Poll Finds Kazakhstan Citizens Feel Good About Their Country
The results of a survey conducted by U.K. Market research company Ipsos MORI offers some insight into how the citizens of Kazakhstan feel about their rapidly changing country.
The researchers contacted a sample of 1,000 adults aged 18 and older and followed gender, age and location quotas in trying to achieve a representative sample. The 10-question survey compared answers from a similar 2013 study.
“Respondents display an increasingly positive attitude towards their country across the board, demonstrating growing support and consensus for the general direction of their government’s policies,” the researchers found. The vast majority, 90 percent of respondents, feel fairly positive or very positive about their country, they said, a 4 percentage point increase on 2013. Seven percent reported feeling neither positive nor negative, a drop from 2013’s 11 percent. Just 1 percent of respondents reported feeling fairly negative or very negative.”
The young generation was more likely to take a rosy view of things, with 95 percent of respondents under 24 – who grew up knowing only an independent Kazakhstan – saying they felt fairly positive or very positive. Kazakhstan’s northernmost region was the most cheerful: 97 percent registered feeling fairly positive or very positive, compared to 83 percent in Astana and 88 to 91 percent in other regions.
Perceptions of the country’s economy saw a 5 percent boost: 75 percent of participants reported feeling fairly positive or very positive about Kazakhstan’s economic outlook, and just 5 percent of the sample group said they felt fairly negative or very negative about the economy.
Two percent more people this year rated Kazakhstan as an improving place to live (83 percent saying it’s a little better or a lot better) while two percent fewer (3 percent) say things have gotten a little worse or a lot worse over the last 10 years. Forty percent of respondents say life has gotten a lot better, a big jump from 2013’s 26 percent.
Respondents were asked to rate road and transport infrastructure, prices of everyday goods, education, policing, overall quality of life, healthcare, the justice system, the respondent’s own standard of living, identifying and eliminating corruption, opportunities for individual social progress and job opportunities in Kazakhstan. They reported being only fairly satisfied with these aspects. Only 15 to 32 percent reported being satisfied or very satisfied, while 5 to 16 percent are unsatisfied or very unsatisfied. However, satisfied or very satisfied results went up on all selected aspects by 6 to 15 percent compared to 2013.
Respondents chose the same five positive terms from a group of 17 as last year: hospitable, stable, peaceful, improving and successful.
Respondents also noted work yet to be done: 88 percent of respondents support or strongly support actively combating corruption to help to raise Kazakhstan’s international profile. (The new Anti-Corruption Strategy announced by President Nursultan Nazarbayev was adopted by the Nur Otan party on Nov. 11.)
Respondents supported actively combating social inequality (87 percent), contributing more to combating environmental problems (85 percent) and participating in international trade (84 percent). They do feel secure, however: 67 to 87 percent of respondents said Kazakhstan deals very well and fairly well with food, water, energy and nuclear security.
Respondents were less enthusiastic about stepping outside the country: 15 percent tend to oppose or strongly oppose contributing more to resolving international conflict; 62 percent believe Kazakhstan should do more. Fifty-six percent have never heard or have heard, but know nothing about Kazakhstan’s candidacy for a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for 2017-18. Twelve percent know a great/fair amount about it.
However, after a decade that included chairing the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), 78 percent of respondents think that Kazakhstan’s global standing has improved and 41 percent say the country’s standing has greatly improved in recent years.
The survey results were made public last week by the Eurasian Council on Foreign Affairs, a new Brussels-based think focused on Central Asia’s relations with Europe.