KSH to change methods for assessing poverty levels in Hungary

June 24, 2015


Hungary’s Central Statistical Office (KSH) announced Wednesday that it would change its method of assessing poverty levels in Hungary in order to gain a more realistic picture of those living either at or under the state’s definition for minimum living standards. Figures related to how much a family must earn to be above the minimum have not changed year-to-year from 2013 to 2014.

The Central Statistical Office uses the word “létminimum” to describe minimum living standard, not to be confused with “szegénységi küszöb” which means poverty line. The statistical office’s definition of minimum living standard is loosely defined as the amount of money needed to allow  for spending on things beyond the basic necessities.

A four-person family (two parents, two children) needed to earn about HUF 250 thousand per month (USD 900) to live above the minimum line in 2014. The difference between 2014 and 2013’s minimum is only a few hundred forints. Of this amount about HUF 85 thousand (USD 300) would be needed for food, announced KSH.

Last year, a single individual needed to earn around HUF 87 thousand (USD 310) to remain above the poverty line and about HUF 24 thousand (USD 85) of this money would be needed for food.

KSH says it will no longer use the same statistical modeling methods to calculate minimum living standards because the current method is “out of date”. The statistical office will upgrade its calculation method to get a more realistic picture of those who live on or below the minimum standard living, and will include those who require social welfare to maintain a minimum standard of living.

The current system reportedly covered roughly 35 percent of Hungarian households and did not include those who live well below the poverty line.

The statistical office says it will unveil its new method in November.

Referenced in this article:

Beszünteti eddigi létminimum-vizsgálatait a KSH, hvg.hu; 24 June 2015.