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Hungary


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Official Name Magyar Koztarsasag (Republic of Hungary)
Capital city Budapest
Official Language Magyar (Hungarian)
Money Basic unit-forint (HUF)
Area 93,032 sq. km (35,920 sq. mi.)
Population

Estimated population--10,500,000
Density: 113 per sq. km (292 persons per sq. mi.)

Elevation Highest: Mount Kekes, 1,015 m (3,330 ft.) above sea level
Lowest: near Szeged, 79 m (259 ft.) above sea level
Temperatures January temperatures average about -2 C (29 F), and July temperatures average about 21 C (70 F)
Hungary receives an average of about 60 centimeters (24 inches) of precipitation (rain, snow, and other forms of moisture) yearly.
Chief Products Agriculture: wheat, corn, hogs, milk, potatoes, grapes, chickens and eggs, sugar beets
Manufacturing: steel, buses and railroad equipment, electrical and electronic goods, food products, pharmaceuticals, medical and scientific equipment, textiles
Mining: bauxite



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Hungary is a landlocked country in central Europe. Almost a fifth of Hungary's people live in Budapest, the country's capital as well as the largest city. Hungary is divided into 19 counties and 6 cities, including Budapest that ranks as counties. It has four main land regions: the Great Plain, Transdanubia, the Little Plain, and the Northern Highlands.
Several ethnic groups live in Hungary where Magyars make up the largest group by far, with about 95 percent of the country's inhabitants. Other groups include Gypsies, Germans, Slovaks, Croats, Serbs, and Romanians. Magyar (also called Hungarian) is Hungary's official language but members of minority groups use their own language among themselves. In parts of Hungary, the people speak various dialects (local forms) of Magyar. About two-thirds of Hungary's people are Roman Catholics and nearly one-fourth of the population is Protestants where the Reformed (Calvinist) Church and the Lutheran Church are the largest Protestant groups. Other religious groups include Catholics of the Byzantine Rite, Jews, and Unitarians.
The state owns and operates Hungary's railroad system, which is about 7,800 kilometers (4,800 miles) long. Hungary has more than 130,000 kilometers (80,000 miles) of roads, about half of which are surfaced. Its rivers and canals form a network of navigable waterways about 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) long. This country has one shipping line and one airline that operates only international flights, both owned and operated by the state. Foreign airlines serve Budapest that has the country's only civilian airport.
Hungarians love good food especially on holidays and other festive occasions. They enjoy soup as well as everyday meals. The most famous soup is called goulash - a thick soup, or stew that consists of cubes of beef or other meat, gravy, onions, and potatoes. However, other ingredients may also be added to the goulash, which is highly flavored with a seasoning called paprika, which they use in many of their dishes. Hungarians eat more pork than any other kind of meat, but they also like beef and poultry. Noodles, potatoes, and small dumplings are popular side dishes. Finally, Hungary is famous for its pastries. One of the most popular is retes, or strudel that consists of a thin, flaky crust filled with fruit or cheese. Hungary is also famous for its many excellent wines. Hungarians are famous for lively folk music.
Many inhabitants enjoy visiting coffee houses in their free time. They also enjoy art exhibitions, theater, they love music, and going to concerts and operas. Soccer is the most popular sport in Hungary and other favorite sports include basketball, fencing, and volleyball. Once a year, the Formula 1 Grand Prix racing near Budapest takes place. Hungarians also enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing.
Almost all adult Hungarians can read and write, as the law requires children from 6 through 15 years of age to attend school. Nearly all primary and secondary school students attend free public schools. However, religious groups operate some primary and secondary schools, which charge a fee. The largest and most important universities are in Budapest.
Hungary has many daily newspapers, magazines, and TV stations are as well state as privately owned.
This country was a large, independent, and powerful kingdom until the late 1400's, but from the early 1500's to the late 1600's, the Ottoman Empire ruled much of Hungary. The country then became the part of a huge empire ruled by the Austrian branch of the Habsburgs, but the empire collapsed after World War I ended in 1918. In the late 1940's, Hungarian Communists gained control of the country's government and banned all other political parties. However, in 1956, the Hungarian people revolted against their Communist government and Soviet domination, but Soviet troops quickly crushed the revolution. In 1989, the Communist Party ended its monopoly on the government and allowed more freedom. The country's first multiparty elections were held in 1990.

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