Country assessments A-Z
Key findings in 2016
|Percentage of respondents that agree or strongly agree with the following statements||Romania||Transition region average||Germany||Italy|
|Economic situation better than 4 years ago||23||24||33||7|
|Political situation better than 4 years ago||20||28||17||9|
|Household lives better than 4 years ago||35||29||28||10|
|There is less corruption than 4 years ago||20||23||16||10|
|Satisfied with personal financial situation||36||31||55||33|
Satisfaction with the situation at the country level and with personal circumstances
Of Romanian respondents, 23 and 20 per cent, respectively, believe that the economic and political situation was better in 2016 than four years prior to the survey. These percentages are higher than the averages for south-eastern Europe (SEE), both at 17 per cent, but below the corresponding figures for the transition region as a whole (24 and 28 per cent, respectively). About one in five Romanians think that corruption levels improved during the four years preceding the survey which, again, is slightly above the SEE average (18 per cent) but slightly below the transition region average (23 per cent).
About 35 per cent of Romanians believe that their household was better off in 2016 compared with four years prior to the survey, and 36 per cent are satisfied with their personal financial situation. These percentages are above the respective SEE and transition region averages.
Life satisfaction has increased substantially across all age and income groups since the last survey, from only 18 per cent in 2010 to 45 per cent in 2016. On average, Romanians are now happier than the average respondent in SEE and the transition region.
The percentage of Romanian respondents who think that children born now will have a better life than the current generation has also experienced a significant increase since the last survey: 21 per cent of respondents were optimistic in 2010, as opposed to 38 per cent in 2016. The level of optimism in Romania is now comparable to that in SEE as a whole (39 per cent) but it is still below the corresponding average for the transition region (50 per cent).
Attitudes towards democracy and the market economy
53 and 43 per cent of Romanians support democracy and the market economy, two figures that are higher than the respective averages for the transition region and Italy, but below those for Germany. In addition, 22 and 26 per cent of respondents believe that under some circumstances an authoritarian system or a planned economy could be preferable, while 25 and 31 per cent are indifferent to the different types of political or economic systems, respectively.
When asked which democratic institutions exist in the country, 61 per cent of respondents indicated that peace and stability are guaranteed, followed by 56 and 52 per cent of those surveyed saying, respectively, that freedom of speech and gender equality are respected. Only a minority of Romanians believe that other basic democratic institutions are in place. For instance, only 30 per cent of those surveyed think that elections are free, while only one in four Romanians believe that law and order and a strong political opposition exist in the country.
Priorities for government spending
41 per cent of respondents would prefer extra government funding to be spent on health care, a figure above the averages for the transition countries (34 per cent) and SEE (35 per cent). This is followed by investments in education (25 per cent), pensions (13 per cent) and helping the poor (8 per cent). Other options for extra spending, such as public infrastructure or the environment, attract little support. Consistently, 41 per cent of Romanians indicate that they would be willing to pay more taxes themselves to improve the health system.
Sources of information
The main daily sources of information for Romanian respondents are the television and the radio (73 per cent), followed by discussions with family, friends or colleagues (40 per cent) and the internet and social media (29 per cent). As of 2016, an urban-rural divide persists in the use of the internet as the main source of information, with 40 per cent of respondents from urban areas reporting daily usage while the usage rate is still as low as 16 per cent among rural Romanians. Newspapers are read on a daily basis by 10 per cent of the Romanian respondents, a figure slightly higher than the average for the transition region (9 per cent), but lower than newspaper readership in SEE, Germany and Italy (14, 31 and 21 per cent, respectively).
56 per cent of Romanian respondents report a positive self-assessment of their health, which is slightly above the averages for the transition region and Italy (both at 54 per cent) but below the values for SEE and Germany (65 and 68 per cent, respectively). Additional analysis shows that, compared with 2010, all demographic groups report better health conditions.
Quality of public services
More than 80 per cent of Romanians believe that, overall, their country provides access to high-quality public services, with the sole exception of local roads, whose quality is deemed satisfactory by only 46 per cent of the respondents. Still, compared with the transition region averages, satisfaction with the quality of public services is higher in Romania across all the indicators (including the one related to local roads). The satisfaction rates for all the categories (except for local roads) are also comparable with or higher than the averages for Germany and Italy.
Social and economic mobility
When Romanian respondents were asked from a list of options what they thought were the most important factors for success in life in their country, about 52 per cent of them chose “effort and hard work” and 23 per cent answered “intelligence and skills”. 13 per cent opted for “breaking the law”, one of the highest figures for that response option in the transition region.
Attitudes towards women
90 and 86 per cent, respectively, of female and male Romanian respondents think that women are as competent as men to be business executives, and 75 per cent believe that it is important that their daughter achieves a university education. However, 53 per cent of men and 45 per cent of women also think that men make better political leaders than women. Lastly, about half of Romanian respondents favour a traditional family arrangement where the man works and the woman takes care of the family, while 28 per cent think that a woman should do the household chores, even if her husband is not working.