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Perception of social well-being of the residents of Ukraine in May 2017

Social welfare is worsening due to an increase in the number of those who believe that things in the state are moving in the wrong direction. Individual well-being has not changed a lot.

Press release by Daryna Pyrohova

On May 19 – 28, 2017 Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted an all-Ukrainian public opinion poll. Data were collected from 2040 respondents living in 108 settlements (PSU) in all oblasts of Ukraine (except for the AR of Crimea) with the method of personal interviewing. The sample was stochastic and is representative of the population of Ukraine aged 18 and above.

In Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts survey was conducted only in the territories that are controlled by the Ukrainian government.

The statistical sampling error (with a probability of 0.95 and for a design effect of 1.5) does not exceed:

3.3% — for indexes close to 50%,

2.8% — for indexes close to 25%,

2.0% — for indexes close to 10%,

1.4% — for indexes close to 5%.

 

 

KIIS has been conducting an annual systematical assessment of two indices for the evaluation and monitoring of public and individual well-being: the Index of social well-being (ISW) and the Index of individual well-being (IIW) for the six years already. Values of indices may range from -100 to 100 points, where -100 stands for the lowest assessment of the situation and dissatisfaction, and 100 - for the highest assessment and overall satisfaction with the situation in the country or in the personal life. A detailed description of the index calculations can be found in the Addition.

In May 2017 the average value of ISW was -55, while the individual well-being was estimated much higher - at the level of -4 points. Such big difference in the indices shows that despite all the hardships, the Ukrainians on average are much more satisfied with their own lives than with the life of a country.

However, it would be incorrect to say that these are two parallel worlds, because there is a direct correlation which strength varies: in May 2016 the coefficient that describes the closeness of connection r was equal to r = 0.48, in December 2016 r = 0.40, and in May 2017 r = 0.42; the maximum possible value of this coefficient is 1.

 

Graph 1. Dynamics of indices ISW and IIS in Ukraine in 2012-2017

From December to May 2017 (Graph 1), index of social well-being decreased slightly, while the index of personal well-being remained almost the same (the observed decrease is statistically insignificant) which means the insignificant worsening of assessments of the situation in the public context. The comparison of changes in particular components of the indexes (Table. 1) also shows significant changes in almost all indicators of the social well-being: significant decrease in the assessment of the accuracy of the development direction of the affairs of the country, less significant decrease is also observed in the indices of economic growth and expectations about the future life in the country.

As to individual index of well-being, the indicators of individual happiness, health and financial welfare remained almost unchanged compared with December 2016 (the indicator of health decreased by one percentage point, the indicator of welfare increased by one percentage point but these changes are insignificant). While the indicator of expectations about the future of the family, vice versa, decreased significantly compared to the end of the previous year.

Table 1. Dynamics of indices of social and individual well-being in Ukraine in 2012-2017

  February  2012 November  2013 February  2014 May 2016 December 2016 May 2017
Index of social wellbeing (ISW) -41 -39 -40 -53 -51 -55
Direction of Ukraine`s development -63 -55 -51 -57 -66 -72
State of Ukraine`s economy -47 -48 -53 -68 -63 -64
Expectations about the future life in the country -15 -14 -14 -32 -22 -25
Index of individual wellbeing (IIW) 1 5 8 -8 -3 -4
Personal happiness 28 31 34 26 26 26
Expectations about the future life of the family -5 0 1 -24 -6 -10
Health 14 11 16 10 11 10
Financial wellbeing of the family -33 -25 -23 -42 -43 -42

 

It is worth noting, that over the whole observation period now the indicator of the direction of Ukraine`s development in the index of social welfare is the lowest observed (-72), as well as an indicator of personal happiness in the index of individual well-being,  is the lowest observed (26). Values of these components remain stable for a year already (Graph 2).

 

Graph 2. Changes in the components of indices ISW and IIW in Ukraine in 2012-2017


 

In general for Ukraine, the average value for the ISW decreased by 4 points compared to December 2016, while IIW decreased by 1 point. These changes happened mainly due to the low assessment of the accuracy of the direction in which affairs in the country are moving on, and low expectations of the future life in the country and the family. Thus, assessment of the accuracy of direction of state affairs development decreased by 6 points, assessment of the expectations of future life in the country decreased by 3 points, in the family - decreased by 4 points. At the same time, positive tendencies were observed in the dynamics of May-December 2016: assessment of the expectations about the future life in the country increased by 10 points, about the economic situation – increased by 5 points, about the future life in the family – increased by 18 points.

As we see, people assess personal financial well-being to be much better than the situation in the country (-42 compared to -64).

The values of ISW and its components are significantly influenced by the region of residence (more information in the table. D1 in Addition). The expectations about the future life in the country show marked worsening from the West through the Center and to the South, while the situation in the East became much better and even stable – the value of the indicator of expectations about the future life in the country increased by 18 points compared to 2016 (Graph 3).

 

Graph 3.  Regional differences in dynamics of expectations about the life of the country in future

The IIW value depends significantly on the age of the respondents. It is worth noting, that with the increase of age of the respondents the number of positive ratings on all components of IIW decreases, the greatest difference between the youngest and the oldest age groups is in the self-esteem of individual health and happiness. The exception is people older than 70: their expectations of family life in the future is higher than the one of a decade younger age group 60-69 years.


Graph 4. Value of IIW and its components by age groups (average)


Addition 1. Methodology of index the construction

For the index construction, we ask 7 questions: 4 of the questions are derived from the list of those that are used for the construction of Index of social attitudes calculated by Levada-Center, other 3 questions are standard for KIIS Omnibus questionnaire. Resulting from factor analysis, these 7 questions are divided into 2 indexes. Hereby you can find a list of questions.

Index of social well-being (ISW):

• In your opinion, are matters in Ukraine going in the right or in the wrong direction?

