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indicator value unit
Population 10.0 mil.
Visitors per year 39.9 mil.
Renewable energy 7.67 %

How’s Life?

Hungary performs well in only a few measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that 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 per capita is 15 240 USD a year, less than the OECD average of 23 938 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn four times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, around 57% of people aged 15 to 64 in Hungary have a paid job, well below the OECD employment average of 65%. Some 63% of men are in paid work, compared with 52% of women. People in Hungary work 1 888 hours a year, more than the OECD average of 1 765 hours. Another key measure, however, is how many people work very long hours. Around 3% of employees work very long hours, much lower than the OECD average of 9%, with 4% 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, 82% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, higher than the OECD average of 75%. Around 85% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 79% of women. In terms of the quality of the education system the average student scored 487 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), lower than the OECD average of 497. On average in Hungary, girls outperformed boys by 9 points, slightly more than the average OECD gap of 8 points.

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 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter. Hungary could perform better in terms of water quality, as 77% 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 87% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, slightly lower than the OECD average of 89%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 64% during recent elections, below the OECD average of 72%. Voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 72% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 53%, wider than the average OECD difference of 11 percentage points.

In general, Hungarians are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 67% 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 76%.

For more information on estimates and years of reference, see FAQ section and BLI database.


OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys: Hungary 2014

OECD's 2014 Economic Survey of Hungary examines recent economic developments, prospects and policies with special chapters on enhancing competition and tackling labour mismatches.

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Hungary in Detail