Country assessments A-Z
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Kosovo||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||20||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||8||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||33||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||12||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||32||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
About 20 and only 8 per cent of respondents, respectively, believe that the economic and political situation in Kosovo was better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey. These figures are substantially lower than the corresponding averages for the transition region as a whole and Germany. Furthermore, 12 per cent of those surveyed think that there was less corruption in 2016 than in the four years before the survey.
33 per cent of households surveyed in Kosovo believe that some improvement in their living standards occurred over the four years preceding the survey, the second highest value in south-eastern Europe (SEE) after Romania. As of 2016, 32 per cent of respondents were satisfied with their financial situation, compared to 29 and 31 per cent of those in SEE and the transition region.
Similarly to financial satisfaction, the level of life satisfaction for Kosovan respondents in 2016 was comparable to the transition region average, as 43 per cent of respondents report being satisfied with life. Younger cohorts and respondents in the upper income group turn out to be more satisfied than their older and poorer counterparts in the country.
Optimism levels are well above the transition region average: about 70 per cent of respondents believe that children born today will have a better future than the current generations, the sixth highest value in LiTS III. This high level of optimism stands in contrast to 39 and 50 per cent of the respondents in SEE and the transition region, respectively. High optimism is reported consistently across different age and income groups in Kosovo.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
Support for the market economy in Kosovo is the second highest in the transition region, with 62 per cent of respondents preferring it to any other economic system. Support for democracy is also high in Kosovo, with 67 per cent of respondents favouring it over any other alternative, the seventh highest figure in the transition region. Both values are also above the averages for SEE, the transition region and Italy but still far below those for Germany. Among Kosovan respondents, 23 and 18 per cent would prefer a planned economy or an authoritarian system over the respective alternatives, at least under some specific circumstances. Furthermore, around 15 per cent of Kosovans believe that “for people like me, it does not matter” which economic or political system is in place in the country.
Only a minority of Kosovans believe that there are basic democratic institutions in their country. For instance, only 30 per cent of respondents believe that freedom of speech and peace and stability are guaranteed in Kosovo. Both figures are about 15 percentage points below the transition region averages and around 26 percentage points below the SEE averages. Moreover, only 26 and 25 cent of those surveyed believe that gender equality and a strong political opposition are present in their country, respectively. Lastly, just 20 per cent or less believe that the country has free elections, law and order, an independent press or a fair justice system.
Priorities for government spending
Opinions about what the main priority for extra government spending in Kosovo should be are almost equally divided between assisting the poor (30 per cent), health care (29 per cent) and education (25 per cent). Kosovan support for helping the poor is the highest of all countries covered by the LiTS III survey and far above support in Germany (5 per cent) and Italy (16 per cent).
Sources of information
The main daily sources of information for Kosovan respondents are the television and the radio (61 per cent), and discussions with family, friends or colleagues (54 per cent). While the television and the radio are the predominant information sources among people aged 40 and over, the internet and social media are the preferred source of news for the younger cohort: 66 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 39 report using the internet at least once a day. As in many other countries, an urban-rural divide in the utilisation of internet is present, with 53 per cent of respondents from urban areas reporting daily usage, in contrast to 43 per cent among those in rural areas. Newspapers are read on a daily basis by approximately 10 per cent of those surveyed, a figure that is marginally higher than the average for the transition region (9 per cent) but still lower than average newspaper readership across SEE, Germany and Italy (14, 31 and 21 per cent, respectively).
69 per cent of Kosovan respondents report a positive self-assessment of their health, a figure 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, respectively). Substantial variation in self-perceived health exists across age groups: 87 per cent of respondents aged 18-39 report a positive health status, but only 27 per cent of those aged over 60 do.
Quality of public services
Satisfaction with the quality of public services in Kosovo is mixed. On the one hand, only about 50 per cent of Kosovans are satisfied with their electricity provision, the second lowest value in the transition region. Furthermore, only 58 per cent of Kosovans are satisfied with the quality of their water supply, the lowest value in the transition region. On the other hand, 65 per cent of those surveyed are satisfied with their local roads, the third highest value in the transition region. The satisfaction rates for the remaining services (telephone line, heating and postal services) compare well with the transition region averages and even sit above those for Italy.
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 40 per cent of Kosovans chose “effort and hard work”, a value comparable to the percentages for SEE (41 per cent), Italy (42 per cent) and the transition region (42 per cent) but far below the figure in Germany (61 per cent). However, 34 per cent of Kosovans opted for “political connections”, a value well above the averages for Germany (3 per cent), Italy (27 per cent), SEE (28 per cent) and the transition region (21 per cent). Lastly, 19 per cent of those surveyed answered “intelligence and skills”.
Attitudes towards women
87 per cent of female Kosovan respondents and 80 per cent of male Kosovan respondents, respectively, believe that women are as competent as men as business executives, and 93 per cent of those surveyed overall think it is important for their daughter to achieve a university education. However, 43 per cent of the male respondents (but only 34 per cent of female respondents) believe that men make better political leaders than women. In addition, about 46 per cent of respondents (both male and female) believe that a woman should do household chores, even if her husband is not working. Lastly, 56 per cent of interviewed respondents favour a traditional family arrangement, where the man works and the woman takes care of the house and children.