Did You Know?
Hungary performs only moderately well in overall well-being, as it ranks lower or close to the average in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.
Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Hungary, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is 13 858 USD a year, less than the OECD average of 23 047 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn nearly four times as much as the bottom 20%.
In terms of employment, around 56% of people aged 15 to 64 in Hungary have a paid job, well below the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 61% of men are in paid work, compared with 51% of women. People in Hungary work 1 980 hours a year, more than most people in the OECD who work 1 776 hours on average. Around 3% of employees work very long hours, much lower than the OECD average of 9%, with 5% of men working very long hours compared with just 1% for women.
Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In Hungary, 81% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, higher than the OECD average of 74%. Around 84% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 78% of women. In terms of the quality of the education system the average student scored 496 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), close to the OECD average of 497. On average in Hungary, girls outperformed boys by 9 points, in line with the average OECD gap.
In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Hungary is 75 years, 5 years lower than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 79 years, compared with 71 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs –is 15 micrograms per cubic meter, considerably lower than the OECD average of 21 micrograms per cubic meter. Hungary could perform better in terms of water quality, as 76% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, lower than the OECD average of 84%.
Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in Hungary, where 90% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, in line with the OECD average. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 47% during recent elections, below the OECD average of 72% and the lowest in the OECD. Voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is 53% and for the bottom 20% it is 39%, slightly wider than the average OECD difference of 12 percentage points.
In general, Hungarians are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 69% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc). This figure is lower than the OECD average of 80%.