As immigration to Hungary has increased over the past decade, a growing need for a coherent integration policy and assistance framework has become evident. In the decade between 2001 and 2011, the number of foreign citizens residing in Hungary grew from 110,028 to 206,909. However, in more recent years, this number has taken a sharp fall to 156,606 in 2016, and 151,132 in 2017. These statistics, provided by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office are in stark contrast with the increase of almost double of Third Country Nationals (TCNs) living in Hungary. Nevertheless, the majority of the total foreign population comes from European countries, approximately 66%. Romania and Germany have the largest number of citizens residing in Hungary, with China having the largest number of Asian residents in Hungary. Of the total number of foreign residents living in Hungary, 56% are men, and 44% are women.
While the number of foreign citizens living in Hungary has fallen in recent years, public opinion has remained negative towards immigrants, as the most recent Eurobarometer poll indicates that 65% of Hungarians consider immigration to be the most important issue facing the EU, ranking it higher than terrorism and the economy. In the same Eurobarometer survey 81% of Hungarians responded that they felt negatively towards immigration from outside the EU, and 94% answered that they would like additional measures for irregular migration (Standard Eurobarometer 86).