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The Ratkó generation reaches retirement age

August 1st, 2018

A left-wing sociologist warns that ageing baby boomers born in the 1950s will create a welfare emergency unless the government urgently builds new old age homes.

The communist government introduced a severe ban on abortion in 1952 which remained in force for four years. The law and the children born during those years are commonly mentioned as the Ratkó years, and Ratkó kids after Anna Ratkó who served as Minister of Health from 1951 to 1953.

In Népszava, Mihály Karácsony writes that during the Ratkó years, almost one million babies were born (three times as many yearly as today) out of whom over 700 thousand are still alive and now entering retirement age. Statistical data suggests that they will only live 5.9 years of their retirement, on average, in good health. This means that the government has only a few years left before a major old-age emergency erupts. Old age homes host at present just over 53 thousand people and almost half as many are on the waiting lists. Within a few years, Karácsony warns, the government will have to face masses of frustrated Hungarians unless it urgently starts building new old age homes.