Data journalism

Data visualization: see how the wealth and ranking of the richest 100 Hungarians changed over time

A list of the richest Hungarians has been published since 2002.  It was first compiled by newspaper Magyar Hírlap, then Manager Magazin, then newspaper Napi Gazdaság and since 2014, it has been published by the team of We used the public data compiled and published by these outlets to visualize how the wealth owned by the 100 richest Hungarians changed over time. Pick a businessman or oligarch and see how he or she got rich or fell out of the richest circles!

During the 18 years that we looked at a total of 239 people made the list. Their combined wealth grew from 632 billion forints (approximately 1.95 billion euros at today’s exchange rate) to 4589 billion forints (14.1 billion euros) within 17 years. That means a seven-fold increase. Adjusted for inflation, you still get an almost four-fold increase. In other words: their combined wealth grew by 625 percent – or, 288 percent if we adjust for inflation.

It is interesting to take a closer look at the time between 2016 and 2018: the wealthiest Hungarians added 1500 billion forints (4.63 million euros) to their wealth within those years. This is 12.2 percent of the GDP of Hungary.

The threshold grew as well: in 2002 a businessman was able to get into the top 100 by owning 2.5 billion forints (7.7 million euros). In 2019 they needed 9.1 billion (28 million euros) to make the list.

The combined wealth of the 100 richest Hungarians

The combined wealth of the 100 richest Hungarians, adjusted for inflation

(billions of Hungarian forints)

Increase in the total wealth of the richest 100 Hungarians, percentage

(billions of Hungarian forints)

The following visualizations show you the wealth and the ranking of the richest 100 Hungarians. We highlighted some of the businessmen, those that we thought were the most interesting to watch. If you move your mouse over the infographic, these businessmen will be highlighted. However, by clicking on the drop-down menu you can pick any businessman you like and see their wealth.

There are a few businessmen who have been keeping their place among the richest for years. Sándor Csányi of banking group OTP has been on top of the list since 2011. Other ’regulars’ include Gábor Széles, Sándor Demján (and his successors), Tamás Leisztinger, György Wáberer, László Bige, Zsolt Felcsuti, Tibor Veres or György Gattyán.

And there are others, whose wealth significantly increased in the past few years: Lőrinc Mészáros, László Szíjj, István Garancsi, Mária Schmidt or István Tiborcz. These names might be familiar from our reporting: they are businessmen with close ties to the government, and the majority of them increased their wealth by winning lucrative public tenders. István Tiborcz is the son-in-law of prime minister Viktor Orban. This is the first year that he made the list.

During the 18 years of these list being compiled, there were only five women who could enter the elite club of the richest 100 Hungarians.

One of them is Mária Schmidt, a loyal supporter of Orban and, among others, director of the House of Terror museum.

Ranking of the 100 richest Hungarians based on nominal wealth

The 100 richest Hungarians 2002-2019 – absolute ranking

Change of wealth of the top 25 richest Hungarians 2002-2019

Our last infographic visualizes how the ranking of the richest 25 Hungarians changed over time. This, for example, shows very clearly who the richest three of them (Csányi, Mészáros, and Gattyán) have significantly more money than all the others.

Written and created by Dorka Bajtai and Attila Bátorfy

English version by Anita Kőműves. You can see the original, Hungarian-language story here.