Gallup published a new poll today, measuring Ukrainians’ ‘life ratings’. This follows a survey of Ukrainian political opinion issued in late December.
One caveat is necessary. Although Gallup has only just issued these results, it carried out the actual surveys in July and August of last year. The results are therefore rather out of date. Nevertheless, they are interesting.
Conflict-weary Ukrainians gave their lives in 2015 the worst ratings that Gallup has measured yet in that country.
On a ladder scale with steps numbered from 0 to 10, with 10 being the best possible life, Ukrainians on average rate their current lives at a 4.0.
Ukrainians’ optimism about the future also dimmed last year, with their ratings of their lives in five years sinking to a new low of 5.2.
Gallup considers anybody who rates his or her life at 7.0 or higher to be ‘thriving’, and anybody who rates it at 4 or below to be ‘suffering’.
Since 2012, the percentage of the Ukrainian population in the first category has halved, while the percentage in the second category has risen by about 50%.
Gallup notes that the ‘life ratings have dropped among residents from all age groups, education levels and genders’. Also, ‘The percentage of residents who report being satisfied with their standard of living has dropped from 27% to 17% over the past year, while the percentage of Ukrainians who view the country’s economic situation as “poor” jumped from 62% in 2014 to 79% in 2015.’
These negative figures correlate with dissatisfaction with the political authorities. On 23 December Gallup published another poll indicating that President Petro Poroshenko’s approval rating had fallen to 17%, and that only 8% of Ukrainians had confidence in their government.
Support for Poroshenko was greatest in the west of the country. Not coincidentally, this is also the region where people rate their lives the highest.
By contrast, southern Ukrainians rate their lives more poorly than any of their compatriots and at the time of the survey only 7% of them supported their president.