site.bta3,770 People Define Themselves as Bulgarians during 2022 Hungarian Census
The Hungarian Central Statistical Office has published its 2022 census data, which show that 3,770 people define themselves as Bulgarian. They had to identify three characteristics: having Bulgarian nationality, their mother tongue being Bulgarian, and speaking Bulgarian with family and friends, Svetla Kyoseva, the editor-in-chief of the Bulgarian-Hungarian lifestyle and culture magazine, Hemus, told BTA.
The data show that Bulgarians are scattered all over Hungary. There are larger communities in the capital Budapest (1,390 people) and in large cities such as Pécs, Miskolc, Debrecen, Szeged, and Kecskemét. Big cities are where horticultural migrants traditionally settle because of vegetable farming opportunities.
The census results determine the cultural autonomy of the nationalities in Hungary. Any settlement with at least 25 people who have declared themselves Bulgarians can establish its own self-government (municipality) if it claims this right during the 2024 local elections.
The elected three-member local self-governments receive state funding as well as funds from the local government to assert the cultural autonomy of the Bulgarians in their settlement through activities aimed at preserving their national identity: celebrations, exhibitions, concerts, traditional holiday observances. These self-governments also play a significant role in the positive reception of Bulgarians in Hungarian society.
Another important task is the provision of Bulgarian language education in the diaspora. In recent years, regular education has been provided not only at the Bulgarian Native Language School based in Budapest but also at the local school in Szarmelek.