Country assessments A-Z
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Bosnia and Herzegovina||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||9||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||8||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||25||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||9||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||31||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
Only 9 and 8 per cent of Bosnian respondents believe that the economic and political conditions in their country were better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey in their country. These percentages are much lower than the averages for south-eastern Europe (SEE), both at 17 per cent, as well as the corresponding figures for the transition region (24 and 28 per cent, respectively). About 1 in 10 respondents think that corruption levels improved in the four years preceding the survey which, again, is well below both the SEE average (18 per cent) and the transition region average (23 per cent).
A quarter of those surveyed believe that their household was better off in 2016 as compared with four years prior to the survey, and one in three are satisfied with their current personal financial situation. These percentages are both above the respective SEE averages.
Life satisfaction has increased across all age and income groups since the last survey, particularly among those in the upper income bracket, from 32 per cent in 2010 to 40 per cent in 2016. However, this is still lower than the averages in the transition region, Germany and Italy (43, 72 and 42 per cent, respectively).
The percentage of Bosnian respondents who think that children born now will have a better life than the current generations is virtually unchanged since the last survey: 36 per cent of respondents were optimistic in 2010, as opposed to 37 per cent in 2016. The level of optimism about the future in Bosnia and Herzegovina is, therefore, lower than that in SEE (39 per cent), the transition region (50 per cent) and Germany (46 per cent), but above Italian levels (22 per cent).
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
46 and 36 per cent of Bosnian respondents support democracy and the market economy, respectively, two figures that are lower than the respective averages for SEE, the transition region and Germany. In addition, 27 and 30 per cent of respondents believe that, under some circumstances, an authoritarian system or a planned economy might be preferable, while 27 and 34 per cent are indifferent about the different types of political or economic systems, respectively.
Only a minority of those surveyed believe that some basic democratic institutions exist in the country. For instance, 39 per cent of respondents think that peace and stability and freedom of speech are guaranteed, while 36 per cent indicate that gender equality is respected. Only one in four respondents believe that the country has an independent press and a fair court system, while one in five think that a strong political opposition exists.
Priorities for government spending
Of Bosnian respondents, 28 and 26 per cent think education and health care should be the top priorities for extra government spending, respectively, while one in six think that assisting the poor and pensions deserve additional funding. Further analysis of the LiTS III data shows that 79 and 76 per cent of respondents would be willing to pay more taxes to improve the quality of their public health system and public education, respectively.
Sources of information
The main daily sources of information for Bosnians are the television and the radio (59 per cent), followed by discussions with family, friends or colleagues (51 per cent) and the internet and social media (35 per cent). The 2016 data show there remains an urban-rural divide in the use of the internet as a main source of information, with 40 per cent of respondents from urban areas reporting daily usage while as little as 28 per cent of rural residents do so. Newspaper readership is quite high at 21 per cent, a value higher than the corresponding figures for SEE and the transition region as a whole, and in line with newspaper readership in Italy.
71 per cent of Bosnian respondents consider their health to be “good “or “very good”, one of the highest figures in the transition region, and also above the German and Italian figures (68 and 54 per cent, respectively). Additional analysis shows that, compared with 2010, all demographic groups reported an improvement in their health. Interestingly, the largest improvement took place among respondents aged 60 and over.
Quality of public services
The majority of Bosnians believe that their country provides access to high quality public services, with the sole exception of local roads, whose quality is deemed satisfactory by only 36 per cent of the respondents. Satisfaction with the quality of public services is lower in Bosnia and Herzegovina than in the transition region as a whole (with the exception of the postal services). 82 per cent of those surveyed are satisfied with the provision of electricity, 79 per cent are happy with postal services and 75 per cent are pleased with the quality of their telephone lines.
Social and economic mobility
When asked from a list of options what they thought were the most important factors for success in life in their country, 45 per cent of Bosnian respondents chose “political connections”, up from 33 per cent in 2010, and the second highest result for this response across the transition region. By contrast, 35 per cent of respondents answered “effort and hard work” and 16 per cent opted for “intelligence and skills”.
Attitudes towards women
89 and 84 per cent of female and male Bosnian respondents, respectively, think that women are as competent as men to be business executives, and 76 per cent of those surveyed (of either gender) believe that it is important that their daughter achieves a university education. 46 per cent of men and only 31 per cent of women also think that men make better political leaders than women. Lastly, about half of Bosnian respondents favour a traditional family arrangement where the man works and the woman takes care of the family, while 34 per cent think that a woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working.