Quarter of population poor or at risk of social exclusion

Tourism

In 2016 there were 2.46 million people in Hungary who were classified as either poor or at risk of social exclusion, some 25.6% of the entire population, according to a summary of household living standards data published by the Central Statistical Office (KSH).

Data show that the share dropped by 0.7 percentage points compared to 2015.

In line with international standards, the KSH uses three sub-indicators to measure poverty: income poverty after social transfers, serious deprivation of material goods, and living in households with very low work intensity.

The KSH found that 14.5% of Hungarians were experiencing a serious deprivation of material goods, 13.4% were poor relative to incomes, and 4.9% were living in households with very few job opportunities. Categories could overlap, with some 1.2% of Hungarians, or 114,000 people, falling into all three groups at the same time.   

Recent poverty levels peaked at 34.8% in 2012. The ensuing decline, to 25.6% in 2016, reflects mostly the reduction in the share of those experiencing a serious deprivation of material goods. The data show that the risk of poverty is higher among children under 18 years old, single-parent households, those with low educational qualifications, the unemployed, and members of the Roma (Gypsy) minority.   

Among the Roma minority, the share of poor people or those at risk of social exclusion was more than three times the national average, at 75.6%, although this was down from 82.8% in 2015.

In 2016, 31.6% of people younger than 18 were living in poverty. For those aged between 25 and 49 years, the share was 24.2%, and for those older than 65 years it was 16.8%.   

Around 19% of people with employment were poor or at risk of social exclusion, but the share among unemployed people was as high as 72.8%. The rates were 0.6 and 2.4 percentage points higher, respectively, than last year. Around 19% of pensioners were poor or at risk of exclusion, up 1 percentage point compared to 2015.   

A breakdown based on the type of households shows that 52.8% of single-parent households were poor or at risk of exclusion, well above the 29% share of single households or the 28.1% share of households with children this year, but significantly down from the 62.3% share last year.   

According to a breakdown by place of residence, 19.6% of people living in Budapest were poor or at the risk of exclusion, while the rate was 21% for people living in county seats, 25% for people living in towns, and 32.3% for people in smaller settlements.  

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