Country assessments A-Z
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Kazakhstan||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||44||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||50||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||51||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||41||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||46||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
Nearly half of the survey respondents in Kazakhstan believe that the economic and political situation was better in 2016 compared to four years prior to the survey, two of the highest satisfaction rates across the transition region. In addition, 41 per cent of interviewed Kazakhs also think that there was less corruption in 2016 than four years before the survey.
Among Kazakh respondents, 51 per cent believe that their households lived better in 2016 than they did four years before the survey, while 46 per cent report that they are satisfied with their current personal financial situation, a percentage significantly above the transition region average of 31 per cent but below the regional average of 65 per cent for Central Asia.
The level of life satisfaction in Kazakhstan has risen considerably since the last survey across all age and income groups and is now above the transition region average as well as the corresponding figure for Italy, but still below life satisfaction in Germany. As of 2016, two in three Kazakhs were satisfied with their life, while about 60 per cent believed that they had done better in life than their parents.
Lastly, 72 per cent of Kazakh respondents believe that children born today will have a better future than themselves, making Kazakhstan one of the most optimistic countries in the LiTS III. All subgroups of the surveyed population have become more optimistic since the last survey, and the overall indicator has improved by 7 percentage points relative to 2010.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
Support for democracy and the market economy has weakened since the last survey, from 59 and 41 per cent in 2010 to 49 and 37 per cent in 2016, respectively. About 30 per cent of respondents express indifference as to the type of economic system that should prevail in the country, while one in four respondents do not have a marked preference for a specific type of political system. Lastly, around 30 per cent of interviewed Kazakhs would favour, under some circumstances, authoritarianism or a planned economy.
When asked which democratic institutions exist in Kazakhstan, 84 per cent of respondents indicated that peace and stability are guaranteed in the country, followed by gender equality and law and order, at 72 and 58 per cent, respectively. These percentages represent some of the highest figures in the entire transition region. According to 52 per cent of Kazakhs, free elections are conducted in the country and, for another 51 per cent, freedom of speech is respected.
Priorities for government spending
Among Kazakh respondents, 34 per cent think that the main priority for additional government spending should be health care, followed by education (22 per cent) and housing (15 per cent). Additional analysis of the LiTS III data shows that around 53 and 47 per cent of Kazakh respondents would be willing to contribute more to improve the quality of their public health system and public education, respectively.
Sources of information
The main daily sources of information for Kazakhs are television and radio and conversations with family, friends and colleagues, mentioned by 57 and 54 of the respondents, respectively. The percentage of respondents who use the internet and social media on a daily basis as sources of information increased almost five-fold since the last survey, from only 10 per cent in 2010 to 47 per cent in 2016. This makes the use of internet and social media in Kazakhstan more common than in the average transition country, as well as in Germany and Italy. Lastly, newspapers are read at least once a day by approximately 6 per cent of the interviewed respondents, a number below the averages for Central Asia, the transition region, and both Western European comparator countries.
Among Kazakh respondents, 55 per cent of report a positive health self-assessment, which is slightly higher than the transition region average of 54 per cent but still lower than the corresponding figure for Germany (68 per cent). Additional analysis of the LiTS III data shows that all Kazakh demographic groups report a better health status relative to 2010, with an average increase of about 14 percentage points. Unsurprisingly, the data show that health is negatively correlated with age and positively with income levels.
Quality of public services
The majority of Kazakh respondents report being satisfied with the quality of public services in their country, with the exception of local roads, which cause dissatisfaction for around 66 per cent of the population. The remaining figures range from a 96 per cent satisfaction rate for the quality of telephone lines to an 81 per cent satisfaction rate for postal services.
Social and economic mobility
When respondents were asked from a list of options what the most important factors for success in life in their country were, 50 per cent of Kazakhs chose “effort and hard work”, 35 per cent opted for “intelligence and skills”, and about 14 per cent answered “political connections”.
Attitudes towards women
Among respondents, 83 per cent believe it is important for their daughter to achieve a university education and 81 per cent think that female business executives are as competent as male business executives. Nevertheless, two thirds of respondents also believe that men are better political leaders than women, and as many as 86 per cent of respondents think that a woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working. Finally, 68 per cent of Kazakhs appear to favour a traditional family arrangement where the man works and the woman takes care of the house and children.