Economic Crisis Lowers Living Standard for 61% of Bulgarians

Society | March 17, 2010, Wednesday // 14:30|  views

The majority of the elderly people in Bulgaria are pessimistic about their living standards even after the crisis. File Photo

A large number of Bulgarians (61%) say their living standard has worsened in 2009, according to a poll conducted by the National Center for Study of Public Opinion (NZIOM).

From the 1 214 respondents, only 5% stated they led a better life with most of them being college graduates and Sofia residents. The most hardships are faced by people 50 to 59 years of age, unemployed, living in villages or without education degrees, with 70% of them pointing out their living standard has worsened.

The negative changes affect all social sectors with the majority of those polled saying that previous fears about the crisis are already a reality for them. NZIOM data from one year ago showed people feared mostly about becoming unable to pay their household bills (57%) while in March 2010, 56% responded they have real problems in paying those bills. Last year 51% were afraid they would not be able to afford basic goods while 55% now say they limit their purchases of such goods.

Temporary unemployment worried 38% last year while a permanent one - 36%. Currently 13% are temporarily unemployed (mainly people between 30 and 39 years of age) while 16% are permanently unemployed (youngest people and people near retirement age).

One year ago, 22% feared that in the conditions of a crisis they would not be able to make regular loan payments while now one of every 5 Bulgarians faces the problem in reality with the most difficulties endured by people between 30 and 59 years of age, blue collar workers and those employed in the private sector.

One third of all respondents are optimistic about the next few years. They are mainly young people, under 39, living in smaller towns, and unemployed. Experts say their optimism is not based on hopes for a real improvement of their living standard, but on the trend to stabilize their continuous impoverishment.

One of every 4 Bulgarians expects for the situation to worsen with the majority being represented by the elderly and by one third of those employed in the private sector.

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Tags: NZIOM, living standard, economic crisis


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