According to the census carried out in January 1970, the Hungary counted 10,315,600 residents and since then growth has been limited, as the birth rate (1976-77: 17.2% o) slightly exceeds the mortality coefficient (12.5% o). An estimate from January 1978 gave 10,650,000 residents. Budapest now has over 2 million residents, which is home to the fifth part of the Hungarian population, far surpassing Miskolc, which comes in second place (207,828 residents in 1978). Despite the tendency to develop new industries in smaller towns, Budapest maintains a prominent role with 655,000 employees in industry, equal to 38% of the active industrial population (with higher values in the electrical and precision engineering industries). For Hungary 2008, please check payhelpcenter.com.
Economic conditions. – The economy is settling down, directed by the state, with multi-year plans; the fifth five-year plan (1976-80) which aims to transform the Hungary in an industrial-agricultural town with advanced socialization with a predominance of industry: the number of workers already exceeds that of peasants. Total income has been increasing by 6-7% in recent years (mainly energy production and the chemical industry are in progress). In 1968 the New Economic Mechanism was approved, which extends the autonomy of companies, leaving a wider margin of profits. The standard of living has been improving, especially in the countryside, spreading a petty bourgeois mentality, aimed at acquiring ever greater well-being.
Agriculture has mainly benefited from the development of irrigation, which now covers 400,000 ha. After the construction of the Tiszalök dam on the Tisza, the Kisköre dam was inaugurated on the same river in May 1973. An attempt was then made to enhance the mining heritage. The production of lignite now amounts to 23-24 million tons, that of coal to 3 million tons. The extraction of bauxite (2.9 million tonnes, processed in the Ajka factory) and oil (2.2 million tonnes: new field discovered in 1965 in Tape near Seghedino) and even more of natural gas (6.6 billion m 3: new fields have been identified SW of Debrecen, 1966, and in the committee of Zala, 1968). In 1974, coal mining began in the Visonta (Heves) field, destined to produce thermal energy. Mercury has been identified near Sarospatak (1968).
Heavy industry is now capable of producing 3.9 million tonnes of steel. The production of cement is on the increase (4.8 million t in 1978 against 1.2 million in 1955) and of fertilizers and nitrogen fertilizers (after the opening of the Leninvaros plant on Tisza, which uses Romanian natural gas). In 1969 the Szazhalombatta refinery was inaugurated in the S of Budapest, with an adjoining thermal energy plant. Overall, industrial production tends to increase in recent years by an average of 7-8%.
Agricultural production appears to be in progress for wheat (1977: 53 million q), maize (61 million q), barley (7 million q), while the importance of rye and oats is decreasing; beet sugar production is on the rise. The number of cattle remains around 2 million, but the production of dairy products is progressing. Pigs are now over 8 million. Between 1960 and 1974 the number of agricultural workers compared to the total number of employed persons fell from 38-40% to 25%.
Communications have been improved especially following the electrification of some of the main railway lines, such as the Budapest Miskolc-Nyiregyhàza, completed in December 1966. On the other hand, in 1972 some lines were closed to traffic. The construction of a bridge over the Drava in Bracs (opened to traffic in May 1969) shortened communications with the Adriatic. The major works carried out on the Danube at the Iron Gates have improved navigability conditions also in the Hungarian stretch.
The trade balance is favorable to the Hungary, Which is able to export machinery and vehicles, chemical products, fruit and vegetables, meat, etc., to the Soviet Union, the German Dem. Rep., Czechoslovakia, Italy, and the Rep. Fed. of Germany, Poland. The exchange between the Hungary and Italy is favorable to the latter, which in 1972 exported for 207 billion lire and imported for 169 billion (mainly live cattle and beef). We note the tendency on the part of the Hungary to develop exchanges with Western countries. But friendship with the Soviet Union remains the cornerstone of Hungarian politics, a necessary condition for its development.