The last census took place on January 1, 1949, but details of the census returns have not been published by the Central Bureau of Statistics. As for the figures which have appeared in print—mostly in the Statisztikai Szemle (Statistical Review), Statiszitikai Tajekoztato (Statistical Bulletin), and in Nepegeszsegugy ( Public Health Affairs) — great care has been taken to create difficulties for Western scholars who attempt to check the statistics against corresponding figures of the period before 1945.
As interpreted by the Lenin-Stalin theoreticians, statistics are used to substantiate the political-economic course of the regime. This has often resulted in complete distortion of facts, as well as in an open contradiction of previous statements. Consequently, no method of interpolation or computation could bring satisfactory results. Sometimes a revealing sentence in a Communist leader's speech offers a clue for statistical deductions, but generally there is no possibility of checking on the accuracy of such statements.
In spite of the scarcity of accurate information, a number of international, government, and private organizations have compiled scientific projections of considerable value: the International Labour Organization of the United Nations, the United States Bureau of the Census, the Research Staff of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and the Free Europe Press of the Free Europe Committee are among the most successful. Because of the nature of the task, their estimates do not agree in every respect.
Hungary's population of 9,808,000 on July 1, 1955 is an estimate based on official Hungarian projections. The latest census on January 1, 1949 gave a figure of 9,204,799 inhabitants. These figures show an average annual increase of about 90,000.