On household self-assessment of the economic situation in 2009

10.06.2010

Provisional data of the Household Budget Survey1 2009 carried out by the Central Statistical Bureau show that due to the economic recession household self-assessment of the economic situation has changed rather significantly - the number of households assessing their economic situation negatively has grown. If in 2008 self-assessment of economic situation was negative in every fourth household, then in 2009 already every third household admitted that is poor or is living on the verge of poverty.

The most common subjective self-assessment of the material situation still is “we are neither rich, nor poor”, but during the last seven years the number of such assessments has reduced for the first time (compared to 2008 – by 4.8 percentage points). The share of the assessment “we are not rich, but we manage to live well”2 has decreased by 3.6 percentage points. In the meantime the share of households self-assessing economic situation as “we are not poor, but we live on the verge of poverty’’ has increased rapidly (by 7.1 percentage point).

Household self-assessment of economic situation
(per cent)
 

In rural areas, unlike in urban areas, polarisation of the opinions is more explicit: in rural areas the share of households self-assessing economic situation as “we are neither rich, nor poor’’ has dropped by 8.3 percentage points. But the share of assessment “we are not poor, but we live on the verge of poverty’’ has risen by 10 percentage points. Moreover, the share of households admitting that they are poor in rural areas has increased by 2.7 percentage points. In 2009 the share of such households in rural areas has reached 6.1% (in urban areas 5.2%).

Household self-assessment of economic situation in 2009 by regions
(per cent)
 

The data of the survey show that in Latgale household self-assessment of economic situation has worsened more than in other regions. In Latgale region the share of households self-assessing economic situation as ''we are neither rich, nor poor’’’ has reduced the most rapidly (by 12 percentage points), and the share of households self-assessing economic situation as ''we are not poor, but we live on the verge of poverty’’ has grown in the same volume. In Latgale the share of households characterising themselves as poor has increased 2.6 times, reaching 7.9% of the total number of households in the region (in 2008 – 3%). In other regions such explicit changes in self-assessment of economic situation were not observed.

When asking households “How economic situation in your household has changed over the last year” % of the households said that it became worse and 22% admitted that it stayed stable. If answers to this question are studied in breakdown by quarters of 2009, the trend of household economic situation worsening is very clear.

 How economic situation in your household has changed over the last year?''
(per cent)
 

If in the 4th quarter of 2008 only half (54%) of the households said that their economic situation has worsened, than in the 4th quarter of 2009 the share of such households reached 83%.

 

Prepared by Living Standard’s Statistics Section
Lidija Spārīte
Tel. 67366998


1 In Household budget survey 2009 totally 4.4 thsd households were surveyed.
2 Hereinafter: Including answer “we think that we are amongst the rich”.