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The goal of the Equilibrium Institute is to make Hungary a more successful and livable country by 2030. Our vision and policy proposals are based on the premise that Hungary may fall behind not only Western European countries but also its regional competitors in the next decade if it fails to respond to the key trends and changes shaping the near future.

This is why the Equilibrium Institute has created the Megatrend Index to assess economic, technological, environmental and social changes in Hungary and other EU countries. The Index looks at education, digitalization, the environment, health and social cohesion, based on objective statistics that can be compared over time.

The success of each country’s development and policy decisions can be tracked across the five dimensions selected. The areas examined are also considered to be breakthrough points: the inclusion of debates on the development directions and future of these areas in public thinking would allow public policy discourse in Hungary to become more modern and in-depth. The Megatrend Index, published annually, allows policy decisions in key areas to be monitored and evaluated.

Analyzing these and drawing lessons from them can help Hungary to become a more successful, healthy and competitive country in the medium term. The Megatrend Index is published for the fourth time in 2024.

The Megatrend Index scores countries on a 100-point scale, with 1 being the lowest and 100 the highest. Based on the results of the indicators, each country is given a score each year after the appropriate statistical calculations have been carried out: a higher score indicates a better performance. The scale of the Megatrend Index thus makes it possible to compare countries’ performance and the direction of change. Each year, the Equilibrium Institute aims to include the best components under each sub-index, so the list of indicators is reviewed from time to time. The 2024 Megatrend Index has been restructured for methodological reasons and expanded in some areas.

According to the aggregated data of the 2024 Megatrend Index, Sweden has been the top EU country since 2021. Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark were in the running for second and third place, but the Danes were eventually ousted from the top three, with the Dutch coming in second. It is worth highlighting the outstanding progress made by Slovenia and Estonia, both of which moved up six places.

The biggest under-performers in the fourth Megatrend Index are clearly Germany and Italy: these two countries have fallen four places since 2021. At the same time, Belgium, Spain, France and Portugal have all seen their scores fall significantly in recent years.

Hungary stands out from its closest competitors in the area of digitalization, with the second highest index score after the Czechs. Nevertheless, Hungary is the worst performer in social cohesion and health. As for the other Visegrad countries, the Czech Republic is also in the lead in social cohesion, digitalization and health, while Poland is among the leaders in education, and Slovakia in environment.

The summary report of the Megatrend Index 2024 is available HERE.