Country assessments A-Z
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Ukraine||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||9||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||11||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||13||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||10||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||12||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
Not surprisingly, given the deep economic crisis and political turbulence that the country has been undergoing in recent years, only 9 and 11 per cent of respondents believe that the economic and political situation in Ukraine was better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey. These figures are some of the lowest reported in the survey, lower than the corresponding averages for eastern Europe and the Caucasus (EEC), as well as the overall averages for the transition region. In addition, only 10 per cent of those surveyed think that there was less corruption in 2016 than four years before the survey, a figure in line with the Italian average but still below the corresponding values for EEC, the transition region and Germany (at 16, 23 and 16 per cent, respectively).
13 per cent of respondents believe that their households lived better in 2016 than they did four years before the survey. In addition, only 12 per cent of those surveyed report that they are satisfied with their current personal financial situation, a value significantly below the EEC average of 17 per cent and the transition region average of 31 per cent. Again, these figures are some of the lowest reported in the entire transition region.
Just over 25 per cent of Ukrainian respondents are satisfied with life, the third-lowest result in the transition region. Life satisfaction has dropped by 4 percentage points since 2010, and it is now 17 percentage points lower than the transition region average. Life satisfaction has declined across almost all demographic groups, except for those aged between 40 and 59 years.
Optimism in a better future for the next generation has also decreased since 2010 and now lies 7 percentage points below the transition region average of 50 per cent. The level of optimism has fallen almost uniformly; the data show little variation across age and income brackets.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
Of Ukrainian respondents, 42 per cent said that democracy is “preferable to any other form of political system”, while 37 per cent of the interviewed population favoured and supported the market economy. While these figures are in line with the EEC averages, they are well below the corresponding values for Germany. In addition, data show that a substantial proportion of respondents think that “for people like me, it does not matter” which political (21 per cent) or economic (27 per cent) system is in place in the country, while roughly a third of those surveyed would prefer, under some circumstances, an authoritarian regime or a planned economy.
When asked which democratic institutions exist in Ukraine, only 39 per cent of respondents indicated that gender equality is in place in the country, followed by freedom of speech, an independent press and free elections, at 20, 13 and 11 per cent, respectively. Ukraine fares worse than most of the other countries in the transition region according to all perceived institutional indicators, with gender equality the only exception.
Priorities for government spending
A third of Ukrainians think that additional government spending on health care should be the main funding priority, whereas 18 and 15 per cent of respondents would channel the additional funding to improve the educational system and to help the poor, respectively. Additional results show that around 53 and 45 per cent of those surveyed 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 Ukrainians are television and radio, used each day by 46 per cent of the population, and discussions with family, friends or colleagues, mentioned by 41 per cent of respondents. Internet and social media usage have increased significantly since the last survey round, from 16 per cent in 2010 to 33 per cent in 2016, and more so among the younger generations, who report a usage rate of around 50 per cent. Newspapers and magazines are read on a daily basis by approximately 6 per cent of respondents, just above the corresponding figure for the EEC, but well below those for the transition region, Germany and Italy.
Only 44 per cent of Ukrainian respondents consider their health to be “good” or “very good”, as opposed to 54 per cent of those surveyed in the transition region as a whole. Respondents aged over 60 and, unexpectedly, those in the highest income tercile, are more pessimistic about their health than their counterparts. In addition, men and respondents who reside in urban areas are more likely to report a positive health status.
Quality of public services
The majority of Ukrainian respondents report that they are satisfied with the general quality of public services in their country, with the only exception being the local road network, which causes dissatisfaction to almost 80 per cent of the population. The remaining figures range from an 82 per cent satisfaction rate for the provision of electricity to a 58 per cent satisfaction rate with the quality of heating.
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, 36 per cent of Ukrainian respondents chose “effort and hard work”, a figure that lies below the transition region average of 42 per cent, while another 30 per cent opted for “intelligence and skills”. Interestingly, 41 per cent of respondents in the upper-income group believe that “political connections” are one of the most important factors for success, while only 22 per cent of them think that “intelligence and skills” matter.
Attitudes towards women
Of the interviewed respondents, 75 per cent think it is important for their daughter to achieve a university education, while 86 and 81 per cent of female and male respondents believe that women are as competent as men as business executives, respectively. However, two-thirds of those surveyed think that men make better political leaders than women. In addition, around 65 per cent of respondents of either gender think that a woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working, and around 73 per cent favour a traditional family arrangement where the man works and the woman takes care of the house and children.