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Life in Transition: Slovenia

Key findings (%, weighted)

Slovenia Average Transition region Average Western Europe
Satisfied with life 60 43 72
Trust in others 30 34 42
Perceive less corruption than four years ago 11 21 9
Concerned about climate change 69 54 54
Support both market economy and democracy 32 34 42
Households affected by the crisis 44 49 31

Impact of the crisis

  • Over two-fifths of surveyed Slovenian households have been impacted by the economic crisis. Lower-income households have been hit the hardest, while only about 30 per cent of the richest one-third of the population and one-third of the oldest age range claim to have been affected.

Life satisfaction

  • Life satisfaction has decreased by over 10 percentage points since 2006, but remains well above the transition average and one of the highest levels in the region. The lowest-income bracket of the population saw the largest drop in satisfaction at almost 20 percentage points while the middle-income group saw only a five per cent decline, reinforcing the perceived dependence of satisfaction on income level.


    Optimism about the future has dropped significantly since 2006. Despite their overall satisfaction with life, Slovenians’ optimism about the prospects for future generations is not only well below one-half that of the transition region average and decreasing, but also lower than the western comparator country average.

Attitudes towards democracy and market economy

  • Support for a market economy and democracy has seen a significant decline since 2006. A combination of the two still attracts most support as the preferred socio-economic system, as in the transition region as a whole. Nevertheless, the percentage of respondents who unequivocally prefer a market economy has fallen by nine points, while the percentage who choose democracy over all other political systems has dropped by 12 points.


    Slovenians believe that their country has many basic democratic attributes, ranging from free and fair elections to freedom of travel. However, fewer than 50 per cent of respondents think that there is law and order, an independent press or a strong political opposition. In addition, only one-quarter consider that the court system defends individual rights against abuse by the state, which is well below the 57 per cent average in western European comparator countries.

Generalised and institutional trust

  • The level of generalised trust remains slightly below the transition region average, despite a small increase since 2006. While the lowest-income group trusts people rather less than in 2006 and while middle-income attitudes remain about the same, the richest one-third of the population has increased its level of trust by 15 percentage points. At the same time, trust among those aged 40-59 has dropped, but increased among people over 60.


    Trust in most institutions has fallen since 2006 and, for many of them, remains well below the western European comparator average. The exceptions are banks and foreign investors which, despite experiencing a large fall in the wake of the economic crisis, record trust levels above those experienced by their western European counterparts. The government, the presidency and political parties merit the lowest levels of trust among respondents, at between 10 and 15 per cent.

Corruption perception

  • Relatively few people think irregular payments are made to public institutions. Perceived corruption rates for most types of institution are above the western European comparator averages by a few percentage points and of the same order of magnitude. The exceptions are the public health system and the courts, which stand out with rates of about four-five percentage points higher than the western comparators.

Priorities for government spending

  • Health care should be a government spending priority according to almost one-third of Slovenians. According to one-fifth of respondents, education also deserves additional government attention. Raising pensions and helping the poor are each championed by around 15 per cent of the population. Only a small proportion of respondents would have the government prioritise spending on housing, public infrastructure or the environment.

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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