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5. LIVING CONDITIONS

Household budget and living conditions survey

A methodological alteration was introduced in 2009, data of consumption and incomes were collected in a partly common data survey. So, a new Household Budget and Living Conditions Survey (HBLS) was established. Based on this data collection, two different data productions were carried out, one was focused on consumption and the other one was focused on income. The income data was used as background information only for sorting the households into income deciles.

The target population of the survey is private households living in Hungary. The surveyed households keep diary about their expenses for two weeks. Then at the beginning of the following year, a questionnaire on household and personal income, consumption, subjective well-being and other characteristics is completed retrospectively for the reference year.

Since 2000, data have been collected according to the COICOP (Classification of Individual Consumption by Purpose) applied in the European Union. The detailed expenditures are published in per capita values.

Poverty or social exclusion have been widely used terms in Europe since the Treaty of Nice. Fight against poverty is one of the most important challenges the European Union is facing. Basic objectives related to this issue were formulated by the Council of Europe in the Europe 2020 Strategy (in the context of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth) in 2010. According to this, EU Member States pledged to bring at least 20 million people out of poverty and social exclusion by 2020.

Data on poverty and social exclusion are collected according to Regulation (EU) 2019/1700 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 October 2019 establishing a common framework for European statistics relating to persons and households, based on data at individual level collected from samples and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2020/258, which regulate the EU-SILC survey from 2021on. On an annual basis an additional module with a changing topic is included in the EU-SILC survey. In Hungary, following this regulation data are collected by the Hungarian Central Statistical Office and transmitted to the Eurostat. Indicators published by HCSO are considered as preliminary until they are validated by Eurostat.

Detailed data of incomes are reported according to the methodology of EU-SILC, because these income data are used for the international comparison as well. Some income items previously considered as income do not add in total net income, so these items cannot be directly compared. For the sake of the direct comparison, the items left out are listed at the end of the table.

Methodological changes: Since 2018 HBLS switches from the definition of room number by the previously applied national practice to the definition of living space according to the EU-SILC methodology. According to the latter methodology, kitchens are considered as living spaces if their area exceeds 4 square meters and is used for eating. Calculation of the overcrowding indicator is based on the international methodology of living space definition since 2018.

Household: consists of persons who – irrespective of kinship – form a common income and consumption unit sharing completely or partly the current costs of their living.

Income deciles: deciles of the population ranked according to the annual net income per capita.

Reference person: the person with the highest income among the members of the household.

At-risk-of-poverty threshold: The threshold is set at 60% of the national median equivalised disposable income.

At-risk-of-poverty rate: The share of persons with an equivalised disposable income below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, which is set at 60 % of the national median equivalised disposable income (after social transfers).

Material deprivation: Material deprivation refers to persons who experience at least three of the nine problems listed below: they cannot afford
1) to pay loan, rent or utility bills,
2) to keep home adequately warm,
3) to face unexpected expenses,
4) to eat meat, fish or a protein equivalent every second day,
5) a week of holiday away from home annually,
6) a car,
7) a washing machine,
8) a colour TV or
9) a telephone.

Severe material deprivation: Severe material deprivation refers to persons who experience at least four of the nine problems listed above.

People living in households with very low work intensity: People living in households with very low work intensity are people living in households where the members of working age (18–59 year-old) work less than 20% of their total work potential during the previous year. (value: 0–0.2)

People at risk of poverty or social exclusion: Share of people within the total population who are affected by one or more of the problems of at-risk-of-poverty, severe material deprivation or living in households with very low work intensity.

Roma nationality: From the Household Budget and Living Conditions, we only have information on the nationality of persons aged 16 years and older. We consider those people Roma who declared to have Roma nationality in either of two questions. On younger people we only have estimated data. Among people aged 15 years or younger, those are considered Roma, in whose household the majority of household members over 16 years of age declared to be of Roma nationality.

More information is available from the Meta database:


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