Unreliable, incomplete, uncertain
-the Hungarian case

Attila Bátorfy
ELTE University / Átló



What do we know about Hungary?

What do we know about Hungary?

climate conditions?

social mobility?

reasons for party preferences?

level of poverty?

housing conditions?


state of the economy?

foreign trade?


media audience?

criminal statistics?

health statistics?

How do we not know?

situation of data in Hungary 1.

- limited focus of data collection
- limited/restricted accessibility to public data
- commodification of public data
- reducing/redefining the meaning and scope of public data
- refusal of disclose public data
- denial of the existence of the requested public data
- no answer to requests
- researchers' data envy

situation of data in Hungary 2.

- outdated data regimes
- outdated, not user friendly data formats
- low resolution/granularity level
- old datasets
- missing methodology
- not communicated changes in methodology
- incomplete, dirty datasets
- intentional wrongdoings

source: Átlátszó

source: Kormany.hu, 444.hu

source: Szabó-Szopkó, Átlátszó.hu

lack of trust is the fuel of uncertainty

on purpose

the purpose of the isolated state

- the results of analyses independent of the state/government are always questionable in the absence of official data, or if the official data is insufficient

- analyses independent of the state/government are slowly disappearing, replaced by the government narrative

- the population is given a false and better picture of social, economic and environmental reality

- gives the governing party a huge advantage in political competition

- in the absence of independent data-based analysis and investigations, there will be no control over government decisions

situation of international data covering Hungary

- missing data
- methodological problems
- nonsense results






worldpop.com 2000vs2020
worldpop data: +117.000
CSB data: -480.000

- sometimes we "get" anyway
- not to publish
- compare or cross-check with other data, if possible
- tell the reader what we know and what the limits of our knowledge are
- we share our datasets and methodology (incl. viz)
- we criticise and encourage public bodies constantly
- trying to influence the intellectual integrity and conscience of scientists (with little success so far)

What to do in these cases?

thank you!

VK23 - Aalto University

By Attila Bátorfy

VK23 - Aalto University

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