Hungary is a country in Central Europe. Spanning 93,030 square kilometres (35,920 sq mi) in the Carpathian Basin, it borders Slovakia to the north, Ukraine to the northeast, Austria to the northwest, Romania to the east, Serbia to the south, Croatia to the southwest, and Slovenia to the west. With about 10 million inhabitants, Hungary is a medium-sized member state of the European Union. The official language is Hungarian, which is the most widely spoken Uralic language in the world. Hungary’s capital and its largest city and metropolisis Budapest. Other major urban areas include Debrecen, Szeged, Miskolc, Pécs and Győr.
The territory of modern Hungary was for centuries inhabited by a succession of peoples, including Celts, Romans, Germanic tribes, Huns, West Slavs and the Avars. The foundations of the Hungarian state was established in the late ninth century AD by the Hungarian grand prince Árpád following the conquest of the Carpathian Basin. His great-grandson Stephen I ascended the throne in 1000, converting his realm to a Christian kingdom. By the 12th century, Hungary became a regional power, reaching its cultural and political height in the 15th century. Following the Battle of Mohács in 1526, Hungary was partially occupied by the Ottoman Empire (1541–1699). It came under Habsburg rule at the turn of the 18th century, and later joined Austria to form the Austro–Hungarian Empire, a major European power.
The Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed after World War I, and the subsequent Treaty of Trianon established Hungary’s current borders, resulting in the loss of 71% of its territory, 58% of its population, and 32% of ethnic Hungarians. Following the tumultuous interwar period, Hungary joined the Axis Powers in World War II, suffering significant damage and casualties. Hungary became a satellite state of the Soviet Union, which contributed to the establishment of a socialist republic spanning four decades(1949–1989). The country gained widespread international attention as a result of its 1956 revolution and the seminal opening of its previously-restricted border with Austria in 1989, which accelerated the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. On 23 October 1989, Hungary became a democratic parliamentary republic.
In the 21st century, Hungary is a middle power and has the world’s 57th largest economy by nominal GDP, as well as the 58th largest by PPP, out of 191 countries measured by IMF. As a substantial actor in several industrial and technological sectors, it is the world’s 35th largest exporter and 34th largest importer of goods. Hungary is an OECD high-income economy with a very high standard of living. It keeps up a social security and universal health care system, and a tuition-free university education. Hungary performs well in international rankings: it is 20th in quality of life, 24th in the Good Country Index, 28th in inequality-adjusted human development, 32nd in the Social Progress Index, 33rd in the Global Innovation Index and ranks as the 15th safest country in the world.
Hungary joined the European Union in 2004 and has been part of the Schengen Area since 2007. Hungary is a member of the United Nations, NATO, WTO, World Bank, the AIIB, the Council of Europe, the Visegrád Groupand more. Well known for its rich cultural history, Hungary has contributed significantly to arts, music, literature, sports and science and technology. Hungary is the 11th most popular country as a tourist destination in Europe, attracting 14.3 million international tourists in 2015. It is home to the largest thermal water cave system and the second largest thermal lake in the world, the largest lake in Central Europe and the largest natural grasslands in Europe.
Hungary’s geography has traditionally been defined by its two main waterways, the Danube and Tisza rivers. The common tripartite division of the country into three sections—Dunántúl (“beyond the Danube”, Transdanubia), Tiszántúl (“beyond the Tisza”), and Duna-Tisza köze (“between the Danube and Tisza”)—is a reflection of this. The Danube flows north-south right through the center of contemporary Hungary, and the entire country lies within its drainage basin.
Transdanubia, which stretches westward from the center of the country toward Austria, is a primarily hilly region with a terrain varied by low mountains. These include the very eastern stretch of the Alps, Alpokalja, in the west of the country, the Transdanubian Mountains in the central region of Transdanubia, and the Mecsek Mountains and Villány Mountains in the south. The highest point of the area is the Írott-kő in the Alps, at 882 metres (2,894 ft). The Little Hungarian Plain (Kisalföld) is found in northern Transdanubia. Lake Balaton and Lake Hévíz, the largest lake in Central Europe and the largest thermal lake in the world, respectively, are in Transdanubia as well.
The Duna-Tisza köze and Tiszántúl are characterized mainly by the Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld), which stretches across most of the eastern and southeastern areas of the country. To the north of the Plain are the foothills of the Carpathians in a wide band near the Slovakian border. The Kékes at 1,014 m or 3,327 ft is the tallest mountain in Hungary and is found here.
Phyto geographically, Hungary belongs to the Central European province of the Circum boreal Region within the Boreal Kingdom. According to the WWF, the territory of Hungary belongs to the eco region of Pannonian mixed forests.
Hungary has 10 national parks, 145 minor nature reserves, and 35 landscape protection areas.
Hungary has a temperate seasonal climate, with generally warm summers with low overall humidity levels but frequent rain showers and cold snowy winters. Average annual temperature is 9.7 °C (49.5 °F). Temperature extremes are 41.9 °C (107.4 °F) on 20 July 2007 at Kiskunhalas in the summer and −35 °C (−31.0 °F) on 16 February 1940 Miskolc-Görömböly tapolca in the winter. Average high temperature in the summer is 23 to 28 °C (73 to 82 °F) and average low temperature in the winter is −3 to −7 °C (27 to 19 °F). The average yearly rainfall is approximately 600 mm (23.6 in).
Hungary is ranked sixth in an environmental protection index by GW/CAN.