In an effort to raise Hungary's stagnant fertility rate, the Hungarian government is offering married couples an interest-free 10 million forint loan, worth approximately 30,590 euros or $33,450, which they won't need to pay back in the event they have three children, as reported by Euronews.
Currently, Hungary is suffering from a labor shortage, in addition to stagnant fertility rates, and losing workers that are leaving the country in search of jobs with higher pay, an issue that has affected many other EU member states in recent years. According to data from Eurostat, the average EU fertility rate is at 1.59, while Hungary lags behind the average at 1.49 children per woman.
In his state of the nation address in February, "We do not need numbers, but Hungarian children," Prime Minister Victor Orban said.
Making up a part of Orban's seven-point policy Family Protection Action Plan, the loan is set to encourage childbirth to rejuvenate population growth. But, families need to meet specific criteria to get the loan payment in the first place. They must be married, one of them has to be on their first marriage, one of them must have paid social contributions for 180 days in Hungary and the wife in question must be aged 18 to 40. Otherwise, the families won't get a chance to benefit from this prorasm. According to the Hungarian State Treasury, 14,000 families have requested a minimum of one element that the plan offers between July 1-15.