Main characteristics of volunteering in Hungary according to a report from the Central Statistical Office

Based on a report from the Central Statistical Office [1] the table describes the main characteristics of volunteering in Hungary. The first and third columns of the table show the name of the feature in bold, and the description to the right of the cell.


Main headcount data: In 2014, more than one third of the population, some 2.55 million people performed some volunteering. Nearly 6% more than in 2011. By marital status: Married people performed voluntary services in  significantly higher ratios than single, widowed, widowed, or divorced.
By gender comparison: In general, the proportion of women among volunteers is higher, but within organised frameworks, men are more active. By area of ​​activity: Volunteers in organisations, for the benefit of organisations, take on tasks that arise mainly in church communities,

·         they work for the protection of public security, public order,

·         help other people in need, flood victims, and provide assistance at various events.

According to form: According to the form of volunteering, the majority (94.1%) are informal volunteers, i.e., they are volunteers providing help directly.

Only 3.3% of volunteers work in a formal (i.e. organisational) framework.

The least (2.6%) are those who directly or through an organisation support people in need, different organisations, institutions or some common cause.

According to the beneficiaries: The 4 million and 117 thousand beneficiaries of the 2 million 472 thousand direct volunteering activities were in the family, relatives, (46.9%) and friends (22.6%) groups outside the household.

Other beneficiaries are non-family, friendship groups (30%), 16.8% acquaintances, 5.7% co-workers. For others, 8% did volunteering.

By age group: While in 2011, the proportion of volunteers reached its peak in the 60-64 age group, data from the 2014 survey showed that volunteering was the highest among the 45-49 year olds.

Volunteering is still below average in the age group under 35, between 24.6% and 33.8%.

However, there is a relatively high proportion of younger age groups (15-24 years) in formal volunteering. This is probably explained by the work done to certify the community service required for the GCSE.

The relatively high proportion of formal volunteering is also among the middle-aged (45-54).

By motivation: The main motivation for volunteers was the joy of helping others (33.1%), followed by a commitment to volunteering as an important social asset (30.7%), complemented by the belief that helping those in need is a moral obligation (29.1%).
By education: The higher the level of education attained, the greater the proportion of time and energy devoted to the good of others or of society. According to the estimation of the value of volunteering: The commitment and involvement of volunteers is best reflected in the hours they complete, according to which the two extremes are those who

·         completed a maximum of 60 hours per year (55.7%),

·         and those who work more than 400 hours per year (8.5%).

In Hungary, estimated volunteering value of 2 million 557 thousand people in 2014 is a total of HUF 358 billion. Volunteering by one volunteer amounted to HUF 140,000 forints in that year.

By economic activity: Employed people tend to volunteering more than unemployed and inactive people.
By type of settlement: Volunteering is most characteristic of people living in villages (37.6%). The proportion of volunteers is also relatively high (35.5%) among other city dwellers.

At the same time, people living in Budapest helped others through volunteering well below the average (25.0%).

The highest volunteering rate was in Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok county, where two thirds of the population participated in helping others.



[1] A nonprofit szektor legfontosabb jellemzői, 2014. In: Statisztikai Tükör 2015/98. Budapest, Központi Statisztikai Hivatal (utoljára megtekintve: 2018.04.27.)


This article based on the following document:

Practical Guide for the Establishment and Operation of Volunteer Programmes at Institutions : abridged English version