• How would you characterise the state of Ukrainian economics?

• Talking about Ukraine in general, in your opinion, will the life here become better or worse in a year?

Index of individual well-being (IIW):

• Do you think you are a happy person?

• How would you characterise the state of your health?

• In your opinion, will your family live better or worse than now in a year?

• Take a look at the card please, which one of the statements characterises the financial well-being of your family the most precisely?

Values of indices may range from -100 to 100 points, where -100 stands for the lowest assessment of the situation and dissatisfaction, and 100 - for the highest assessment and overall satisfaction with the situation in the country or in the personal life.

 

Commentary ofprofessor V.Paniotto,KIISCEO

We observe that the major components of individual well-being – happiness, health, welfare – have not changed much over the year, while the perception of the accuracy of direction in which state affairs in Ukraine are moving on got lower. That is, people`s own experience shows stabilisation of the situation, and the assessment of the situation in the country is deteriorating. Most likely, this means the more critical influence of the media from which respondents make up their minds about the situation in the country.


 

Addition 2. Questions and coding of alternatives:

In your opinion, are matters in Ukraine going in the right or in the wrong direction? ONE ANSWER

In the right direction 100
In the wrong direction -100
Difficult to say 0

 

How would you characterise the state of Ukrainian economics? ONE ANSWER

It is very good 100
It is good 50
It is satisfactory 0
It is bad -50
It is very bad -100

 

Talking about Ukraine in general, in your opinion, will the life here become better or worse in a year?  ONE ANSWER

Much better 100
Better 50
Remain the same 0
Worse -50
Much worse -100

 

Do you think you are a happy person? ONE ANSWER

Yes 100
Rather yes than no 50
Both yes and no 0
Rather no than yes -50
No -100

 

In your opinion, will your family live better or worse than now in a year? ONE ANSWER

Much better 100
Better 50
Wellbeing will remain the same 0
Worse -50
Much worse -100

 

How would you characterise the state of your health? ONE ANSWER

It is very good 100
It is good 50
It is mediocre (neither good nor bad) 0
It is bad -50
It is very bad -100

 

Which one of the following statements characterises the financial well-being of your family the most precisely?

We can buy everything we want 100
We can afford to buy particular expensive things 50
We have money for food, clothes and we can save some money 0
We have money for food but buying clothes is troublesome – 50
We do not have enough money even for food – 100

 

Addition 3. Tables

In your opinion, does government lead Ukraine in the right or wrong direction?

  %
In the right direction 11.7
In the wrong direction 70.5
DIFFICULT TO SAY 17.3
DENIAL FROM ANSWERING 0.5
Total 100.0

 

 How would you characterise the state of Ukrainian economics?

  %
It is very good 0.1
It is good 0.7
It is satisfactory 9.7
It is bad 47.8
It is very bad 39.3
DIFFICULT TO SAY 2.5
Total 100.0

 

Talking about Ukraine in general, in your opinion, will the life here become better or worse in a year?  

  %  
Much better 0.4  
Better 10.1 Better  10.5
Remain the same 33.9 33.9
Worse 24 Worse    38
Much worse 14  
DIFFICULT TO SAY 17.6  
Total 100.0  

 

In your opinion, will your family live better or worse than now in a year?

  %
Much better 1.2
Better 15.7
Wellbeing will remain the same 38.8
Worse 15.2
Much worse 9.4
DIFFICULT TO SAY 19.6
Total 100.0

 

Do you think you are a happy person?

  %  
Yes 24.4  
Rather yes than no 28.7 Yes   53.1
Both yes and no 24.2 24.4
Rather no than yes 12.2 No19.5
No 7.3  
DIFFICULT TO SAY 3.1  
DENIAL FROM ANSWERING .1  
Total 100.0  

 

How would you characterise the state of your health?

  %  
It is very good 5.6  
It is good 32.3 Good 37.9
It is mediocre (neither good nor bad) 41 Moderate 41
It is bad 16 Bad  20.3
It is very bad 4.3  
DIFFICULT TO SAY 0.8  
DENIAL FROM ANSWERING .1  
Total 100.0  

 

Which one of the following statements characterises the financial well-being of your family the most precisely?

  %
We do not have enough money even for food 17.8
We have money for food but buying clothes is troublesome 50.3
We have money for food, clothes and we can save some money 27.5
We can afford to buy particular expensive things 2.3
We can afford to buy everything we want .4
DIFFICULT TO SAY, DO NOT KNOW 1.8
Total 100.0

 

Table D1.  Regional differences in the dynamics of index of social well-being in Ukraine in 2012 – 2017

Macroregions Western Central Southern Eastern Ukraine
ISW 2012 -42 -49 -37 -36 -41
2014 -32 -38 -45 -44 -40
05/2016 -46 -52 -58 -61 -53
12/2016 -45 -46 -56 -67 -51
05/2017 -44 -54 -68 -50 -55
Direction of Ukraine`s development 2012 -73 -73 -48 -55 -63
2014 -21 -49 -60 -73 -51
05/2016 -48 -56 -63 -64 -57
12/2016 -60 -59 -73 -83 -66
05/2017 -60 -75 -85 -58 -72
Economic state of Ukraine  2012 -46 -52 -44 -43 -47
2014 -65 -54 -50 -43 -53
05/2016 -65 -68 -70 -74 -68
12/2016 -57 -59 -71 -76 -63
05/2017 -59 -66 -69 -63 -64
Expectations about the quality of life in Ukraine in future 2012 -8 -21 -16 -11 -15
2014 -5 -14 -22 -14 -14
05/2016 -23 -30 -38 -41 -32
12/2016 -16 -17 -25 -43 -22
05/2017 -12 -20 -45 -23 -25

 


18.7.2017
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