The best places to live in Hungary in 2023 are Budapest, as well as the areas around Pilisvörösvár and Pécs, according to the MBH Mortgage Bank’s quality of life ranking. This year, six areas made it to the top, which did not appear in the top ten last year. Experts once again examined the country’s 174 districts and Budapest based on factors like education, healthcare, culture, crime, the job market, shopping opportunities, and housing affordability to assess the opportunities they offer to residents. Western Hungary and the vicinity of major cities have better education, a more favourable job market and shopping opportunities, whereas in the eastern regions, it is easier to find housing, despite generally lower incomes.
The scores for Budapest significantly exceeded those of the second-place town,
while the other top performers were only separated by a few points from each other. The capital’s scores were significantly higher than those of the second-placed Pilisvörösvár (the home town of the author), but the other top scorers were set apart by only tenths of a point. Pécs and its surroundings, which were not in the top ten last year, now rank third. Debrecen and its vicinity retained their fourth place, followed by Veszprém and its surroundings, which were third last year. The top ten also include Szeged, Budakeszi, Győr, Dunakeszi, and Bácsalmás and their surroundings, which are new entries this year. However, Érd, Bóly, Kisbér, Pécsvárad, Tata, and the Mórahalom district no longer feature among the top.
The top ten areas exhibit exceptional scores in one or two categories but might have lower scores in others. For instance, Bácsalmás and its surroundings excel in low crime rates and housing affordability, while Budakeszi and its vicinity stand out in terms of job market conditions. Overall, big cities have better infrastructure and excel in education, culture, healthcare, and job market characteristics, but their scores are affected by crime and affordability indicators.
Based on the criteria examined, the north-eastern parts of the country have the lowest scores, and several districts in southern Transdanubia, including those along the southern shore of Lake Balaton, also face less favourable conditions.
These areas typically struggle with high housing prices, particularly in terms of affordability,
and do not perform well in terms of education, crime, and job market opportunities. Although Budapest and its agglomeration, as well as many county capitals and their surroundings, excel in terms of quality of life, there are exceptions, such as the Kecskemét, Zalaegerszeg, Eger, Nyíregyháza, and Szolnok districts.
Among the county capitals, Budapest is the leader, followed by Veszprém in second place, similarly to last year. Pécs has moved up from seventh place to third, while Győr has dropped to fourth place. Debrecen, last year’s fourth, has fallen to eleventh place this year, losing points in almost every category. Szeged has risen from twelfth place to sixth in 2023, primarily due to a significant improvement in its crime score. Eger’s ranking has also improved significantly, ranking eighth this year instead of fourteenth in 2022, also thanks to a decrease in crime. Kecskemét ranks at the bottom of the list once again, but now it is preceded by Békéscsaba, with Nyíregyháza coming before it. Budapest still has significantly higher scores than the county capitals, although the relative difference with the third-place city has slightly decreased, and Kecskemét has earned 46 points, compared to last year’s less than 40.
Sources: Hungarian Conservative/MBH Index