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RÉTVÁRI HAILS 'TURNAROUND' IN FERTILITY RATE

Owing to the government's consistent family support measures over the past ten years, the number of children Hungarian families are raising has returned to pre-1995 levels, a government official said.
 

Bence Rétvári, parliamentary deputy state secretary of the ministry of human resources, told daily Magyar Nemzet’s Friday edition that the increase in Hungary’s fertility rate was “a potential turnaround”. Referring to Central Statistical Office (KSH) data, Rétvári noted that the rate was 1.59 in the January-November period this year, up from 1.57 in 1995, before austerity measures introduced by Lajos Bokros, the then finance minister. The fertility rate had been declining since 1979, when Hungary’s fertility rate was above 2.0. It declined to 1.8 at the time of the 1989-90 change in political system before dropping even further, to an all-time low of 1.2 after the 2008 “crisis management” of the previous Gyurcsány-Bajnai left-wing government, Rétvári said. Rétvári, a lawmaker of the co-ruling Christian Democrats, said their government “strongly believes in families”, which is why, he added, it had introduced a multitude of schemes to help couples wanting to raise children.