With an area of 93 thousand square kilometers and a population of approximately 9.8 million inhabitants as of 2016, Hungary is a rather small country in comparison to other EU member states , such as Germany or Spain, each with over 80 million inhabitants and 46 million respectively. Since the fall of the communist rule, life expectancy at birth has been constantly increasing, having reached an unprecedented 75.96 years in 2015. However, the country is struggling with sub-replacement fertility; the total fertility rate as of 2015 was 1.44 children born per woman, lower than the necessary replacement rate, which in turn leads to rapid aging of the population. The median age of the Hungarian population in 2015 was estimated to have reached more than 41 years, a stark expansion of the Hungarian people's lifespan compared to the 1950s.
Starting with the early 1990s, Hungary has transitioned from a centrally planned economy during the communist dictatorship to a medium-sized, upper-middle-income market economy. Hungary, like many other European countries has been affected by the 2008 global financial crisis and has struggled with national debt and high unemployment rates. As of the middle of 2017, the country has accumulated over 87 billion euros in national debt, more than its neighboring Romania, Croatia or Slovenia, but considerably less than France, Italy or the United Kingdom, all of which report national debts of over two trillion euros each. The unemployment rate is decreasing significantly, down from an alarming 11.07 percent in 2012. Additionally, the inflation rate, which settled in the red in 2014 and 2015, is set to slowly grow to a constant level between 2018 and 2022.
After a period marked by a negative trade balance, where the value of the country’s exported goods amounted to less than that of its imported goods, Hungary has increased its international trade, registering a surplus of more than 8 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. As of 2015, Hungary’s most important import and export partner is Germany, while the most important category of goods traded is that of machinery and equipment, followed by food products and fuels and electricity.