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The emotional state of Ukrainians in times of coronavirus

24 April, 2020

Ukrainian youth is giving up and losing hope, the happiest in their personal lives are the peers of President Zelensky, village residents and senior citizens are more likely than others to be encouraged by state policy, and Ukrainian men are much more optimistic than women. These are the conclusions of the study regarding the emotional state of the Ukrainians made by Open Mind Foundation.

Method and Sampling

In the period from April 11 to April 17, 2020, OMF sociological group conducted a representative sample survey of residents of Ukraine. The sample size was 600 people. The general aggregate of the study was the population of Ukraine older than 18 years. The villagers and older people were interviewed via telephone interview method (CATI) and the rest of the population was interviewed using online questionnaires (CAWI). The research sampling was stochastic, stratified and multi-stage. Stratification was carried out on the grounds of the region of residence and the type of locality. The estimated sampling error is 4% with a confidence level of 95%.

The index of hope has moved down

The results have shown that in just five weeks of time, the emotional state of Ukrainians has changed radically. “The Index of Hope” in the country went down by 20 points. Today only 49.2% of Ukrainians live with hope for the future. Every third resident of the country has no certainty about tomorrow, that is 29.1% of respondents. Every fifth, 21.7% live in humiliation.

The emotional state of Ukrainians in April 2020

Savik Shuster Open Mind Foundation survey results

Survey dates: April 11-17, 2020

Sample size - 600 people

In the entire history of research (since 2016), our foundation has received value this low only once — an amazing coincidence: almost in the same state of being were the residents of 10 regions bordering Russia on November 28, 2018, on the day the President of Ukraine P. Poroshenko imposed the martial law. And 7 months after that survey, the emotional state of the residents has improved significantly. On the 19th of July 2019, before the parliamentary elections, the “index of hope” of the respondents from the same 10 regions was already 63%.

Emotional state of the residents of 10 regions, after imposing the Martial law

Savik Shuster Open Mind Foundation survey results

Survey dates: November 28, 2018

Sample size - 479 people

17 will rather cause the necessary anti-crisis measures, and not the despair. Moreover, the study shows the difference in the emotions between men and women, village and urban residents, young people and representatives of the older generation and can possibly help to find a solution for the existing situation for each specific cluster of the population.

In order to evaluate the changes that have occurred in the emotional state of Ukrainians in just a month time, we took the survey results from the Savik Shuster talk show´s audience — sociological data of the last 7 shows in 2020, from January 24 to March 6, before the quarantine was imposed.

Let us remind you, that 100 residents of Ukraine that represent the sociological model of the entire country´s population by gender, age, region of residence and the city, are invited to the studio of this most popular talk show.

It shows, that corona virus crisis has the biggest impact on the emotions of the young generation: 18-29 years old. At the beginning of the year they were the most optimistic cluster of the population.

Change in the emotional state of a young generation (18-29 y.o.)

Within the last five weeks, the index of hope of the young generation went 26 points down. The fears and feeling of humiliation almost doubled in the young generation. 37% of young people experience fear and humiliation due to events unfolding in the country. This is the case also for other generations. Exactly the same percentage, 37% of all Ukrainians experience fear and humiliation due to events unfolding in the country.

For comparison — 5 weeks ago, only 22.1% of Ukrainians blamed the events unfolding in the country for their severe emotional state.

The number of older people having confidence in the future has sharply decreased. The feeling of hope and confidence in one's future are closely interconnected. 61.6% of the senior generation (60 years old and older) live today in a state of fear and humiliation. Meaning that, on one positively-minded senior in Ukraine, there are two of his peers living with negative emotions.

Change in the emotional state of a senior generation (60+ y.o.)

At the same time, the reasons for hope among adults are almost equally divided: 17.3% of all Ukrainians over 60 years have confidence in tomorrow due to the situation in their personal lives. And 16%, and this is the highest indicator among all generations, have confidence in tomorrow because they see positive changes in the country.

The same can be observed with village residents - 17% of the villagers today have hope because of the positive changes that they see unfolding in the country. Residents of regional centers and other cities are much less optimistic in this regard - 10.5% and 8.5%, respectively.

The happiest in their personal lives during the corona virus pandemic is the demographic of the president. This is the generation between 30-44 years of age. Every third (36.3%) of the respondent in that cluster looks with hope into the future due to his personal life situation. Every tenth (9.7%) has hope and confidence in the future inspired by positive changes they see in the country and 9% live with confidence thanks to their work. For comparison, only every fourth (25.7) young Ukrainian (18-29 years old) and only every sixth (17.4%) of the older generation (60 years of age and older) have hope and confidence in the future due to their personal live situations.

Women feel more unhappy than men

Emotional state of men and women in Ukraine

Survey dates: April 11-17, 2020

Sample size - 600 people

54.2% of Ukrainian men and only 45.1% of women live with hope in the future. Among the reasons for hope in the first place is their personal life situation for 28% of men and 24, 7% of women. It is different when looking at the work situation: for 12% of men in Ukraine and only 5.7% of women, work is the main reason for having hope in the future.

Fear is the core threat to women in Ukraine. 36.1% of all Ukrainian women live in fear, that is, more than every third woman. Every fourth woman is concerned by the events unfolding in the country.

Humiliation is the main challenge for the Ukrainian men. Today, every fourth man feels humiliated by the current life condition.

Mass emotion dynamics among population of Ukraine (2016-2020)

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