. (There is actually a folktale called "The Pole and the Hungarian" that describes the early friendships of the two countries.)

The Economy of Hungary


The Hungarian Forint is the currency for Hungary. 1 Hungarian Forint equals 0.0035 US dollar.

(Credits: Wikipedia)

Imports and Exports


Hungary is the 40th largest exporter in the world. Top products exported from Hungary include: machinery and transport equipment, consumer goods, agricultural products, chemicals, apparel, textiles, iron and steel, and wine.


Hungary is the 35th largest importer in the world. Top products imported include: vehicle parts, pharmaceuticals (medicinal drugs), telephones, integrated circuits, engine spare parts, crude petroleum, petroleum gas, medicines, and vehicle spare parts and telephones.

GDP per capita

The most recent GDP per capita for Hungary (2014) was $24,000. The GDP per capita for the United States (2014) was $54,400. Compared with the United States, Hungary is not considered a fairly wealthy country, with a difference of $30,400.

The GDP per capita is the average Gross Domestic Product (how much one earns in one year) for every individual that works in a country. The higher the GDP per capita is, the more one individual makes every year, therefore being wealthier.

Social and Ethnic Groups


All Children in Hungary from age 5-16 are obliged to attend education. Children between three and six can go to the kindergarten. The last year of kindergarten is compulsory. Compulsory education begins with the obligatory pre-school year in kindergarten, usually at the age of 5.

Local schools are mainly funded by tax revenues and state fundings.

Children have the right to learning, and parents have the right to choose what kind of education they want for their children.

The literacy rate for men is 99.1%, and for women is 99%. This shows that the fundamental education in Hungary is exempt, especially when compared to the US, which has a literacy rate of 87% for men, and 77% for women.

Rights of Women and Children

Article 66 of the Fundamental Rights and Duties of Citizens of Hungary states, "The Republic of Hungary guarantees the equality of men and women in regard to all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights."

All children have the right to learning and health.

Ethnic Groups

There are many ethnic groups in Hungary. The main ones are: Hungarian (85.6%), Roma (3.2%), and German (1.9%).

In 2012, there was a conflict between the Hungarians and the Romanians. In World War I, Hungary nearly lost 2/3 of its land to Romania. This has made Hungarians the most dominant minority in Romania, therefore causing conflicts and problems.

Religion, Language, and Flag


The most dominant religions are listed below as: Roman Catholic (37.2%), Calvinist (11.6%), Lutheran (2.2%), and Greek Catholic (1.8%).


The most dominant languages are: Hungarian (official) 99.6%, English 16%, German 11.2%, Russian 1.6%, Romanian 1.3%, and French 1.2%.
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The Flag

Shown above is the Flag of Hungary. Red represents strength and bloodshed, white represents faithfulness and freedom, and green symbolizes the natural landforms of Hungary and hope. The flag was created on October 12, 1957.

(Credits: Wikipedia)



March 15th is National Day in Hungary. This commemorates the 1848 Revolution, when Hungary was freed from the control of the Austrian Empire. People usually wear a cockade (like a ribbon) with the national colors on it.

May 1st is Hungary's Labor Day. This is actually the anniversary of the joining to the European Union.

Pentecost Sunday, 40 days after Easter, celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit.

St. Stephens Day is celebrated on August 20th. St. Stephens was Hungary's first king. St. Stephens represents the Foundation of Hungary, or the "bread of Hungary".

October 23rd is also National Day, this time celebrating the 1956 Revolution, when Soviet troops departed from Hungary, and free elections began.

November 1st is All Saints Day, which is the day of remembrance of the dead. Graves in Christian cemeteries are decorated with flowers and candles, by family and friends of the dead.

Christmas is celebrated on December 25th and 26th.


From April 10-26 is the Budapest Spring Festival, filled with opera, ballet, and classical music.

Around mid-June is the Danube Carnival, which is also in Budapest. Music, dancing, and bands are featured.

Around mid-June to August is the Outdoor Festival in Pecs, featuring outdoor evening performances.

From late-June to late-August is the Szentendre Summer Festival in Szentendre, which features theatre, concerts, film, and fun activities.

From July 6-10 is the Balaton Sound, located in Zamardi, a town right beside Lake Balaton. In this festival, electronic music is featured.

Around mid-July is the Bull's Blood Festival in Eger, filled with wine and traditional food.

From August 10-17 is the Sziget Festival in Budapest. Rock and pop music are featured.

In the last week of August, the Jewish Summer Festival is celebrated in Budapest. This is a great opportunity to learn about the Hungarian Jewish culture.

Finally, in October is the Cafe Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival in Budapest, filled with music, art, theatre, dance, and photography.

