The number of those at risk of poverty or social exclusion in Hungary has bounced back to pre-recession levels, the human resources ministry’s state secretary for social affairs told a conference on Monday.
Following a reversal of long-term trends in late 2012-early 2013, the poverty and at-risk-of-poverty rates have been on a steady decline, Károly Czibere said.
Over the past four years, some one million people have been lifted out of poverty and the number of those living at risk of poverty or below the poverty line is now lower than it was before the global economic crisis hit in 2008, he told the conference.
Czibere pointed out that the decline in the poverty rate had not brought about an increase in the public debt, adding that the public debt-to-GDP ratio had also declined.
Presenting the Central Statistical Office’s (KSH) 2016 report on household living standards, Áron Kincses, deputy head of KSH’s statistics directorate, said that some 1.3 million Hungarians, or 13.4 percent of the total population, lived below the poverty line in 2016. The number of those living with a monthly income less than 77,680 forints (EUR 247) was 105,000 less than in 2015, Kincses told the conference.
Income poverty among children below the age of 18 was 14.8 percent, down 5 percent from 2015.
Severe material deprivation affected 1.4 million people, or 14.5 percent of the total population, down by 167,000.
Some 2.5 million people were at risk of social exclusion, 76,000 less than the year before.
The number of those at risk of extreme poverty was 114,000, down by 38.4 percent compared with 2015.
The data show that the risk of poverty is higher for children, for single-parent households, for large families, for those with low educational qualifications, for unemployed and for Roma minority members, Kincses said. In 2016, 75 percent of the Roma community was at risk of poverty compared with 83 percent in 2015, he added.