Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Health inequalities regarding territorial differences in Hungary by discussing life expectancy

Uzzoli, Annamária (2016): Health inequalities regarding territorial differences in Hungary by discussing life expectancy. Published in: Regional Statistics , Vol. 6, No. 1 (October 2016): pp. 139-163.


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Since the middle of the 1990s, Hungary has seen substantial increases in life expectancy. Despite this improvement, many health outcomes remain poor, placing Hungary among the countries in the European Union with worse health status. Based on the general state of health of the population, Hungary belongs with the middle-ground countries of the world. Majority of the health indicators are worse than the average of OECD’s values, and this is especially true regarding the mortality rate of the middle-aged male population. The main objective of the study is to investigate health inequalities with regional differences in Hungary. It is still worth explaining how health inequalities and inequities have changed in terms of space and time after the Hungarian economic and political transition. The territorial range of the study includes the national and regional levels (NUTS3) with the micro-regional level (LAU1). The statistical analysis is based on the use of life expectancy in addition to some mortality indicators. Data for 1990–2014 were examined to define health effects of the Hungarian transition as well as the consequences of the latest economic crisis. Improvements in health along with growth of regional inequalities were found in Hungary since the second half of the 1990s. Larger relative inequalities were observed between Western and Eastern Hungary based on its higher and lower income. Gender differences are also significant in life expectancy. Poor health among the unemployed people was detected, which is a socio-economic effect of the latest economic crisis. In Hungary, income-related health inequalities persist; however, their degree has changed in space and time over the last 25 years. For a comprehensive description of health in Hungary, assessment of the poor health of lower income social groups and the regional level of health inequalities is needed.

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