Economic turbulence worries people more than the coronavirus

28/ 04/ 2020

As reported by the Barometer of Happiness in Ukraine, a survey conducted by the European Business Association for the third consecutive year. This year, the Barometer Integral Index reached 2.64 points out of 5 possible and remains in the negative area. The index has slightly improved compared to last year (2.61 points in the previous period).

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The following criterion received higher scores:

  • 3,36 points – current job
  • 3,28 points – social life and leisure
  • 2,92 points – general life experience in Ukraine
  • 2,61 points – income level

Almost half of the participants of the survey is satisfied with their current work – 46%. At the same time, 55% of respondents agree that their income level is sufficient, while 45% believe their income level is not sufficient for a normal life. However, most respondents consider their income level to be sufficient for one person, but it will be categorically insufficient in case they keep children or the elderly or make large purchases like a car or an apartment.

The overwhelming majority, namely 80%, give a satisfactory or positive evaluation of their social life, although they complain that leisure opportunities in the regions are much more limited compared to big cities. Also, people do not have a proper of work-life balance and lack time to live a full life after work.

While 31% are not satisfied with the quality of life in Ukraine, 45% of respondents consider their general life experience in Ukraine as satisfactory and 24% as positive. People are most concerned about insecurity and uncertainty about the future, the slow pace of reforms, and weak government institutions.

The following criterion received lower scores:

  • 2,53 points – education system
  • 2,38 points – health care
  • 2,30 points – human rights
  • 2,18 points – ecology
  • 2,17 points – security and safety

The evaluation of the education system has deteriorated slightly this year and has received lower scores. Thus, 50% are unsatisfied with the education system in Ukraine. Another 36% rated it satisfactorily, and only 14% positively. Main complaints include outdated teaching methods, weak technical base, inconsistency of education with the real life and business needs.

Most respondents, namely 58%, are not satisfied with the state of the health care, with 42% assessing the level of medicine satisfactorily or positively. At the same time, the respondents who gave a positive score mostly rated their experience in using private health care services.

Ecology is also of great concern to Ukrainians. Only 28% of respondents consider the environmental situation in Ukraine satisfactory, while 67% of respondents consider it negative. Survey participants noted the lack of a national strategy to tackle this problem, the misuse of natural resources, the lack of environmental control, and the problem of wastes.

Traditionally, the worst score has been given to the level of security in the country. Thus, 67% of respondents are not satisfied with the security situation and feel uncertain about their future. For the most part, people are concerned about political and economic uncertainty, the war in eastern Ukraine, and the inefficiency of law enforcement authorities. Another 61% negatively evaluate the legal framework and regulations in the country, including the absence of discrimination, the level of democratic freedoms and the level of administrative services. There are especially many complaints about administrative services – users are waiting for modernization, digitalization and improvement of quality of public services.

“For the third year in a row, the result of the EBA research on happiness of Ukrainians is in the negative area. Basic needs of people, such as safety, economic security and confidence in the future, remain unfulfilled. Part of the needs, such as access to quality health care, education and self-development, diverse leisure options, are covered by responsible socially oriented businesses for their employees. However, this is a small part of the population, and most of the factors affecting the overall quality of life can only be addressed at the state level. Business is ready to fulfill some of its obligations to citizens, even in the current difficult conditions, while the state should resort to complex structural changes and reforms as soon as possible, not in words, but in deeds, “- says Anna Derevyanko, EBA Executive Director.

The respondents, while answering the additional question on what stresses them most, put the economic situation in the first place, the political uncertainty in the second, and the war in the East in the third place. As we can see, people are not concerned much about the coronavirus situation itself, but more about its economic consequences.

For the reference:

The Barometer of Happiness in Ukraine is an annual survey conducted by the European Business Association since 2018.

In 2020, 703 online respondents have rated their quality of life in Ukraine. An online survey was sent to European Business Association member companies, we also suggested Facebook users to fill out a questionnaire.

82% of respondents live in Kyiv. 63% of the respondents are people aged 26-40 years. Most respondents are office workers – 55%.



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