Social and Economic Exclusion of Roma and Non-Roma Poor in Hungary

10  January 2011    4:00 pm CET

János Ladányi, Corvinus University, Budapest


wiiw, Rahlgasse 3, 1060 Vienna, lecture hall (entrance from the ground floor)


The economic crisis following the transition in the early 1990s was accompanied by a severe economic and territorial polarization in Hungary. The population in villages with ’ghetto’ characteristics increased rapidly. This phenomenon can only partially be explained by the high fertility of the families living there. The main reason is that while leaving such settlements is nearly impossible, they became the target for migrating families which were crowded out from any other type of settlement. Impoverished, long-term unemployed Roma and non-Roma people are involved, whose only option was to leave Budapest or other Hungarian cities and their agglomerations. This is a serious problem for the growth prospects of the country. The population strata facing the most serious social and economic problems have been moving not towards the settlements offering jobs or even facing labor shortage but just in the opposite direction. The Hungarian welfare state does not support unemployed persons’ relocation with the purpose to re-enter the labor market. This and the extremely low level of education in the partially segregated schools of these settlements makes a turn to the better in the near future highly unlikely.