Long-term demographic change and local socio-cultural patterns: household structure in 19-21st century Hungary

Péter Öri, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

While the well known and nearly forty-year old Hajnal-model dividing Europe in two household formation patterns has been criticised for a long time, most of the criticism was based on theoretical aspects or local data with small case numbers. Greater amount of information on the household formation patterns of East-Central Europe (the ‘eastern’ pattern according to Hajnal’s terminology) has been rarely available so far. Moreover, the long-term changes in marriage customs and household structure, the impacts of industrialisation, socialist modernisation and the change of regime in 1989 on these phenomena have been hardly examined. MOSAIC project has collected micro-census data preserved in different European countries and builds up an on-line data-base which gives new possibilities to the research on household structure and marriage patterns. The ‘Hungarian’ MOSAIC sample is based on the individual data of population census in 1869 and consists of about five thousand households, and covers all important geographic regions, ethnic and denominational groups of the country. At the same time the aggregate data at community level of all censuses between 1869 and 2011 are at our disposal. On the basis of those data we are going to analyse the long term changes in household structure between the 19th and 21st centuries, their basic (urban/rural and regional) variations and using a representative dataset of about 190 settlements around Budapest we try to explore the background of local differences. We seek for the explanatory variables of complex household structure (the occurrence of households with more conjugal units) using the data of censuses 1869, 1890, 1960, 1980, 2001 and 2011 in order to explore the impacts of demographic transition, socialist industrialisation and political, social changes at the end of the 20th century.

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Presented in Poster Session 3