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Press release, 25.03.2015.

András Klinger, demographer, former deputy president of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO) passed away.

ANDRÁS KLINGER (1930–2015)

András Klinger, the prominent Hungarian expert of statistics and demographics, well-known and recognized worldwide, the former deputy president of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, died on 16 March 2015 in Vác. He was one of the last representatives of the great demographer generation which established the reputation of the Hungarian demography recognized internationally as well. As a polymath of demography of his age, he cultivated all fields of the science at a high level, researched, taught and published. Not only was the number of his works but also their versatility the hallmark of his professional reputation and scientific work. He was a great, legendarily hard-working man and a good leader who had close and direct relation with his colleagues and never made the boss-subordinate relationship felt.

András Klinger was born on 12 January 1930 in Budapest. His father was a textile technician and private employee and his mother was a payroll accountant. He lost his brother during World War II. He completed his secondary education in the Cistercian Saint Imre Grammar School of Buda, and then, between 1948 and 1952, he studied at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Pázmány Péter (from 1950 Eötvös Loránd) University. He obtained a doctorate degree in 1957. In 1977, he was awarded the degree of academic candidate of sociology and demography. In addition to his mother tongue, he spoke English, German, French and Spanish.

In 1950, after a two-month summer practice, he started his career at HCSO, where he first worked as a colleague of the health statistics section and then the population statistics section. From 1953, he was the acting and from 1956 the designated head of the vital statistics section. Between 1960 and 1970, he was the deputy head of the Population and Social Statistics Department. From 1966, he spent two years in Chile as a colleague of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America. Between 1970 and 1990, he worked as the head of the Population Statistics Department. In this capacity, he was committed to helping talented demographers start their career and to helping their involvement in researches and the international scientific life. Undertaking the function in the years of the regime change, from 1 August 1990 until his retirement on 31 October 1996, he filled the post of the deputy president of HCSO for the president, György Vukovich.

From its foundation in 1958, he was a member of the editorial board of the journal Demográfia, between 1980 and 2005 he was the editor in chief and then the chairman of the editorial board. In 1973 he became an honorary associate professor of the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE ÁJK) and in 1978 an external lecturer at the Department of Urban Planning and Design of the Budapest University of Technology. He gave lectures at the Budapest University of Economic Sciences as well. In the 1990s, in the management of HCSO, he was one of the main supporters and, as a lecturer, an active participant of the postgraduate university courses for demographers. In addition to his work in the office, he worked as a scientific advisor to the Department of Statistics and Informatics Law of ELTE ÁJK between 1992 and 1993.

From the late 1950s, he worked in a number of international professional organizations. In 1960 he was elected the vice-president of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population and in 1970 a member of the International Statistical Institute. From the mid-1960s, he contributed to the work of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, from 1990, as a member of its regional executive committee. From the late 1950s, he took part in the work of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, and from the early 1980s, he participated in the work of the European Population Committee of the Council of Europe, first as an observer, and then, after 1990, as the representative of Hungary. He was the organizer, chairman and lecturer of large, international conferences held by the United Nations Population Fund or other committees of the world organization engaged in population issues. The census conferences of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe were chaired alternately by him and his English friend and colleague, David Pierce.

From its foundation he was a member, and from 1980 for nearly ten years, he was the secretary of the Committee on Demography of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He was a member of the Board of Sociology and Demography of the Society for the Dissemination of Scientific Knowledge as well as a founding and later a board member (through several cycles), secretary general, president and then honorary president of the Pro Familia Hungarian Scientific Society. He was a regular participant and, ten times between 1969 and 1983, a lecturer of the itinerary sessions of the Hungarian Statistical Association in the topic of the history of statistics.

His work was recognized by the Medal of Merit for Socialist Labour in 1955, the Hungarian Order of Labour, silver in 1970 and the Hungarian Order of Labour, gold in 1981, the Excellent Work Award in 1985 and the Order of the Star of the Hungarian Republic with Laurel Wreath in 1990. In 1989, he was awarded the Fényes Elek Medal of HCSO. In 1997, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary, Commander’s Cross, for his outstanding work in Hungary and abroad. The Pro Familia Hungarian Scientific Society bestowed upon him the Tauffer Medal.

At the beginning of his career, he took part in the renewal of hospital statistics and the development of occupational health and social security statistics. Later, he played a major role in introducing representative population (fertility and family planning, birth control) surveys including micro censuses in Hungary, in launching researches connected to social mobility, conducting investigations about causes of divorces and preparing demographic analyses underlying population policy measures. From 1960, he took part in the elaboration and management of four censuses and micro censuses conducted between them, and helped, as an expert, the preparation and processing of the 2001 census. He initiated the single population registration system in Hungary and the 1975 population census providing a basis for that, as well as the integrated household survey system launched in 1976. In the framework of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, he contributed to the elaboration of the principles of European censuses and the development of European birth control, family planning and fertility studies.

