One-third of Hungarians living in deep poverty



Hungary ranked fourth among European countries with the highest material and social deprivation rate in 2016, behind only Romania, Bulgaria and Greece, according to Eurostat, the EUʼs statistical office. While the EU average is 16%, the figure is two times higher in Hungary.

Source: Eurostat.

In 2016, the highest rates of material and social deprivation, applying to about half of the population, were registered in Romania (50%) and Bulgaria (48%), followed by countries where around one in three people were affected, namely Greece (36%), Hungary (32%) and Lithuania (29%), Eurostat says in a recent press release.

Eurostat asked EU nationals to pick items from the list below which they cannot afford. Those who picked five or more from the list were considered as living in high material deprivation. The items are:

    Unexpected expenses;
    One week annual holiday away from home;
    Arrears (in mortgage, rent, utility bills and/or hire purchase installments);
    A meal with meat, chicken or fish or vegetarian equivalent every second day;
    Keeping home adequately warm;
    A car/van for personal use;
    Replacements for worn-out furniture;
    Replacements for worn-out clothes with new ones;
    Two pairs of properly fitting shoes;
    Spending a small amount of money each week on yourself (“pocket money”);
    Regular leisure activities;
    Getting together with friends/family for a drink/meal at least once a month;
    Having an internet connection.

The highest standards of living - that is, the lowest rates of material and social deprivation - were measured in the Nordic member states and Luxembourg: 3% in Sweden, 4% in Finland, 5% in Luxembourg and 6% in Denmark. The full Eurostat source dataset is available here.

The Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) uses a different methodology. Compared to the Eurostat rate of 32%, KSH found 14.5% of Hungarians are experiencing serious deprivation in material goods, one of three measures it used to find that, overall, 25.6% of Hungarians are either poor or at risk of social exclusion.

The same KSH study revealed that among the Roma (Gypsy) minority, the share of poor people or those at risk of social exclusion is more than three times the national average, at 75.6%.


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