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The surge of optimism in Ukraine with the world`s gradual loss of optimistic sentiment on the background
With some fluctuations, humanity gradually loses optimism. 37% of the population of the planet is hoping for a better off the upcoming year. A little less, 31% expect no change, and a quarter - 25% - remain pessimistic, believing it will become worse. Thus, the optimism index that is calculated by subtracting the number of pessimistic people from the number of optimistic people, was 12 pp in 2019, while in 2018 it averaged 13 pp. Whereas in Ukraine, compared to 2018, there was a significant increase in optimistic sentiment in 2019, and the index valued 25 pp. against 4pp. in 2018. In general, Ukraine took 15th place among 46 countries by the level of optimism of its inhabitants.
These are data from an international study conducted by Gallup International, the association of independent polling agencies. In Ukraine, the research has been conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) for the fifth year in a row.
The global End of Year Survey (EoY) is conducted annually by the Gallup International Association since 2019. In 2019, 45,000 respondents from 46 countries all over the world have taken part in the research. The researchers believe that these results can be extrapolated to all inhabitants of the Earth.
For the seventh consecutive year, respondents were asked the traditional question about their expectations for the upcoming year: "As for you personally, do you think 2020 will be better, worse, or the same as 2019?"
According to a 2019 survey, slightly over a third of people on the planet (37%) are hoping for a better life in the new year. A quarter (25%) remains pessimistic, believing it will get worse. Around one third (31%) do not expect any change. And only 7% have not answered. Thus, the index of optimism averaged 12 pp, which is below the results of all previous years since the beginning of the studies (since 2013), although slight fluctuations in the increase or decrease of this indicator were present. However, during this time, the index began to fall to 15-16 pp. after being substantially high for three years in a row until 2015, this may be partly due to increased participation in the study of countries with low levels of optimism.
In 2019, Ukraine ranked 15th in the international rating with an index of 25 pp. The neighbors of Ukraine in terms of optimism were Macedonia and Argentina (25 and 23 points, respectively). With this figure, given the backdrop of other countries, Ukraine, while not looking too optimistic, has risen sharply compared to the optimism index in 2018 (4 pp). The highest levels of optimism are observed among the people of countries such as Peru (highest score), Albania, Nigeria, Kazakhstan, and Armenia. In Peru, for example, only 8% of the population is pessimistic about the upcoming year.
The most pessimistic countries are Lebanon, Hong Kong, Jordan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Italy. For example, in Lebanon, only 5% expect the better off in the new year, and in Italy, it`s 11%.
In Ukraine, 42% hope for the better year to come, while 17% expect it to be worse. Many respondents, about a quarter (26%), believe that nothing will change. This is the highest level of optimism in 5 years of measurement, surpassing the value of an index in 2015 that was quite high.
The optimism of the Ukrainians is obviously connected with the election of a new President and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, a high level of expectations, and the hope that their personal life will change for the better. The level of optimism has increased significantly compared to the disappointments of 2016-2018 when the level of optimism dropped to 2 and 4 points.
If we compare the Ukrainians with the Russians, we look quite optimistic - 25 pp. against 2 pp. among the Russians. Although even this percentage looks like progress for Russia, as compared to last year this index has slightly increased from -3 pp. up to 2 pp. Moreover, it is interesting that from 2013 to 2015, the optimism index in Russia has been rising sharply from -9 pp. up to 32 pp. This can be seen as an indicator of how disparately people of different countries define the factors that lead to a better off. While in the case of Russia, the so-called “rising from kneeling” and the Crimean expansion could be obvious factors in such hopes, in the case of Ukraine such factors were the hopes for the results of the presidential election and changes in the political elite. Whereas for Russia, definitely, these factors were not significant. In Russia, the expectations clearly did not materialize and the index of optimism collapsed. Whether the expectations of the Ukrainians are justified is not clear yet.
And this is relevant not only for Ukraine but also for many other countries, i.e. Georgia and Azerbaijan. Or, say, Armenia, where this index is not only larger than in Ukraine but also fluctuates more rapidly. On the other hand, there are consistently low optimism indices in Germany, the United Kingdom, and France, and consistently very low in Italy. The gradual, not very rapid, but quite obvious increase of the indicated index was observed in the USA until last year - from 15pp. in 2015 (for the upcoming 2016) to 32 pp. for the past 2019, with a slight drop for the coming 2020 though - 21 pp.
What is also interesting, it is the map of correlation of the level of optimism with GDP per capita in different countries:
From the map above, it is obvious that the level of optimism is somehow related to the GDP per capita. Although, it is clear that neither high GDP guarantees an adequate level of optimism, nor low level of GDP determines the low level of optimism.
Although it is unlikely that optimism alone can solve these difficult problems, which humanity has managed to accumulate, without optimism it will be really challenging though. That is why this kind of research creates the ground for serious analytical work not only by sociologists and political scientists but also by politicians and statesmen
Додаток. Результати опитування по всіх країнах
The press release was prepared by Anatoly Pipych,