As a researcher, he was engaged in the issues of the methodology of vital statistics, the social and regional differences of fertility, mortality and family structure, the problems of infant mortality, premature births, perinatal mortality, miscarriages and ageing of the population, as well as the causes of divorces and the relationships of vital events and different socio-economic phenomena. He was one of the most prolific and influential authors of the Hungarian literature of population science. More than two hundred publications are associated with his name and nearly two hundred independent references are made to his works in the periodicals Demográfia (Demography), Statisztikai Szemle (Hungarian Statistical Review) and Területi Statisztika (Regional Statistics). His work titled “A világ népessége” (The world’s population), written with co-authors, is the first Hungarian manual of major demographic data of all countries of the world in a monograph. Among his comparative international studies, the study of infant mortality in Eastern European countries between 1950 and 1980 and the one about the issue of ageing in a European perspective, which was made in the frame of a Hungarian–Japanese scientific project, should be underlined. His historical demographic works with village data series of vital events between 1828 and 1900 and between 1901 and 1968 in the territory of present-day Hungary and about the demographic conditions of the country between the two world wars are of great importance. He was the author, co-author and editor of several demographic textbooks; among them, the one titled “Bevezetés a demográfiába” (Introduction to demography), which was published in 1964 and was pioneering in the scientific literature of Hungary, as well as the textbook “Demográfia” (Demography), edited for ELTE ÁJK and published in 1996, are the best known. He wrote also a basic textbook of social statistics. In his lectures and studies of the history of statistics, he dealt with the history of population and social statistics, the demographer Gusztáv Thirring, the population statistics of Károly Keleti and the 1870 census.

With the death of András Klinger, the Hungarian and the international statistical communities lost one of their most valuable and most experienced members.

His main works

  • A világ népessége. Budapest, 1959, Közgazdasági és Jogi Könyvkiadó. (Acsádi Györggyel és Szabady Egonnal)
  • Magyarország népesedése a két világháború között. Budapest, 1959, Közgazdasági és Jogi Könyvkiadó. (Acsádi Györggyel)
  • Bevezetés a demográfiába. Budapest, 1964, Közgazdasági és Jogi Könyvkiadó. Szerk.: Szabady Egon. (Acsádi Györggyel, Bersy Gyulával, Bene Lajossal, A. Ja. Bojárszkijjal, Marton Zoltánnal, Melly Józseffel, Miltényi Károllyal, Szabady Egonnal, B. Ja. Szmuleviccsel, Tamásy Józseffel, Theiss Edével, Varga Istvánnal és Vukovich Györggyel)
  • A válások okai. Budapest, 1966, SKV.
  • A népmozgalom főbb adatai községenként 1901–1968. Budapest, 1969, SKV. (összeáll.)
  • A népmozgalom főbb adatai községenként 1828–1900. I–VIII. köt. Budapest, 1972–1984, SKV. (összeáll.)
  • A Baranya megyében élő nemzetiségek demográfiai helyzete 1980-ban. Pécs, 1985, Baranya Megyei Tanács. (Hoóz Istvánnal és Kepecs Józseffel)
  • Infant mortality in Eastern Europe, 1950–1980. Budapest, 1982, SKV.
  • Történeti statisztikai idősorok 1867–1992. I. köt. Népesség – népmozgalom. Budapest, 1992, KSH. (szerk.; Csahók Istvánnal, Ehrlich Évával, Fajth Gáspárral, Gyulay Ferenccel, Harcsa Istvánnal, Kamarás Ferenccel, Mészáros Árpáddal és Szilágyi Györggyel)
  • The demographic situation of Hungary in Europe. Strasbourg, 1993, Council of Europe.
  • The Ageing in Hungary and Japan. Budapest, 1995, KSH. (szerk.; Nishimura Hirokóval)
  • Vom Plan zum Markt. Eine Untersuchung am Beispiel Ungarns. Heidelberg, 1995, Physica. (szerk.; Peter Meusburgerrel)
  • Demográfia. Budapest, 1996, KSH. (főszerk.)
  • Demográfiai alapismeretek. Budapest, 1996, Corvinus.
  • Társadalomstatisztikai alapismeretek. Budapest, 1998, KSH.


  • Gárdos Éva: Ünnepi beszámoló. Grafikon, 2011. 10. sz. 6–7.
  • Kármán Vera: Dr. Klinger András kandidátusi értekezésének vitája. Statisztikai Szemle, 1978. 6. sz. 642–648.
  • Lakatos Miklós: Beszélgetés dr. Klinger Andrással. Statisztikai Szemle, 2007. 9. sz. 853–860. o.
  • Lencsés Ákos – Rózsa Dávid: Klinger András műveinek válogatott bibliográfiája. Készült Klinger András tiszteletére. Budapest, 2011, KSH Könyvtár.

Hungarian Central Statistical Office

H-1024 Budapest, Keleti Károly u. 5-7. Phone: +36 (1) 345 6000
Postal address: P.O.B. 51 Budapest, H-1525