A majority of Russians believe that conditions in their country make it hard to plan for the long-term future, according to a state-funded survey published on Tuesday.
Russians have been affected by five years of Western sanctions and dropping oil prices, with real incomes shrinking and almost 21 million people in the country living below the poverty line. The country’s economic backslide has coincided with President Vladimir Putin’s slipping popularity ratings since he was reelected by an overwhelming majority last year.
Sixty-two percent of respondents said “the situation in our country is not favorable for planning for the future,” the state-run FOM polling agency said. Another 28% held a positive view of long-term planning, while 11% had no answer.
The portion of respondents who had a pessimistic view pointed to instability (20%), low wages and living standards (12%) as well as rising prices (10%) as the primary force behind their thinking.
Overall, respondents were more likely to say that Russia will become less safe, socially protected, educated and trusting over the next 20 years than they were to say the opposite.
The economy was the only exception, with 25% of Russian respondents expecting it to get better in 20 years versus 22% who expected it to get worse.
Almost a quarter of respondents said they try not to plan ahead. Among those who make plans for the future, 41% of the respondents said they usually plan one year ahead, 18% plan several years in advance and 16% plan over 10 years ahead.
FOM conducted the survey among 1,500 respondents in 53 Russian regions on Aug. 11.