This paper investigates the influence of various demographic and social factors on
perception of well-being in Hungary. For the purpose of the analysis, various measures
subjective well-being have been developed as dependent variables using both narrower
broader sets of items, and a principal factor analysis was applied to construct normalised
indices. Demographic predictors include gender, age, family composition, residence;
sociological predictors contain education, labour market position, income and wealth
as questions on health and religiosity.
Hungary is an interesting case to study, given its well-known strong deficit in subjective
The phenomenon is particularly motivating in light of the official propaganda from
the governing political authorities on the country’s economic and social progress.
A low level
of subjective well-being is confirmed again, partly in international comparisons,
the perspective of temporal change. Furthermore, a detailed analysis of the data reveals
Hungarians seem to be markedly divided into higher and lower assessments of well-being
the basis of age, residence and social status. Regression models prove that material
conditions have the strongest impact on subjective well-being, even if controlled
for education and labour market position. The results concerning subjective-wellbeing
raise questions for public policy in Hungary.