Statistical Portrait of an Ordinary Russian

By Slava Tsukerman

Results of several researches showing the picture of life of ordinary Russian were published recently.

Rosstat, the official government statistical organization, states: “Currently, the growth rate of nominal income of Russian citizens is much higher than the official inflation rate”. But researches show that more than half of respondents (59%) say that in the last year their income did not grow, and prices, in contrast, grew.   Twenty-seven percent believe that income growth does not compensate for the stronger price growth.

Foundation “Public Opinion” conducted a study of the material provisions of the Russians and found that every third citizen of the Russian Federation doesn’t have enough money to buy clothes and shoes. Nine percent stated that they don’t have enough money even for food. Half of Russians can’t afford to buy large household appliances.

What struck me was a sense that the style of life for an average Russian today is very much similar to under Communism, which failed more then 20 years ago.

The first similarity: 30% of Russians said they never plan their spending for more than a month ahead. Only 14% have any kind of plans for next few years. One third of the respondents do not consider it necessary to plan anything.

According to the study every third Russian is burdened with outstanding loans. In USSR people were borrowing money from their friends, now they borrow from banks. But the reasons for borrowing almost hadn’t change.

Only 3% of the loans are mortgages.

Twelve percent of the loans are consumer loans, which are made in stores (for the purchase of household appliances).

Another 12% are loans for urgent needs – repair, medical treatment or a wedding.

Here is the more detailed analysis:

Fourteen percent of respondents said they are willing to take a loan in the near future.

Also, the political outlook of people hasn’t changed much.

The latest research of Levada Center, the most reliable statistic organization of Russia, showed that 80% of Russians believe that they have no way of influencing what is happening in the country. Yet more than 80% approve Putin’s politics. Most Russians as well approve the anti–democratic laws introduced lately by Duma.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents approve anti-gay propaganda law and only 7% opposes it.

Fifty-five percent approve the law against blasphemy, 9% opposes it.

Russian citizens easily traded the atheistic belief in Communism for religion. But it didn’t change their desire for a common ideology for all Russians.

Forty-six percent of Russians don’t know that according to the Russian constitution, the  Russian Federation Church is separate from the state. They believe that Russian Orthodox Christianity is the official state religion of the Federation.

Fifty percent of respondents believe that only an Orthodox Christian can become president of Russia.

Lastly, just 29% of respondents support freedom of religion.

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Updated: November 4, 2014 — 9:21 am
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