Székely Identity Now Considered Subcategory of Hungarian Nationality in the Romanian Census

On January 31, 2022, the Romanian government finalized the questionnaire for the census beginning mid-March, which 一 according to a draft published prior to a cabinet meeting 一 included Székely identity as a subcategory of Hungarian nationality. 

Székely is a sub-group of ethnic Hungarians living in a distinct geographical area of Transylvania numbering half of the entire community, roughly ​​609,033 people (58%). In the past, the Székely identity was separate from the Hungarian category on the census, which resulted in skewed numbers of the Hungarian population. With this new update on the census form, the percentage of those who identify as Székely will be counted towards the overall ethnic Hungarian minority number. One significant reason to consider the Székely identity as a subcategory of Hungarian identity is the percent threshold needed in the Minority Language Use Act when calculating the ethnic minority population of a settlement. If a region meets the requirement, they are able to use the language in public administration.

Following a community-wide debate over a possible removal of the Székely identity from the questionnaire Hunor Kelemen, the Deputy Prime Minister and president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (DAHR), announced that he would advocate for the Székely and Csángo (another distinct subgroup living in the Moldavia region) identities to be considered as subgroups of the Hungarian ethnic group. However, he was doubtful about achieving this in the case of the Csángó’s since they comprised their own ethnic category in the 2011 census, despite push-back from the Hungarian community at the time. Since there are both Csángó’s who consider themselves Hungarians, and those who consider themselves Romanians, currently it is one optional subcategory under “Other nationality.” 

Source: MTI

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