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Life in Transition: Moldova

Key findings (%, weighted)

Moldova Average Transition region Average Western Europe
Satisfied with life 30 43 72
Trust in others 41 34 42
Perceive less corruption than four years ago 13 21 9
Concerned about climate change 81 54 54
Support both market economy and democracy 52 34 42
Households affected by the crisis 51 49 31

Impact of the crisis

  • The extent of the impact of the economic crisis on households is comparable to the transition region average. About one-half of respondents report that their households have been hit by the crisis. The crisis impact has been most significant for the middle-aged and middle-income sections of the population. In absolute terms, the impact of the crisis on the poorest households in Moldova has been one of the strongest in the transition region.

Life satisfaction

  • Despite a two percentage point rise since 2006, the level of life satisfaction in Moldova is still well below the transition region average. It has increased almost uniformly across age and income brackets, but more so among the younger generation and upper-income sections of the population. Life satisfaction has dropped by about three percentage points among middle-income respondents.

    Belief in a better future has risen by two percentage points but is still 10 points below the average for the transition region. Optimism has increased among middle-aged people as well as lower- and upper-income groups, but has dropped among other age and income categories. The current level of optimism about the future is in line with other countries which have a similar level of life satisfaction.

Attitudes towards democracy and market economy

  • More than one-third of Moldovan respondents favour a combination of democracy and a market economy. This is higher than the reported preference for a combination of a market economy and (under some circumstances) authoritarian government (about 25 per cent) or any other economic and political permutation. Interestingly in Moldova most respondents who prefer an authoritarian government under some circumstances also prefer a market economy to a planned economy, which is the opposite to the transition region as a whole.

    About half of respondents believe that their country has basic democratic institutions such as law and order, free and fair elections, peace and stability or a strong political opposition.

    This level of confidence is significantly lower than the average for the comparator western European countries.

Generalised and institutional trust

  • Respondents in Moldova are more trusting than the average in transition countries, ranking ninth in the region in that respect. The level of generalised trust has risen by five percentage points since 2006, with about 40 per cent of respondents reporting that people in general can be trusted. The rise has been almost uniform across age and income brackets, although it appears that the lower socio-economic groups have recorded the highest increase.

    People have less confidence, however, in public institutions. Less than one-third of respondents report that they trust the presidency, parliament, the courts or political parties, which is much lower than the western comparator average. Trust is highest in the armed forces, foreign investors and religious institutions (despite a slight drop since 2006). Just over 10 per cent of respondents in Moldova believe that their lost wallet will be returned to them, which is the lowest level of real-life trust in the transition region.

Corruption perception

  • Well over 20 per cent of respondents believe that people make irregular payments to public sector authorities. This suggests that Moldovan public services are some of the most corrupt in the transition region. As in the other transition countries, bribery in the public health system seems to be the most problematic. Satisfaction with public service delivery is average – around 30 per cent of respondents say that they are unsatisfied with the quality and efficiency of service they received. However, it is worth noting a very positive dynamic: Moldova has the fastest rate of increase in satisfaction with public services in the transition region. This is in stark contrast to one of the fastest rates of growth in corruption.

Priorities for government spending

  • Well over one-third of Moldovan respondents would prefer extra government spending on health care. In addition, a significant percentage of respondents would like to see extra government funding for education, pensions and helping the poor. A relatively high number (12 per cent) of respondents in Moldova are prepared to give up a larger portion of their income in taxation in order to fund public services which they prioritise.

Full report

  • The Life in Transition Survey provides vivid evidence of precisely how lives have been affected by the global economic crisis and its aftermath.

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