30% of citizens positively assess their general life experience in Ukraine. These are the findings of the "Life Quality Barometer" survey conducted by the European Business Association and research company Gradus Research. We believe the international audience might find these findings useful as well. The current wave of research covers two audiences - the general population and the business audience represented by employees of the Association's member companies.
The overall life experience in Ukraine is considered satisfactory by 39% of the general population. While the remaining 31% find it unsatisfactory. The younger audience, aged 16 to 25, and residents of Kyiv give the highest ratings.
Among the business audience, optimists prevail: 44% are satisfied with their lives, 35% consider it satisfactory, and 21% are dissatisfied. It is worth noting that among the Association's audience, 15% are currently abroad, and 4% have changed their place of residence within the country.
Satisfaction with one's job and income level are crucial factors influencing the quality of life. Overall, 34% of the general population and 69% of the business audience are satisfied with their current job, while 33% of the general population and 12% of the business audience are dissatisfied with self-realization.
The main factors that keep Ukrainians in their current job are a friendly atmosphere within the team, comfortable and safe working conditions, and good relationships with their supervisors. In addition, representatives of the Association also highlight the opportunity to work remotely and career growth prospects.
The level of support provided by the employer can also influence respondents' opinions. Since the start of the full-scale war, 23% of the general population and 81% of the business audience have received additional support. Employers mainly provided advance salary payments, assistance with relocation, compensation for expenses, and housing provisions.
At the same time, the assessment of Ukrainians' income level is significantly lower. Even among the business audience, 38% consider their income insufficient for a decent life. Although 52% call it sufficient and 10% even more than sufficient. Notably, 80% of Association representatives have a monthly income exceeding 20,000 UAH.
Among the general population, the majority, namely 85%, consider their income level insufficient, with only 13% calling it sufficient and 2% more than acceptable. At the same time, 76% of the general audience earns less than 20,000 UAH per month, including 53% earning less than 10,000 UAH.
Traditionally, the factor of social life receives high ratings among the business audience, with 52% expressing satisfaction with their leisure activities. Among the general population, 47% are satisfied with their life outside of work. It is worth noting that one component of this factor is volunteering, which involves the overwhelming majority of Ukraine's residents today.
Another crucial factor is security. Predominantly, respondents consider the level of security in the country unsatisfactory, with 53% among the business audience and 47% among the general population expressing this view. As expected, the eastern region leads in negative assessments. However, there are also positive ratings, with 25% of the general audience and 16% of Association representatives satisfied with the level of security.
The ratings of the legal framework and governance are similar for both audiences. Interestingly, a nearly equal number of respondents are satisfied (34% among the general population and 33% among the business audience) and dissatisfied (31% among the general population and 25% among the business audience). It is worth noting that this factor includes the assessment of discrimination, level of democratic freedoms, and quality of administrative services.
The situation with education is similar. Respondents' opinions are divided: around one-third positively evaluate the educational system in Ukraine, with 34% among the general population and 31% among the business audience. Another one-third, comprising 30% of the general population and 31% of the business audience, consider the quality and accessibility of educational services to be low.
There is almost a unanimous assessment of the environmental situation in the country. Only 15% of the general population and 12% of the business audience are satisfied with the state of the environment, while the majority (55% of the general population and 53% of the business audience) consider it unsatisfactory. The worst ratings come from residents of the central, northern, and capital regions.
The ratings of the healthcare system are higher among the business audience. Specifically, 39% of the respondents are satisfied with medical services, while only 22% express dissatisfaction. Companies within the Association actively utilize medical insurance programs, which may influence their experience. However, among the general population, only 23% are satisfied with the level of healthcare, while 40% have had a negative experience.
"We are pleased to note that among representatives of the business community, there is a predominance of positive evaluations regarding the standard of living, satisfaction with their work, and income levels. In this context, the role and contribution of responsible employers are crucial. At the same time, some factors have a decisive impact, and mainly the state is responsible for addressing them, such as the level of education, healthcare, legal framework, and environmental situation. It is crucial for us to continue reforming these spheres even during the war, so that people have a decent life in the country which future they believe in and defend these days," commented Anna Derevyanko, Executive Director of the European Business Association.
"Considering the circumstances and duration of the war, the overall satisfaction with life in Ukraine could have been worse, but positive evaluations are observed. This indicates that society is in a situation of mobilizing internal resources. In other Gradus Research studies, we also observe that the majority of citizens believe that the country is moving in the right direction, and this motivates people to work and maintain the economic front despite all the difficulties," commented Yevheniia Blyzniuk, sociologist, founder, and director of Gradus Research.
The Barometer of Happiness in Ukraine is an annual survey conducted by the European Business Association since 2018. In 2022, the survey was not conducted due to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. In 2023, the updated "Life Quality Barometer" survey was launched. Gradus Research is a research partner of the survey in 2023.
The target audience of the study: General audience (1,091 individuals) - men and women aged 16-60 residing in cities with a population of over 50,000 (excluding Donetsk, Luhansk, and Kherson regions). Business audience (359 individuals) - employees of the European Business Association's member companies regardless of location.
The survey was conducted among the general population from May 1 to May 4, 2023, and from April 7 to May 15, 2023, among the business audience.