Country assessments A-Z
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Lithuania||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||31||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||18||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||31||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||18||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||30||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
About 31 and 18 per cent of respondents, respectively, believe that the economic and the political situation in Lithuania was better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey. Both figures are above the corresponding averages for the transition region and broadly in line with those for Germany. Less than one in five Lithuanian respondents believe that corruption declined in the four years preceding the survey, a number below the average for central Europe and the Baltic states (CEB) and the transition region average of 23 per cent.
30 per cent of respondents report that they are satisfied with their current financial situation and 31 per cent believe that households in their country live better than they did four years prior to the survey. Both figures indicate a substantial increase in satisfaction relative to 2010, when only 18 per cent of Lithuanians were satisfied with their financial situation and 24 per cent of the population thought that households had a better life at the time than before.
Life satisfaction levels increased substantially from 34 per cent in 2010 to 56 per cent in 2016, and they are now higher than the CEB average (54 per cent), the transition region average (43 per cent) and the corresponding figure for Italy (42 per cent), but they are still lower than the average for Germany (72 per cent). Satisfaction with life has risen considerably across all age and income groups but still shows a high degree of variation by income group: while only 42 per cent of those in the lower income group are satisfied with their lives, 87 per cent of those in the upper income group report that they happy.
While the belief in a better future for the younger generation increased only slightly from 57 per cent in 2010 to 61 per cent in 2016, optimism levels are well above the average for the transition region (50 per cent). Optimism has increased almost uniformly across all groups of the population, but most notably among middle-aged people and those in the upper income brackets.
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
Support for democracy and a market economy has improved considerably since 2010. The proportion of Lithuanian respondents who choose the response option “democracy is preferable to any other form of political system” has risen by 19 percentage points since 2010. 45 per cent of respondents favour the market economy over any other alternative, a figure that is higher than the averages for CEB, the transition region and Italy. However, when 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 limited freedoms and stronger growth (country A), more than 70 per cent of Lithuanian respondents report that they would prefer country A.
When asked which democratic institutions exist in the country, 67 per cent of respondents mentioned peace and stability, followed by gender equality and freedom of speech at 61 and 59 per cent, respectively. The extent to which Lithuanians agree that other basic democratic institutions are in place varies and is typically lower than 50 per cent. For instance, only 28 per cent of respondents believe that Lithuania has a strong political opposition, while 19 per cent think the court system treats all citizens fairly and equally. Overall, Lithuania fares worse than Germany with regard to all these indicators.
Priorities for government spending
29 per cent of Lithuanian respondents think the main priority for extra government spending should be health care, followed by education (23 per cent), pensions (19 per cent) and improving the lives of the poor (16 per cent). Additional analysis of the LiTS III data shows that 48 and 40 per cent of Lithuanians would be prepared to pay more taxes in order to have better public health care and an improved education system, respectively.
Sources of information
The main daily sources of information for Lithuanians are television and radio, used each day by 78 per cent of the population, and internet and social media, mentioned by 53 per cent of respondents. These usage rates of both types of media are among the highest in the transition region. Internet and social media usage, in particular, have doubled since the last survey, from 26 per cent in 2010 to 53 per cent in 2016. At the same time, newspaper readership has decreased by 4 percentage points, from 20 per cent in 2010 to 16 per cent in 2016, a value that still compares well with the averages for CEB and the transition region (12 and 9 per cent, respectively).
Only 43 per cent of Lithuanian respondents report a positive health self-assessment, which is considerably lower than the averages for the transition region, Germany and Italy. Health appears to be positively correlated with income levels and to have a strongly negative correlation with age. Only 12 per cent of respondents aged 60 or over think they are in good health.
Quality of public services
The majority of Lithuanian respondents report that they are satisfied with the quality of public services in their country, the only exception being the local road network, which causes dissatisfaction to around 52 per cent of the respondents. Overall, 96 and 93 per cent of respondents are satisfied with the quality of the provision of pipeline gas and electricity provided to their dwellings, respectively, two of the highest percentages in the transition region. On the other hand, only 64 per cent of respondents are happy with the quality of heating services, one of the lowest satisfaction rates among the transition countries.
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, 49 per cent of Lithuanian respondents chose “effort and hard work”, while 27 per cent opted for “intelligence and skills”.
Attitudes towards women
Of male and female respondents, 96 and 89 per cent, respectively, believe that women are as competent as men as business executives, while more than 75 per cent of respondents of either gender think that it is important that their daughter achieves a university education. However, 36 and 43 per cent of women and men think that men make better political leaders than women, 21 per cent think that a woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working, and 49 per cent prefer a traditional family arrangement, where the man works and the woman takes care of the house and the family.