Country assessments A-Z
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Armenia||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||13||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||11||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||18||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||15||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||18||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
LiTS II data revealed in 2010 that the 2008-09 crisis affected 62 per cent of the Armenian population, the highest figure in the eastern Europe and the Caucasus (EEC) region. In 2016, the consequences of that crisis are still widely felt. Only 13 and 11 per cent of respondents believe that the economic and political situation in Armenia was better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey. Upper-income households seem to be more confident, possibly because they have been less vulnerable to adverse economic and political conditions. Moreover, only 15 per cent of those surveyed think that there was less corruption in 2016 than in the four years before the survey, a figure in line with the averages for EEC and Germany, but below the one reported for the transition region as a whole (16, 16 and 23 per cent, respectively).
Only one in five Armenian respondents believe that their households lived better in 2016 than they did in the four years before the survey. In addition, a mere 18 per cent of respondents report that they are satisfied with their current personal financial situation, a number significantly below the transition region average of 31 per cent but almost on a par with the regional average of 17 per cent for EEC.
Life satisfaction in Armenia is the fourth lowest in the transition region. While there is no difference in the percentage of satisfied male and female respondents, there is substantial variation across income groups: more than three times as many people in the upper income group are satisfied with their lives compared to those in the lower income group. In addition, respondents aged 18-39 are twice as likely to be satisfied with their life than older cohorts.
Lastly, there is little optimism about the prospects for future generations: the percentage of people who think that children born now will have a better life than the current generations has slightly decreased since the last survey, from 34 per cent in 2010 to 31 per cent in 2016, and is now well below the transition region average (50 per cent). This pessimism is particularly marked among older people and those on lower incomes.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
Support for democracy and the market economy have weakened since the last survey, from 76 and 50 per cent in 2010 to 66 and 36 per cent in 2016, respectively. About 27 per cent of Armenian respondents express indifference as to the type of political system that should prevail in the country but only 7 per cent of those surveyed would favour, under some circumstances, an authoritarian system, the second lowest figure in the transition region. However, 41 per cent of those interviewed do not have a clear preference for which specific type of economic system should prevail in the country, one of the highest figures in the transition region, and one in four respondents would prefer a planned economy under some circumstances.
Only a minority of Armenians believe that democratic institutions exist in the country. For instance, only 40 per cent of respondents indicated that the country has peace and stability, while 38, 35 and 28 per cent of those surveyed believe that gender equality, freedom of speech and an independent press are in place. Lastly, less than 20 per cent of Armenians think that their country has free elections, law and order, a fair justice system or a strong political opposition.
Priorities for government spending
Of Armenian respondents, 39 per cent believe that health care should be the main priority for additional government spending. This preference is particularly strong among respondents in the upper income group. According to 24 per cent of respondents, assisting the poor also deserves further government funding. Additional investments in public education and higher pensions are supported by around 16 and 11 per cent of the population, respectively. Further results show that around 77 and 72 per cent of those surveyed would be willing to pay more taxes to improve the quality of the public health system and public education, respectively.
Sources of information
The predominant sources of information for Armenians are the television and the radio, used each day by 80 per cent of the respondents, the third highest value in the transition region. Armenians are the least likely among all countries surveyed to read newspapers to learn about national and international news: only 3 per cent of them do so on a daily basis. Lastly, daily usage of the internet and social media has increased significantly since the last survey, from 17 per cent in 2010 to 50 per cent in 2016.
Only 34 per cent of Armenians consider their health to be either “good” or “very good”, the second lowest value in the transition region, and a score that is virtually unchanged since 2010. This result is mostly driven by middle-aged or older respondents and those on lower incomes. While there are no significant differences in health status between respondents living in urban and rural areas, a higher percentage of men (40 per cent) than women (28 per cent) consider their health to be “good” or “very good”.
Quality of public services
The majority of Armenians are satisfied with the general quality of public services in their country, with the only exceptions being local roads, whose quality is considered adequate by only 28 per cent of those surveyed, one of the lowest figures in the transition region. The remaining figures range from an 84 per cent satisfaction rate with the quality of telephone lines to a 61 per cent satisfaction rate for the provision of pipeline gas, the lowest percentage in the transition region.
Social and economic mobility
When respondents were asked from a list of options what they thought were the most important factors for success in life in their country, 36 per cent of Armenians chose “effort and hard work”, 33 per cent opted for “intelligence and skills”, while 24 per cent answered “political connections”, a value higher than the corresponding figure for Germany (3 per cent) but slightly lower than the one for Italy (27 per cent).
Attitudes towards women
Of Armenian respondents, 88 per cent think it is important for their daughter to achieve a university education, while 87 and 72 per cent of female and male respondents, respectively, believe that women are as competent as men to be business executives. However, 60 per cent of surveyed women and 69 per cent of surveyed men think that men make better political leaders than women. In addition, about 73 per cent of respondents of either gender think that a woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working, and around 82 per cent favour a traditional family arrangement where the man works and the woman takes care of the house and children, the third highest figure in the transition region.