Country assessments A-Z
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Croatia||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||24||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||18||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||28||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||20||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||40||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
Only 24 and 18 per cent of Croatian respondents believe that the economic and political situations in their country were better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey. While these figures are lower than the averages for central Europe and the Baltic States (CEB) and the transition region as a whole, they nonetheless represent an improvement relative to 2010 when only 3 and 5 per cent of Croatians were positive about the economic and political situation in the country. Moreover, 1 in 5 respondents believe that some progress has been made with respect to corruption levels, as opposed to only 1 in 10 in 2010.
Some 28 per cent of Croatians think that their household was better off in 2016 than four years before the survey and 40 per cent are satisfied with their personal financial situation, a figure mainly driven by middle-aged respondents and by those in the upper income brackets.
Levels of life satisfaction are higher among Croatian respondents (56 per cent) than in the transition region as a whole (43 per cent). Despite high youth unemployment, which is strongly and negatively correlated with life satisfaction, the percentage of respondents who report being satisfied with their life is the highest among those aged 18 to 39 (and among the respondents in the middle income bracket). Furthermore, about 45 per cent of respondents believe that they have fared better in life than their parents.
The percentage of Croatians who believe in a better future for the younger generation has increased by 12 percentage points since the last survey, from 31 per cent in 2010 to 43 per cent in 2016, but this number is still below the transition region average of 50 per cent. The respondents in the lower and middle income brackets appear to be the most optimistic in the sample.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
Croatian support for a market economy is among the lowest in the transition region, with only 31 per cent of respondents unequivocally supporting the system as opposed to any other alternative. Attitudes towards democracy are more positive, with 49 per cent preferring it to any other type of political system. Overall, more than one-third and around a quarter of respondents express indifference to what type of economic or political system exists in Croatia, respectively.
When asked which democratic institutions exist in Croatia, 70 per cent of respondents indicate that peace and stability were guaranteed in the country, followed by free elections (52 per cent) and freedom of speech (51 per cent). The extent to which Croatians agree that other democratic institutions are in place is consistently lower than 50 per cent.
Priorities for government spending
About a quarter of Croatian respondents believe that health care should be the main priority for government spending. Additional analysis of the LiTS III data shows that over 65 per cent of respondents would be willing to pay more taxes if these were used to improve the public health system. In addition, spending on helping the poor, education and pensions are also favoured by a considerable percentage of the population (about 21, 20 and 18 per cent respectively). Lastly, over 55 per cent of Croatian respondents would be willing to contribute more to improve the quality of public schools.
Sources of information
The main daily sources of information for Croatian respondents are television and radio (at 64 per cent), followed by internet and social media (35 per cent) and discussions with family, friends or colleagues (34 per cent). Newspapers are read on a daily basis by approximately 15 per cent of the interviewed respondents, a figure higher than the averages for CEB (12 per cent) and the transition region (9 per cent) but lower than those of Germany and Italy (31 and 21 per cent, respectively).
60 per cent of Croatian respondents consider their health to be “good” or “very good”, which is in line with the average for the CEB countries (at 60 per cent) and higher than the transition region average (54 per cent). This also represents a substantial improvement in relation to the 2010 survey, when 53 per cent of respondents believed themselves to be in good health. Unsurprisingly, the present figure is mostly driven by those aged 18-39 and by the respondents in the middle and upper income groups.
Quality of public services
The majority of Croatian respondents report that they are satisfied with the general quality of public services in their country: the figures range from 56 per cent of satisfied users of local roads to a 90 per cent satisfaction rate with electricity services. These values are among the highest in the transition region and are in line with the corresponding figures reported in Germany.
Social and economic mobility
When respondents were asked from a list of options what were the most important factors for success in life in their country, 41 per cent of Croatian respondents chose “political connections”, one of the highest response rates for that specific option in the transition region. 36 per cent of respondents believe that “effort and hard work” is the most important success factor while only 15 per cent of Croatians mention “intelligence and skills”, the lowest value for that specific option in the transition region.
Attitudes towards women
91 and 84 per cent of female and male respondents in Croatia consider female business executives to be as competent as male business executives, and an overall 68 per cent of respondents of either gender believe it is important for their daughter to achieve a university education. Nevertheless, a considerably higher proportion of male respondents believe that men make better political leaders than women (36 per cent of men as opposed to 23 per cent of women) and that a woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working (31 per cent of men compared to 22 per cent of women). Lastly, 41 per cent of interviewed respondents favour a traditional family arrangement where the man works and the woman takes care of the house and children, one of the lowest values in the transition region.