On household self-assessment of the economic situation in 2008
Provisional data on the household self-assessment of the economic situation in 2008 of the Household Budget Survey1 show that the dominating self-assessment of the households is “we are neither rich, nor poor”. In 2008 63.4% of Latvia households had such opinion, and that is almost as many as in 2007 (62.7%). The share of those households considering themselves as rich is stable and insignificant (0.2%).
To compare the results of the survey during the last six years it may be concluded that in 2008 the share of the respondents assessing their economic situation positively is starting to reduce. The share of respondents saying that they “are not rich, but manage to live well” has reduced and the number of population believing that they “are poor” has slightly increased. Meanwhile the share of respondents considering that they “are not poor, but on the verge of poverty” has retained the level of 2007.
Self-assessment of economic situation varies in different regions of Latvia. The highest share of households answering “we are not rich, but we manage to live well” is in Riga (15.8%) and Kurzeme (13.2%). While responses “we are on the verge of poverty” or “we are poor” are most common in Zemgale (20.6% and 8.1%) in 2008. So far such self-assessment was mostly expressed by the population of Latgale. Compared to 2007, the number of households in Latgale assessing their economic situation as “we are not rich, but we manage to live well” in 2008 has grown by 2.3 percentage points, as well as the number of the households assessing their material situation as “we are on the verge of poverty” or “we are poor” has decreased by 7.3 percentage points.
Also in 2008 most critical assessments of own household were given by the households of pensioners, as well as by the households having no regular sources of income.
When asking to households “How economic situation of your household has changed over the last year?” only 12% of the households admit that it has improved, 41% of the households believe that economic situation has stayed stable, but 47% said that it became worse. Rapid recession of the economy caused the rapid rise of the negative self-assessment of the economic situation during the last quarter of 2008 (54%).
Prepared by the Household Budget Statistics Section
1 In Household budget survey 2008 totally 4.0 thsd households were surveyed.