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Shown Above: Traditional Clothing


Everyday Clothes

Everyday Hungarian clothes are usually in the form of shirts, jeans, shorts, sweaters, etcetera. Their casual clothes are quite similar to what we would wear in the US.
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Above: Casual Clothing


Traditional Foods

  1. The goulash (gulyas) is a soup-like stew with beef, carrot, potato, spices, and paprika.
  2. The fisherman's soup (Halászlé) is a strictly paprika-based freshwater soup with river fish (carp, catfish, perch or pike) and lots of hot paprika, making it a bright red color. This dish is usually used as a traditional Christmas dish.
  3. The Lángos is the Hungarians' all-time favorite: it's a deep-fried flatbread cooked with hot oil, and dipped in garlic dipping, cheese, tejföl (sour cream), and sausages.

  4. The Somlói Galuska is a delicious chocolate cake, and a favorite of many Hungarians. It is made from sponge cake and layered with chocolate cream, walnut, rum, and whipped cream on the top.

  5. The Dobos Torte is also a favorite dessert of the Hungarians, made from sponge cake and topped with chocolate buttercream and caramel.

  6. The Túrós Csusza is a pasta with cottage cheese. It is a traditional Hungarian dish made with a special type of pasta, cottage cheese, and crispy bacon. There are two main types of Túrós Csusza, the regular type, and the sweeter version.

How to Make the Dobos Torte

  1. Chocolate Buttercream:
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 6 large egg yolks
    • 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter or margarine, softened
    • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
    • 10 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled, or 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • Pinch of salt
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons rum or kirsch (optional)
  2. Batter:
    • 6 large eggs
    • 1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon (9 ounces) sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) all-purpose flour, measured by dip-and-sweep method
  3. Caramel (optional):
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. To make the buttercream: Stir the sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, or 250°F on a candy thermometer, about 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks until pale and thick, about 4 minutes. In a slow, steady stream, pour the hot syrup into the eggs, beating continuously as you pour. (Do not let the syrup touch the beaters or it will spin into threads.) Continue beating until the mixture thickens and cools to room temperature, about 10 minutes.

3. Beat in the butter and shortening, 2 tablespoons at a time, until absorbed. Gradually beat in the chocolate. Blend in the vanilla, salt, and rum if using. Do not add the flavoring too quickly or the buttercream might curdle. Chill until of spreading consistency, at least 2 hours or up to 1 week. If the buttercream firms too much, return to room temperature before using, about 1 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease the bottoms of several 9-inch round cake pans and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. Or grease and flour several large baking sheets and, using a 9-inch saucepan lid or springform pan, mark 9-inch circles on the sheets.

5. To make the batter: Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and creamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt. Sift the flour over the top and carefully fold it in.

6. Spread about 1/4 cup of the batter evenly over the bottom of the prepared pans or over each circle on the baking sheets.

7. Bake until the edges begin to color, 5 to 7 minutes. Loosen with a spatula,
invert onto a rack, and let cool. Wipe the pans, regrease, dust with flour, and repeat until there are 7 or 8 matching layers.

8. To make the caramel if using: Stir all the caramel ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stop stirring, increase the heat to medium, and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the syrup turns a deep amber color. Do not burn.

9. Using a lightly oiled metal spatula, spread all of the caramel evenly over one of the cake layers. Let set slightly (do not let it harden), then use an oiled knife to cut just the caramel into 8 to 10 wedges (indicating where the cake will be sliced).

10.To assemble: Place a cake layer on a serving plate, spread with 1/8-inch thick layer of buttercream, then place a second layer on top. Repeat layering the buttercream and cake layers. Cover the top of the cake with buttercream. If using the caramel layer, place on top of the cake. Cover the sides of the cake with buttercream. Chill. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day or in the freezer. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.


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Data and Conclusions

Click on the buttons below to get to the graphs for the multiple topics.

Final Conclusions

Based on the ethnicities data in the graph posted above, one can conclude that there are not many conflicts between the Hungarians and the Romanians and Germans. In the data graph linked above, the data shows that the Hungarian ethnicity is the most dominant ethnicity (85.6%). For the Romanians and Germans, though, they take up only 3.2% and 1.9% of the population. This can show one that they do not have many conflicts, because the dominant ethnicity is so far in the lead versus the much smaller ethnicities. Usually, conflicts grow when the percent of the population of the ethnicities are nearly equal. Since the Romanian and German ethnicities are much fewer than the Hungarian ethnicities, the chance of succeeding in a war or any ongoing conflicts are unlikely, so they do not fight against the Hungarians. But, if the percentages were close to equal, than a fight would have at least a 50% chance of success, and they would be willing to fight. Therefore, based on the data graph of the ethnicities, there are not many conflicts between the Hungarians and the Romanians and Germans.