Every two years, Rosstat conducts a large nationwide household survey that covers widely living conditions, incomes, housing and health. The results of the latest survey, conducted in autumn 2018, were released at the end of March. The survey includes responses from 60,000 households across Russia.
The survey indicates economic hardship has diminished slightly for most households. In autumn 2018, half of responding households said they had sufficient assets to afford a one-week vacation away from home, up from 43 % of respondents two years ago. Two-thirds of households reported that they could afford at least two pairs of shoes for every family member each year, up from half of respondents in 2016.
Only slight inroads have been made in reducing extreme poverty, with 15 % of respondents reporting struggles to meet necessary expenses. Confirming this are Rosstat’s latest income data, which show that 13 % of the population (19 million people) last year got by on incomes below the official subsistence minimum. Despite economic growth and hikes in minimum wages, however, the share of the population living in poverty has remained unchanged in the last few years. The survey questions also touched on problems related to living in neighbourhoods and districts. The most frequent sources of dissatisfaction were the poor quality of the road system and traffic safety. Lack of access to services or their poor quality was clearly less of an issue for the respondents.