444.hu reports that the problem of immigration because of education or better employment prospects has been a longstanding issue in Hungary. However, an event organised by László Vértesy, associate professor of the Civitas Institute, collected further reasons for why Hungarian youngsters go abroad. Among these, lower rental prices are the most significant motives.
You would never guess that the housing situation is so terrible in Hungary that it is better to rent a flat in Berlin or even in London. Here is why. At 1st glance, the Hungarian youth might be more satisfied with the current economic situation since compared to 2011, revenues increased by 20%. It seems to be good news, but at the same time, personal consumption expenditures also augmented. This involves higher prices for fuel, eggs and of course, for housing as well.
The average rental price in Hungary in 2016 was 85,600 Ft (285.3 euros) while in Budapest, this was around 120,000 Ft (400 euros). Meanwhile, the average net wage was 175,000 Ft (583.3 euros).
The situation is aggravating because it is mostly students who need to rent flats during their tertiary education and if they do not find any affordable flats, they have to move back to their parents’ home. Furthermore, if their parents finance their lease, they have to spend 69% of their monthly revenue on it having only a little bit more than 50,000 Ft (167 euros) in their pockets.
According to the research conducted by Eurostat, Hungarian students are better exposed to the risk of poverty and social exclusion than the average (37%). In Hungary, living together with one’s family is so popular among students between 17-29, that it is only the Mediterranean countries that have greater results. 74% of Hungarian youngsters live with their parents, while this percentage is 26% in the United Kingdom and 23% in Germany.
The reason for the popularity of living in one’s parents’ home is that based on the research, those who stay with their family are less likely to suffer from poverty compared to those who have moved out quite early. This phenomenon common in Hungary is also called Mama Hotel.
If parents cannot help, there comes destitution or moving abroad. According to Vértesy, many youngsters are not sure about moving abroad, but if they could choose to move anywhere else, 25% of them would go. Those who decide to go clearly make this decision due to better housing prospects. 12% of the Hungarian respondents indicate education among the major reasons to go abroad. This is not surprising since, in the United Kingdom, the average net wage is 400 euros higher.
However, the most striking difference is seen in how much money youngsters have after paying the lease. A flat is around 2,000 euros in London, 5 times as much as in Budapest. But if we consider the average wages of a person living in London and Budapest, we come to the shocking conclusion that after the payment of the lease, 600 euros remain in the pocket of a student in London while only 200 euros rest in the pocket of those studying in Budapest.
If we compare Budapest with Berlin, the difference is more palpable. There, the average rental price is around 750 euros while the average net wage is above 2,000 euros.
Therefore, Hungarians working or studying there might have even 1,200 euros in their pocket. In this respect, Vienna, Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Zagreb also perform better than Budapest.
At the event, another interesting information was revealed. Kinga Szabó-Tóth, a researcher at Miskolc University, emphasised that mostly those people immigrate who would like to settle down and start a family quite soon. The Hungarian government has been taking measures for years to increase the birth rate in the country from the 1.4 fertility rate. At the same time, Hungarian mothers moving abroad gave birth to 1,225 newborn babies in 2011. This also means that those immigrating are more fertile abroad (1.6) than in Hungary.
Although immigration is not a problem only present in Hungary, it is high time to take serious measures to stop the decline of the Hungarian population.