Ukrainians Report Optimistic Outlook Despite Economic, Emotional Struggles

Despite bleak outlooks on their emotional and financial well-being, Ukrainians still remain optimistic about their future, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.

The pressures of war have been weighing heavily on Ukrainian citizens since Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. Many say they have been unable to afford necessities such as food and shelter, and many others report experiencing negative feelings, worry chief among them.

Living conditions in Ukraine have been challenging, with only about 38% of Ukrainians surveyed saying they are satisfied with their standard of living, and around 63% saying that living standards are getting worse.

Nearly 53% of the population surveyed said there were times in the last 12 months when they were unable to afford food for themselves or their families. About 48% of those polled said they were unable to afford shelter.

The hardships were felt most by Ukrainians who have not had more than a secondary education. This group had 20% more respondents who were unable to afford food, and 12% more who were unable to afford housing, compared to those with a higher education.

Emotional issues also remain at high levels, despite having stabilized since the end of last year.

The most frequently experienced negative emotion was worry, which was felt by more than half (53%) of respondents. Other common negative emotions were sadness (39%), stress (32%), and anger (22%).

Some of those surveyed did report positive emotions, with nearly half (48%) saying they either smiled or laughed the previous day, and 54% saying they felt enjoyment.

When asked how they would rate their lives on a scale from one to 10, with 10 being the best possible life, the average response was 4.7.

Despite this, most Ukrainians look forward to a better future. When asked to rate their expectations for their lives five years from now, the response increased to 7.7.

That optimism underscores the results of a previous Gallup poll, which found that most residents are committed to continuing the war effort until Russia is driven from Ukrainian territory.

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