Country assessments A-Z
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Tajikistan||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||75||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||75||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||71||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||57||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||63||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
75 per cent of respondents believe that the economic and political situation in Tajikistan was better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey. These figures are among the highest in LiTS III, well above the averages for the transition region as a whole, and those of Germany and Italy. In addition, 57 per cent of Tajiks think that there was less corruption in 2016 than four years before the survey, in line with the average for Central Asia and up 21 percentage points relative to 2010 levels.
More than two in three Tajiks believe that their household lived better in 2016 than they did in the four years before the survey. Moreover, 63 per cent of respondents report that they are satisfied with their current personal financial situation, a percentage that is more than double the transition region average of 31 per cent and that is well above the 55 per cent reported for Germany.
Life satisfaction increased from 73 per cent in 2010 to 75 per cent in 2016, making Tajikistan the second happiest country in the transition region. High levels of life satisfaction are reported across all age and income groups, despite the fact that the country is one of the poorest of the region in terms of GDP per capita.
Tajik respondents also display one of the highest levels of optimism in the entire transition region: 82 per cent of surveyed individuals believe that children born now will have a better future than the current generations. Optimism levels in 2016 were also higher than those recorded in 2010 by 9 percentage points.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
Support for democracy has weakened since the last survey, from 76 per cent in 2010 to 69 per cent in 2016, while support for the market economy has increased from 55 per cent in 2010 to 59 per cent in 2016. However, 19 and 25 per cent of those surveyed do not have a preference for a specific political or economic system over another. Respondents were also asked a hypothetical question about whether they would rather live in a country with full political liberties but weak economic growth (country B), or in one with fewer political liberties but strong economic growth (country A). Despite their strong preference for democracy, more than 70 per cent of Tajik respondents chose country A.
When asked which democratic institutions exist in Tajikistan, 95 per cent of respondents mentioned peace and stability, while 90 and 89 per cent indicated that free elections and gender equality are respected in the country. The majority of the surveyed population also agree that other democratic institutions are in place.
Priorities for government spending
35 per cent of Tajik respondents think that additional government spending on education should be the main funding priority. This preference contrasts with the majority of the other countries included in the survey where health care is usually seen as the first priority for additional government spending. In Tajikistan, however, only one in five respondents believe that more funding should be committed to improve health care, and another 20 per cent think that assisting the poor should be a priority. Additional analysis of the LiTS III data shows that as many as 81 and 80 per cent of Tajik 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 Tajik respondents are discussions with family, friends or colleagues and the television and the radio, mentioned by 57 and 56 of the respondents, respectively. The percentage of respondents who use the internet and social media on a daily basis is the lowest in the entire transition region, at only 6 per cent. Newspapers are read at least once a day by only 3 per cent of the interviewed individuals, again the lowest percentage in the entire transition region, on a par with Armenia and Azerbaijan.
59 per cent of Tajik respondents reported a positive health self-assessment, a percentage higher than the transition region and Italy (54 per cent in both cases) but lower than the corresponding figure for Germany (68 per cent). Unsurprisingly, this is mostly driven by respondents aged 18-39 and by those in the upper-income group.
Quality of public services
59 per cent of Tajik respondents report being satisfied with the provision of water in their country, whereas the quality of the remaining public services and utilities is deemed unsatisfactory by the majority of the population.
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, 56 per cent of Tajiks chose “effort and hard work” and 37 per cent answered “intelligence and skills”. Less than 1 per cent of Tajiks chose “breaking the law”, the lowest result for that specific response option in the transition region. Using one’s political connections to succeed in life also attracts little support among Tajik respondents.
Attitudes towards women
87 per cent of respondents believe it is important for their daughter to achieve a university education, and 87 per cent of female respondents and 80 per cent of male ones think that female business executives are as competent as male business executives. Nevertheless, 84 and 89 per cent of female and male respondents, respectively, believe that men make better political leaders than women, while 78 per cent of the population favours a traditional family arrangement where the man works and the woman takes care of the house and children, one of the highest figures in the transition region. In addition, around two in three respondents of either gender think that a woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working.