Russians feel positive about their life2017 polls by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) show a change for the better in social attitudes of citizens in comparison with 2016 data. In general, people consider their personal life to be quite good; the same applies to the situation in the country. However, the index of social expectations indicates that Russians are alarmingly worried about the future and firmly believe that their life is doomed to turn for the worse.

Russians evaluate personal position at 59, situation in the country at 34: General notion “I am OK”

As reported, the index of social attitudes regarding personal life has gone from a bit low in April (53 points) to a steady number of 60-59 points in the last two months. This score is considerably better than 38 in 2016 and 46 in 2015.

Overall, Russians express a more positive attitude towards their personal position: 78% of respondents say that their life is “rather good” or “okay”, with only 19% being skeptical and expressing negative opinions.

Quite naturally, younger people (88%) and those who believe themselves to be rich (96%) give positive answers about their personal wellbeing, while low income earners (47%) and elderly (71%) state that they lead a “rather poor” or a “bad” life.

As for the index of social attitudes regarding the situation in the country, in April it hit the lowest mark for the year – 26 points.

However, in May and June figures improved and now show a considerable progress – 36 and 34 points respectively: 31% of respondents feel that the situation is “rather poor” or simply “bad” and two-thirds regard it as positive and “rather good”. In comparison with the negative index of 2016 (-3), the situation in the country, as viewed by Russians, seems to be getting better.

Situation in life and country

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Expectations for the future: Rather gloomy

The index of social expectations is the only one that has raised major concerns for quite a long time.

A year or two ago Russians generally gave less positive answers (-42 in 2015 and -48 in 2016), but the situation has not improved much.

In 2017 the index had been fluctuating and showed a downward trend: -41 in April, then in May it improved by several points (-32), but still reached -39 by the end of June.

  • Almost half of the respondents believe that the country’s tough times are ahead (45%).
  • 21% say that they are experiencing bad times right now.
  • Only 27% believe the situation will improve.

Overall, statistics proves that the Russian society is rather pessimistic about the future and citizens expect some negative economic, social and political news in the coming years.

Expectations for the future

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Comments by experts about 2017 polls: Life in Russia as perceived by locals

Stepan Lvov , the head of the Research Department of the VCIOM, believes that the first half of 2017 was a period of recovery, when people were slowly “pulling out of a tailspin” that characterized the situation in the previous year. Russians are no longer certain that they are going through a rough patch without a glimpse of light.

However, the expert states, it is too early to say that now people see a way out of that unpromising situation and feel more secure and confident about the future. People’s views of the future and the current state of affairs show that they have not released negative expectations for the years to come and await a recurrence of the economic crisis, which began in 2014.

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