Hungary’s Poverty Rate Unclear

Hungary Poverty Rate
Hungary’s poverty rate has been increasing over the past few years. Many consequences stem from this fact, including overcrowded housing and high unemployment rates. Overwhelmed with bad statistics, in 2015 the Hungarian government chose not to publish any more poverty-related statistics. With estimates of the poverty rate continuing to increase, Hungary must find ways to improve its economy.

In 2013, it was estimated that almost half the population of Hungary lived below the poverty line. Four out of five households had no savings, and the gap between incomes of the top 10 percent and lowest 10 percent had increased by 25 percent. The unemployment rate also had fallen to 9.3 percent, which was a new low for the country. Additionally, an estimated 250,000 children in Hungary were undernourished and the birth rate was on the decline.

In 2015, statistics showed a little improvement, with just over 35 percent of people living below the poverty line. Young adults have found it increasingly more difficult to leave home, resulting in overcrowded apartments. Child poverty continues to increase as well as child hunger. According to OECD reports, Hungary is number eight on the international list of countries with the highest number of working hours; however, despite the hard work ethic of Hungarian people, the GDP of Hungary still seems to be decreasing.

The Hungarian Central Statistical Office stated in this same year that it would stop publishing statistics about poverty and refer to people below the poverty line a demographic of people with modest income. This is discouraging, as it does not accurately depict the amount and seriousness of the poverty rate in Hungary.

Another group called the Hungarian Socialist party claims that the poverty rate is slightly higher than what The Hungarian Central Statistical Office has claimed the poverty rate to be. The Hungarian Socialist party estimates 4.2 million people live under the poverty line, approximately 40 percent of the population.

It is clear that statistics are focused on unemployment rates when the real issues lie elsewhere. The focus should be on raising wages for workers to have a sustainable income. Additionally, reduction in taxes may be a solution to alleviate some of Hungary’s poverty rate. Regional development or putting resources in communities, especially resources that better education, in Hungary can also be beneficial since it can foster skills necessary for the workforce.

Hungary’s poverty rate is definitely concerning, especially when there are less statistics being shared about the poverty rates. The more people know about the poverty rate and what is causing the poverty rate to decrease the more solutions can be created.

Deanna Wetmore

Photo: Flickr