Despite the net earnings in Hungary steadily rising over the past years, the situation is not particularly rosy when compared to other countries. In fact, Hungarian salaries dropped back in an international comparison, placing the country in the fourth lowest place when it comes to average net salaries.
In the past years, Hungarian wages have been steadily increasing, partly due to the labour shortage. However, the goal is still far from reach, reports mfor.hu. For instance, the Hungarian National Bank’s aim is to at least reach 80% of the Austrian wage levels. According to Eurostat’s Purchasing Power Parity (i.e. how much you can buy with the salary), this remains a far-off goal, considering how, for Hungarian salaries, Purchasing Power Parity was EUR 13,824, which corresponds to 47% of Austrian salaries. Still, the situation is getting slowly better compared to 2016 (41%) and 2017 (44%).
While in 2017, the fifth lowest salaries of the EU were found in Hungary, by 2018, the situation got worse, and Hungary became the 4th country with the lowest average salary.
Lithuania surpassed Hungary in just a year, thanks to a 10% raise in salaries. At the same time, Eurostat data reveal that in Hungary, salaries increased by 7.5%. However, this and the inflation of the forint resulted in Hungary dropping back.
The three countries where the salaries are still lower than in Hungary are Latvia (EUR 8,508), Romania (EUR 5,874), and Bulgaria (EUR 5,512).
When compared to other countries in the region, the statistics revealed that the average Hungarian salary equalled 93% of the Slovakian average wage and 90% of the Polish average earnings. However, the divide between Hungary and the Czech Republic seems to have increased, as Hungarian average salaries equalled 76% of Czech average wages.
Nevertheless, the situation in Romania is even worse than in Hungary, as Hungarian salaries are 146% higher than Romanian average wages.
The highest net wages can be found in Iceland, where they earn almost six times as much as Hungarians. The second place goes to Norway, while Luxembourg is in third place on the list.
However, due to the Hungarian government’s policies aimed at supporting families and family planning, the statistics change a bit when the focus is on the wages of parents with kids versus adults with no family.
The average salary of parents who have two kids is 127% higher than childless adults’ average salaries. There is no other country in the EU where the difference is that significant.
What do Hungarians spend their money on?
According to HVG‘s report, new Eurostat data can be found regarding what households spend the most amount of money on. In the first place, household bills are listed (24.2%). The next item on the list is travel, but people only spend about 13% of their expenses on that. People spend 12.2% of their expenses on food and non-alcoholic beverages and 8.8% on hotels and restaurants. 8.5% goes to recreation and culture, 4.9% on clothes and shoes, 4% on healthcare, while 3.8% on alcohol and tobacco. Sadly, only 1.1% of EU citizens’ spending goes to their education.
In Hungary, the list is slightly different. For instance, second on the list for Hungarians are food and non-alcoholic drinks (18.2%). Hungarians also spend more on alcohol and tobacco: 7.4% of their spending.
When it comes to alcohol and tobacco, only Latvians (7.9%), Czechs (8%), Estonians (8.1%), and Luxembourgians (8.3%) spend more than Hungarians.
Education is the last on the list for Hungarians as well, although it is still higher than the EU average (1.6%).
Source: mfor.hu, hvg.hu