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2.2. Income and 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 sample covered about a fifth percent of Hungarian private households. The surveyed households kept a detailed diary about their expenses for two weeks, which was followed by a detailed interview about their consumption, incomes and other characteristics at the end of the 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. . Grossing up data of households participating in the Household Budget and Living Conditions Survey, expenditures do not fall in line with the ones in the national accounts. This derives partly from the different surveying method and methodology. The coverage of observation is also different; in HBLS only private households are observed. (Macro-level indicators of household sector are contained in Chapter 3.1.)

Since 2018 HBLS switches from the definition of room number by the prevously applied national practice for 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 overcrowing indicator is based on the international methodolgy of living space definition since 2018.
Accordingly, we will not publish data on room number according to domestic methodolgy later on.

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 and produced by the National Statistical Offices based on the EU-SILC survey on the income and living conditions of households related to the EC Regulation 1177/2003 on community statistics. 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.

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.

Expenditure: all household expenditures financed from income in the current year, savings, sale of personal properties, presents received from other households in cash or in kind, or covered by credits.

Consumption: contains total value of purchased consumption plus the value of own produced goods and goods received as gifts.

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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