The FINANCIAL -- As has been shown in several editions of this column, Georgians are generally unhappier with their lives than their regional neighbors, but are more hopeful for the future.
The FINANCIAL -- As has been shown in several editions of this column, Georgians are generally unhappier with their lives than their regional neighbors, but are more hopeful for the future. Students seem to be a unique sub-group within the country, however; actively studying students were the happiest with their personal lives, and the happiest with Georgia’s national direction.
This hopefulness directly contrasts students elsewhere, in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe, who were less likely than primary and secondary school grads to express content with their countries’ management.
As part of the EU’s European Neighborhood Policy Initiative, Georgian Opinion Research Business International and TNS Opinion worked as a consortium to survey the countries under the European Neighborhood Policy. Named the EU Neighborhood Barometer, it’s geared toward understanding the mindset of these countries’ populations, for the purpose of strengthening the bonds between the EU and its neighbors.
GORBI conducted the portion of the surveythat covered the ENPI East, which includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, and Belarus. When we compare them to their peers, Georgians seem far less happy with how things are going. 47% of ENPI east respondents were generally satisfied with their lives, but only 33% of Georgians were.
ENPI East Georgia
Total 47% 33%
15+ 64% 52%
25+ 50% 32%
40+ 43% 29%
55+ 39% 24%
Education (end of)
15- 41% 27%
15-19 44% 30%
20+ 48% 30%
Active Student 60% 57%
Age plays a part here, of course, as the youngest in the ENPI East are the most satisfied, and each successive age cohort is less so. The level of education of ex-students also has a small effect on satisfaction; 41% of those who did not complete secondary school were happy, and each extra period of education results in an increase in satisfaction. The same is not true for Georgians, however, as satisfaction rates are between 27% and 30% regardless of the last year of education.
One little point of hope for Georgians, though, is that actively attending school seems to close this life satisfaction gap nearly completely. 60% of ENPI East respondents and 57% of Georgian respondents who were still going to school said that they were fairly or very satisfied with their lives.
Georgians may not be ecstatic about their current situation, but they seem quite optimistic about their future, at least on a country-wide level. 44% of Georgians believe that things are “going in the right direction” in their country, while only 20% of the ENPI East said the same. These numbers flip for those who feel the country is on a bad track: 41% of the ENPI East think their countries are headed the wrong way, while only 20% of Georgians do.
ENPI East Georgia
Total 20% 44%
15+ 21% 47%
25+ 21% 46%
40+ 19% 44%
55+ 21% 42%
Education (end of)
15- 27% 37%
15-19 22% 41%
20+ 18% 47%
Student 20% 51%
National satisfaction is also linked with Georgian studentship: 37% of the least educated cohort is happy with Georgia’s direction, while each additional step of education increases this satisfaction.
While the leap from the educated to active students is not as striking as with personal satisfaction, the interesting thing here is how it contrasts students in the greater ENPI East. With those in the ENPI East, personal satisfaction increases with education regardless of country, but satisfaction with the country’s direction is negatively correlated with education. Georgians are quite the opposite: actively studying students are happier with their lives and the direction of their country than any other education cohort.
All these data have margins of error of around 3.5% with 95% confidence. Visit our website at gorbi.com for more articles.