Home → Poverty

The indicators concerning poverty are alarming, even if last year’s CSO figures appear to show some improvement. Four million people live below the poverty line, which sounds so bad, that the government does not want to publish the relevant indicators any more.The data for some of the most disadvantaged families show some progress as a consequence of public works schemes,but the middle class seems to be impoverishing. Overall, poverty and impoverishment are the most serious social problems for Hungarian society.



33.4 percent of children under 18 live in extreme material deprivation, thus being unable to afford at least four out of the aforementioned nine household items. The proportion of children living in extreme material deprivation is three times the EU average, while the number of malnourished children is four times the figure found in the available comparative international statistics. The fact that the state is unable to provide basic goods for children in 2013 in Europe is strongly contrary to the objectives of the Green new Deal. 


Children at risk of poverty

The number of children at risk of poverty has increased steadily over the past four years. Compared to the EU average values, it can be stated that child poverty rate is even worse than the poverty rate characteristic of the country, which is otherwise alarmingly high in itself. The child poverty rate has extremely serious consequences for the skills and competencies next generation, and will thus hinder the realization of the objectives of the Green New Deal for a whole generation. Poverty affects the health and educational achievements of the next generation.


Risk of poverty of elderly people

The poverty risk of the elderly population living in Hungary is significantly lower than the EU average. Furthermore, though poverty and inequality have significantly increased on the whole, thiis development was not as relevant in age group concerned. It is in this age group, however, that one could observe the most pronounced counter-cyclical effects of social security measures.


Social exclusion

This indicator is not the best measure of the standard of living in the Hungarian context, where income levels are generally quite low for a significant part of society, and the average income is not sufficient to make ends meet for a large section of society. Furthermore, t is clear that the income level considered as the threshold value is quite low, as reflected by the indicator material deprivation as well.


Payment arrears

The share of the population with payment arrears has been increasing between 2008 and 2010 and over a quarter of the population have to manage arrears by 2012. The most dramatic change is the increase by half in 2009 which is reflects that at the onset of the crisis people first started to experience serious problems - especially with mortgage repayments. And no effective measures have been taken since 2009 in order to ease the situation. The two main areas of arrears are mortgage loan repayments and utilities bills. Moreover, often there is a compound effect both in time and in kind (loans and utilities). The share of the population facing financial difficulties of this sort is nearly two and a half times the EU average while it is not outstanding in the region. 




Extreme child poverty in Hungary is increasing at an alarming rate. This phenomenon, however, can only partially be glimpsed from the European comparative statistics. Moreover, the share of children who only get to eat in day care or at school has been estimated at least around 20 000-40 000 by different sources, which is around 2.5% to 5% of all children aged between 3 and 10. This state of affairs is intolerable in contemporary Europe. Urgent action is required to ensure that the latter figure becomes zero and the share of malnourished households is diminished so that it comes close to the regional average in the next 1-2 years.