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24 Jun, 2008 06:09

Russians feel poor… but lazy

Russians feel poor… but lazy

Despite the current economic growth many Russians are convinced most of their fellow citizens live in poverty, according to a survey conducted by Russia’s Public Opinion Fund, and many say laziness is to blame.

While 39% of those questioned considered themselves poor, at the same time almost 25% have never regarded themselves as poor, with the majority of respondents (56%) considering themselves to belong to the average revenue group.

Most surveyed (71%) believe people from their neighbourhood have virtually the same income, whereas 15% notice only rich people around them.

Only 2% of Russians consider themselves rich. Although the number of rich people in Russia is indeed insignificant, the survey says it is not customary in Russia to call yourself rich and that the actual amount of well-off might be slightly higher.

When asked about the country as whole, 58% said more than half of Russians live in poverty and 8% think more than 80% of the population is poor.

Russians also believe that compared to the Soviet times the percentage of poor people has increased (68%). Only 7% say that in the course of 15 years the number of poor people has fallen.

Four years ago the government pledged to cut poverty in the country. As the survey shows, most people (80%) don’t believe that much progress has been made in this regard, with only 8% saying this aim has been reached.

Among the main reasons for poverty, people blame low salaries but also laziness and unwillingness to work. Alcohol and drug addiction are also obstacles to personal prosperity.

However, the general trend is that respondents mainly blame the state, as well as social and historical conditions for their poverty.