Definition of Youth

Hungary’s national youth strategy (2009) defines youth as individuals between the ages of 15-29 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 16
  • ++
  • Female
  • 18
  • 16
  • ++

  • Civil unions/partnerships legal. Source: UNSD, ILGA

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
Penal Code amendments allow a child of 12 to be criminally liable for serious crimes. Source:  Penal Code of Hungary

Majority Age


Source: The Family Act (1952)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 98.68% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.00% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 92.43%Male %
  • 91.90% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 27.90% Male (13-15) %
  • 26.70% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
Hungary has a national youth strategy. A 2008 review, a 2011 briefing and a 2012 briefing exist.

The vision of the national youth strategy (2009) is to “enable the youth of our country to become aware of and recognize democratic values, and thus enforce their rights consciously, get integrated into the adult society smoothly.” Under this, three sub-objectives are listed:

  1. Developing the environment required for the successful social integration of youth age groups;
  2. Facilitating the work of the youth profession and youth NGOs;
  3. Enhancing the success of youth age groups and their communities.
Hungary has been influenced by the EU Youth Strategy (2009), both in the development of the national youth strategy (2009) and in determining government priorities.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The State Secretariat for Sport and Youth Affairs under the Ministry of Human Resources is responsible for youth affairs. The Country Fact Sheet on Youth Policy (2011) states, the Youth Department is tasked to “develop extracurricular activities for young people, to encourage their interests and to help youth in professional development.” The National Institute for Child and Youth Research also contributes to child, youth & social policy. The Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights is responsible for the “quality of life of future generations.”

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The National Youth Council of Hungary (NIT) is an umbrella, membership organisation founded in 2012. The NIT was established “with the goal of creating discussion among young people and their organizations as well as with domestic and international actors, decision makers and organizations”. The NIT is overseen by a youth Board of Trustees and supported by a secretariat. It focuses on improving domestic policy and collaborating with youth organisations internationally. The NIT is a member of the European Youth Forum.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
No documentation on budget allocated to youth could be found online. According to the World Bank, Hungary spent 9.81% of its government expenditure and 4.87% of its GDP on education provision in 2010.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed August 2013).

Additional Background

According to the Country Fact Sheet on Youth Policy (2011), youth policy remains ambiguous:

The acceptance of the National Youth Strategy (which occurred in 2009) is a significant step towards a comprehensive and transparent approach of youth policy. This is much more than agenda-setting, but still there is no official, unambiguous definition of youth policy in Hungary, so the priorities can change easily (though the strategy balances this). The harmonization of state policies with institutions and NGOs is still an ongoing process. The division of tasks between the local and regional levels is not clearly defined, which can lead to interpretational difficulties. Youth policy conceptions and action pans are organized and planned on a local level.

A notable portion of the youth services is done by NGOs, but a stable infrastructure of these NGOs is missing as they mostly use resources they receive through grants. Like in most of Europe, an aging society raises the known financial and social issues, which, combined with the effects of the financial crisis, make financing youth issues even harder, but the ongoing processes are still prioritized. On a press conference and lecture in the summer, the minister of public administration and justice, Mr. Tibor Navracsics, stated that the approach on youth issues will not only be handled as policy, but also as a strategic question: It should appear in all policies.

Since 2000, a research on large sample has been carried out every 4 years, covering various issues of youth. This provides very important feedback about youth policy.

The national youth strategy (2009) outlines some of the challenges for Hungarian youth that need addressing:

The findings of Hungarian youth surveys are in line with the main trends measured in Europe. Young people form a diverse group, they become actors of the labour market and have a family later and later, they have alternate periods of working and studying and, above all, their individual life paths are much more variable than ever before. The school, the university, the workplace and the social environment no more have the same integrating role than they used to. Young people become independent later and later in life.

All this is reflected in the life feeling of youth: in the increasingly uncertain existence, the loss of confidence in current decision-making mechanism and the dissatisfaction they feel in respect of traditional forms of participation in public life or in youth organisations. Some of them feel their own problems are not addressed by the directives of public youth policy formulated by older generations. Some people seek refuge in indifference or individualism, while others opt for extreme self-expression, which may sometimes challenge the boundaries of democratism. The majority would like to influence public matters, but they have not found an appropriate way of articulation yet.