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Villages on the Edge of Extinction - the Hungarian Situation

1 University of Szeged, Department of Economic and Social Geography, Szeged, HUNGARY
2 Eötvös Loránd University, Savaria University Centre, Szombathely, HUNGARY
Pages: 35-45

Abstract. Urbanization trends in Hungary have been similar during the last decades to those of other Central and Eastern European countries. After 40-50 years of mass-urbanization the phase of suburbanization started. We could see out-migration from villages, especially from small ones. Because of this large-scale out-migration the residual population of these villages became older, so we can see that out-migration and natural decrease are parallel nowadays. In some cases the population decline of these small villages became critical; the population of more than 40 villages in Hungary is less than 25, according to the census of 2011. Because of the changing administrative structure, we can see those villages which were independent administrative units by the 1910 Hungarian Census irrespectively of these villages are administrative units (some of the Hungarian small villages) or not (the other part of Hungarian villages) nowadays. The area of investigation is Hungary. We could have a look at the ways and the types of decline by the reason of underpopulation, by clusters of population change and by size of these settlements. Most of the villages had steep decline of population during the last century, but in some of them we could see that the trends are changing. Because of the natural increase and the new functions (eco-village, tourism, suburbanization, counter-urbanization), the population is stable or increasing now. By the clusters of these villages we could create clear types of small villages and their geographic distribution is also understandable.

K e y w o r d s:  small villages, Hungary, depopulated settlements, regional differences, urbanization, functionality loss