In life expectancy and death statistics Hungary is a tail-ender even though the government set the aim of reversing the accelerating demographic decline of the country years before. According to zoom.hu, a Hungarian lives 8 years less than a Western-European because of the lack of proper health care, low salaries, poorer education and unhealthy lifestyle.
The life expectancy at birth in Hungary is 76 years (for men 72, for women 79) at present, which is 8 years fewer than the European average. With this result Hungary obtained the fifth worst place in the EU – only Latvians, Lithuanians, Romanians and Bulgarians have a shorter life than Hungarians. Interestingly, Spanish, Italians and Cyprians can expect the most extended life in the EU. However, not only the length of life is important but also its quality. From this point of view, Swedes are in the best position since their people start to become ill only after reaching their 73rd birthday. However, in Hungary people can only hope for about
60 healthy years.
According to Katalin Kovács, a researcher of the Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, four key factors influence life expectancy most: revenue, education, lifestyle and the quality of health care. A higher salary enables to establish better living conditions for ourselves. Education is also important since, if people are more educated, it is easier for them to deal with the challenges in life. Furthermore, qualified people receive higher salaries.
This rule can be easily verified in Hungary:
life expectancy for women in Budapest is 80 years while for men in Nógrád County it is only 69.9 years.
The difference is also conspicuous between Csongrád and Békés counties. In the former, Szeged is a city of university students thus, life expectancy is also higher.
Healthcare system also affects life expectancy decisively. Therefore, it is not surprising that
Northern-Hungary has the highest number of people passing away because of chronic diseases in the EU.
As we already reported, Hungary struggles hard with the lack of family doctors which is particularly true for the northern region. In Northern-Hungary there are 1,169 deaths caused by chronic diseases per 100 thousand people while the European average is only 548.
In the EU, Hungarians are also tail-enders in conducting a healthy lifestyle. In this case, the problem is complex since Hungarians not only move very little but they
drink very much alcohol and smoke a lot, too.
Though the government tried to stand up against the negative trends, their measures were only temporarily successful. In fact, smoking is responsible for most of the lung cancers in which Hungary is also a record-holder in the EU.
As we already reported, Hungarians are among the heaviest drinkers in the world. Based on 2010 data, Hungarians are the eighth biggest alcohol-consuming nation. To make matters worse, according to recent research of WHO,
young Hungarians are the heaviest drinkers in Europe.
Photo: MTI (illustration)