Country assessments A-Z
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Albania||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||27||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||30||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||33||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||35||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||49||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
27 and 30 per cent of respondents believe that the economic and political situation in Albania was better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey, above the averages for south-eastern Europe (SEE), both at 17 per cent, as well as the corresponding figures for the transition region (24 and 28 per cent, respectively). Furthermore, 35 per cent of Albanian respondents think that corruption levels improved during the four years preceding the survey.
About one-third of Albanians believe that their household was better off in 2016 as compared to the four years prior to the survey, and almost half are satisfied with their personal financial situation.
Life satisfaction overall increased by 9 percentage points compared to 2010. Respondents aged 60 or above displayed the largest increase in life satisfaction (19 percentage points). With regards to the self-assessed income bracket, those Albanians who identify themselves as belonging to the lower or middle income group saw a larger increase in life satisfaction (13 percentage points in both groups, compared to only 3 percentage points in the upper income group). On average, 48 per cent of Albanian respondents were satisfied with their life as of 2016, a percentage that is considerably higher than the SEE and the transition region averages (39 and 43 per cent, respectively).
Among Albanian respondents, 77 per cent think that children born now will have a better life than the current generations, a 7 percentage point increase relative to 2010 levels and one of the highest figures in LiTS III. This level of optimism is also well above the transition region average of 50 per cent.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
Following a mild decline in both categories compared to 2010, 51 and 50 per cent of Albanian respondents now prefer democracy or a market economy, respectively, over any other form of political or economic system. Still, around 31 per cent report that an authoritarian system or a planned economy may be better solutions under some particular circumstances. Compared to Germany, Albanians appear less supportive of both democracy and the market economy. Compared to the transition region as a whole, support for the market economy is stronger in Albania while the support for democracy is in line with the average.
Only a minority of Albanians believe that some democratic institutions are in place in the country. For instance, only 44 per cent of the population believes that freedom of speech is respected, while 42 and 41 per cent of those surveyed think that peace and stability and gender equality are guaranteed. These percentages are all well below the transition region averages, as well as the averages for Germany and Italy.
Priorities for government spending
Among Albanian respondents, 35 per cent would prefer extra government funding to be spent on health care, a figure comparable to the average for the transition region (34 per cent). Other priorities, such as helping the poor, improving pensions and investing in education, are mentioned by 19, 17 and 16 per cent of the respondents, respectively. Other options for extra government spending, such as public infrastructure or environment, attract little support. Additional results from LiTS III show that about 56 and 25 per cent of Albanian 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 Albanian respondents are the television and the radio (74 per cent), followed by discussions with family, friends or colleagues (58 per cent) and the internet and social media (38 per cent). As of 2016, an urban-rural divide exists in the use of the internet as the main source of information, with 44 of respondents from urban areas reporting daily usage, in contrast to only 30 per cent among those residing in rural areas. Newspapers are read on a daily basis by 34 per cent of Albanian respondents, a figure far higher than the averages for SEE and the transition region (14 and 9 per cent, respectively) as well as both western European comparator countries (31 per cent in Germany and 22 per cent in Italy).
69 per cent of Albanian respondents report a positive health self-assessment, which is slightly above the averages for SEE and Germany (65 and 68 per cent, respectively) and far higher than the values for the transition region as a whole and Italy (both at 54 per cent). However, the percentage of Albanians who define their health status as “good” or “very good” has declined by 7 percentage points on average since 2010. Only the respondents in the upper income bracket and those aged 60 and above seem to have experienced an improvement in their health.
Quality of public services
The majority of Albanians are satisfied with the quality of the public services in their country, with the only exception being the local roads network, which causes dissatisfaction for 52 per cent of the respondents. Even so, the satisfaction rates of most of the services are lower than the corresponding ones for the transition region as a whole and Germany.
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, 43 per cent of Albanians chose “political connections”, the third highest percentage for this response in the whole transition region. By contrast, 34 per cent opted for “effort and hard work” while about 18 per cent answered “intelligence and skills”. The latter percentage is substantially lower than the averages for the transition region (31 per cent), Germany (36 per cent) and Italy (27 per cent).
Attitudes towards women
83 and 71 per cent of female and male Albanian respondents, respectively, think that women are as competent as men as business executives, and overall 87 per cent of them believe that it is important that their daughter achieves a university education. However, a considerably higher proportion of men believe that men make better political leaders than women (63 per cent of men as opposed to 45 per cent of women). Furthermore, around 39 per cent of both men and women believe that the woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working. Lastly, about half of those surveyed favour a traditional family arrangement where the man works and the woman takes care of the family.