Country assessments A-Z
Cyprus was not included in previous Life in Transition surveys so data is available only for 2016.
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Cyprus||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||8||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||18||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||8||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||13||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||25||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
Only 8 and 15 per cent of respondents, respectively, believe that the economic and political situation in Cyprus was better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey. These figures are substantially lower than the corresponding averages for the south-eastern Europe (SEE) region, the transition region as a whole and Germany. Only Greece and Italy fare worse than Cyprus in terms of appreciation for the present economic situation. In addition, 13 per cent of interviewed Cypriots think that there was less corruption in 2016 than four years before the survey.
Nearly 90 per cent of households surveyed in Cyprus believe that there has been no improvement in their living standards in the four years preceding the survey, the second lowest value in the sample after Greece. As of 2016, only 25 per cent of respondents are satisfied with their financial situation, as opposed to 29 and 31 per cent of those in SEE and the transition region.
Yet despite the recent financial crisis, the level of life satisfaction for Cypriot respondents in 2016 is slightly above the transition region average: 48 per cent of respondents on the island report being satisfied with life, compared with 43 per cent in the transition region. Older cohorts, men and respondents in the middle and upper income groups appear more satisfied than their counterparts.
Confidence in a better future for the younger generation is well below the transition region average. Only 25 per cent of respondents believe that children born today will have a better future than the current generation, one of the lowest figures in the survey, in contrast to 39 and 50 per cent of the respondents in SEE and the transition region, respectively. Such a low level of optimism is reported consistently across different age and income groups.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
The Cypriots’ support for democracy is the highest in the transition region, with 85 per cent of respondents who would unequivocally choose said political system over any other alternative, a value higher than the corresponding figure for Italy (63 per cent) and slightly below that of Germany (93 per cent). In addition, 47 per cent of respondents prefer a market economy to any other economic system, a percentage higher than the averages for SEE, the transition region and Italy (at 43, 37 and 35 per cent, respectively), but lower when compared with Germany, where 85 per cent of respondents favour the market economy. The remaining 53 per cent of interviewed Cypriots are roughly split between a belief that, under some circumstances, a planned economy might be preferable (26 per cent) and a belief that “for people like me, it does not matter” which economic system is in place (27 per cent).
When asked which democratic institutions exist in Cyprus, 62 per cent of respondents indicated that freedom of speech is guaranteed in the country, followed by free elections and gender equality, at 52 and 48 per cent, respectively. The extent to which Cypriots agree that the remaining institutions are in place varies and is lower than 50 per cent. Compared with Germany, Cyprus fares worse on all accounts, while relative to the Italians, Cypriots are as convinced about the existence of freedom of speech and more convinced about the existence of an independent press, a strong political opposition and gender equality.
Priorities for government spending
Over 42 per cent of Cypriot respondents would prefer extra government spending on health care. In addition, a significant portion of respondents would like to see extra government funding channelled to assist the poor (29 per cent) and for education-related purposes (19 per cent). Additional results from LiTS III show that around 60 and 55 per cent of Cypriot respondents would be willing to pay more taxes to improve the quality of the public health system and public education, respectively.
Sources of information
The main daily sources of information for Cypriot respondents are the television and radio, and discussions with family, friends or colleagues, at 61 and 42 per cent, respectively. While the television and radio are the predominant sources among people aged 40 and over, internet and social media are the preferred sources of news for the younger cohort: 59 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 39 report using the web at least once a day. As of 2016, an urban and rural divide in the utilisation of internet seems to persist, with 44 per cent of respondents from urban areas reporting daily usage, in contrast to a lower 29 per cent among those residing in rural areas. Newspapers are read on a daily basis by approximately 12 per cent of the interviewed respondents, a figure higher than the average for the transition region (9 per cent), but still lower than those of the SEE region, Germany and Italy (14, 31 and 21 per cent, respectively).
More than 71 per cent of Cypriot respondents report a positive self-assessment of their health, which is higher than the SEE average of 65 per cent, the transition region average of 54 per cent, and the values for Germany and Italy (68 and 54 per cent). The highest variation is registered across age groups, where the difference in the health self-assessment between the youngest and oldest respondents is 51 percentage points: that is to say, 91 per cent of respondents aged 18-39 report a positive health status compared with only 40 per cent of those aged over 60.
Quality of public services
The majority of Cypriot 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 94 per cent satisfaction rate with the utilisation of telephone line services. These values are among the highest in the transition region, and are in line with the corresponding figures reported in Germany, with the only exception being local roads, whose quality is deemed satisfactory by 86 per cent of German respondents.
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, about 41 per cent of them chose “political connections” and another 31 per cent opted for “effort and hard work”. In addition, 15 per cent of Cypriot respondents chose “intelligence and skills”, a value that is significantly lower than the corresponding figures for both western European comparator countries and the lowest in the transition region. Nearly 13 per cent of interviewed respondents view “breaking the law” as the most important success factor in Cyprus, which is the second highest result for that response option in the transition region overall.
Attitudes towards women
94 per cent of Cypriot respondents believe that women are as competent as men to be business executives and 92 per cent of them think it important for their daughter to achieve a university education. However, around a third of the male respondents believe that men make better political leaders than women, as opposed to one in four women, whereas about 25 per cent of respondents (both male and female) believe that a woman should do household chores, even if her husband is not working. Lastly, 48 per cent of interviewed respondents favour a traditional family arrangement, where the man works and the woman takes care of the house and children.