Population


Population

From the 11th to the 16th centuries every available data indicates that the population of Transylvania was relatively dense in the river valleys and in the central basin, while quite sparse in the mountain regions. Descriptions of early Byzantine travelers and visiting Vatican priests from the 10th to 13th centuries, as well as those written by French, English, Dutch, Italian and German authors during the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, furnish sufficient proof that except the cities of the German settlers in the South-East, all Transylvanian towns and cities were populated by Hungarians, economically affluent and culturally abreast with the West. The small farming communities in the river valleys were inhabited by Hungarians also. These lands were owned partly by Hungarian pobility, worked by Hungarian cotters and serfs, and partly by free Hungarian peasants, as in the Szekely districts.

 

Vlach herdsmen, migrating back and forth between the high mountain pastures and their winter quarters, are mentioned for the first time in the 13th century in Southern regions, later, during the 14th and 15th centuries in the Bihar district, Maramos and Naszod.

 

The first serious census in Transylvania was taken by the Jesuit Fathers in 1440-41. According to these documents, kept in Nagyvarad (today Oradea) there were 87 Hungarian towns at that time in Transylvania with over 1,000 "smokes" (meaning households) and 817 Hungarian villages with over 20 smokes, as compared to 8 German towns and 22 German villages, and 37 Vlach villages. In 1505 a Vatican document estimated the total population of the Hungarian Kingdom to be "about four million Christian souls" of which 76% were Hungarian speaking, while the rest spoke the German, Croatian, Slovak, Serbian and Vlach tongues.

 

The next known census was taken again by the Jesuits in 1658, during the most turbulent times of Hungarian history, after the Hungarian population of Central Transylvania and the Szamos valley was almost completely eradicated by Turks, Tatars and ravaging Habsburg armies, and the Vlach immigration from across the Carpathians was in full swing. According to these figures the total population of Transylvania (the Banat, and part of the Great Hungarian Plain, which now comprise a good part of Transylvania, not included) numbered about 860,000 souls, of which 240,000 spoke the Vlach language, 80,000 the German, and -520-,000 the Hungarian, while 20,000 were listed as "others". In 1794 Emperor Francis I ordered the first administrative census performed by provincial administrators, not by priests. This politically motivated and anti-Hungarian census came up with the following figures, again concerning the Province of Transylvania alone:

 

Total population 1,362,456, Germans 118,782, Vlach 512,988 Hungarians 687,244, and others 43,442. According to contemporary letters, kept in the archives of the Kolozsvar library, most of those "others" were in reality Hungarians with Slovak, Polish or other foreign-sounding names.

 

The last census taken before World War I, in 1910, shows a considerable increase in the population of Transylvania, this time including all the territories which were occupied by Rumania nine years later:

 

Total population 5,265,444. Hungarian speaking 1,704,851, German speaking -559-,824, Rumanian 2,800,073. The remaining 200,696 were registered as Serbians, Slovaks' Ruthenians' Jews and others.

 

From 1910 to 1919 we must use the given figures of "natural increase percentage", which was, for the entire country, 13.4 % . Using this figure we can assume that the Hungarian population of today's Transylvania must have been somewhere around 1,871,375 in 1919, at the time of the Rumanian take-over.

 

From this point on we must proceed very carefully in order to come as close as possible to the truth concerning the population figures. As it is documented in the Appendix (Testimonies 2 and 6) the Rumanian census was politically motivated from the very beginning, therefore the figures presented by the 1930,1948,1956 and 1966 Rumanian statistics can not be regarded as accurate, due to the fol1owing reasons:

 

1. Name-analysis was used as a principle to determine the nationality. Names ending with -an, -as were automatically registered as Rumanian, while German-sounding names were registered as Germans, Slovak sounding names as Slovaks, etc.

 

2. Religious affiliation also determined ethnic status in Rumanian census practices. All Lutherans were registered as Germans, while all Greek Catholics as Rumanians. After the Greek Catholic Church was abolished by law, and absorbed into the Greek Orthodox Church, all Hungarians who were previously members of the Greek Catholic congregations automatically became listed as belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church, therefore Rumanians.

 

3. Intimidation. Census-takers, going from house to house in the villages, escorted by the local police, asking questions such as '"Are you a good Rumanian or not?" They go through factories side by side with the personnel director asking the Hungarian laborers "Are you grateful to Rumania for your job? Are you a good Rumanian?" Those who insist on being registered as Hungarians lose their jobs or get beaten up by the police. (See Appendix No. 6.)

 

4. Those Hungarians who were deported or relocated, and reside today outside of Transylvania in any one of the old Rumanian provinces, are automatically counted as Rumanians, based on the assumption that there are no "foreigners" in those provinces. The number of these Hungarians is close to 350,000.

 

To compensate for these deliberate "errors" of the Rumanian census, we must again avail ourselves of the method already used previously. Namely the application of the "natural increase percentage", listed each year by the Rumanian government itself.

 

These figures, taken from reliable sources (Transylvania, a Cura Della Societa Storica Ungarese, 1940 - Handbuch der Europaischen Volksgruppen, 1974 - and Demographical Statistics of the Socialist Republic of Rumania, 1976) average out to 10.55% yearly population increase from 1919 to 1976. According to these figures, after taking into consideration the loss of more than one half-million Hungarians to executions, labor camps, emigration, etc., the total Hungarian population of Transylvania in 1976 should have been 2,816,555.

 

If we compare the above figure with those of Prof. Satmarescu (East Central Europe, University of Colorado, January 1975) who estimated the number of unreported Hungarians at 900,000, bringing up the total figure of the Hungarian population in Rumania to approximately 2.5 million, and with the figures published in 1974 by the European Union movement in the "Handbuch Europaischer Volksgruppen" which put the number of Hungarians in Transylvania alone to 2.4 million, we are satisfied that our calculations are as close to the truth as is humanly possible in the given circumstances.

 

Dr. Jonel Popescu, who did special research in 1976 on "Churches in Rumania" claims the following figures: Calvinists 1.2 million, Roman Catholics 1 million, Unitarians 280,000, Hungarian Lutherans 20,000 and Hungarian former Greek Catholics 200,000. All together 2,7 million Hungarians. (See Appendix No. -9-)

 

According to the last Rumanian census the total population of Rumania is supposed to be 19,103,163. (See: "The Hungarian Nationality in Rumania", published by the Institute of Political Science of the Socialist Republic of Rumania, 1976, page 8. (According to the German language publication of the Rumanian Government "The Mitwohnenden Nationalitaten in Rumania, Statistische Dokumentation" 2% of the total population is German, and -1-.8% are others (other than Germans or Hungarians), 3.8% of the above total population makes 725,920. Adding to this the 2,816,555 Hungarians, we arrive at the figure of 3,542,478 as the total number of minorities in Rumania, leaving the number of Rumanians at 15,560,685, thus making the Rumanians 81% of the entire country's population, while the Hungarians 15%. However, if we relocate the Hungarians into Transylvania, where they belong, we see a different picture, especially, if in the same time we relocate, back to their old homeland, those 600,000 Rumanians who were moved into Transylvania by the Rumanian government with the sole purpose of "diluting" the Hungarian population.

 

In this case we would have in Transylvania, 3.1 million Rumanians, 2.8 million Hungarians and 0.5 million Germans and "others", with a non-Rumanian population of 51.6%.


Szerkesztés dátuma: hétfő, 2010. december 27. Szerkesztette: Kabai Zoltán
Nézettség: 2,617 Kategória: Irodalom » Documented facts and figures on Transylvania
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