Kyiv, Ukraine—A nationwide poll of Ukraine by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research indicates a gradual increase in economic optimism and continued improvements in the local outlook, even as challenges such as concerns over nationwide corruption remain high. This is the fourth annual nationwide municipal survey by IRI, drawing from a sample of more than 19,000 residents of 24 cities across Ukraine, including Mariupol and Severodonetsk in the Donbas region.  

“As the fourth ‘megapoll’ in our series, this data demonstrates a clear trend of optimism in Ukraine’s cities, both on the economic front and within the cities themselves,” said IRI Regional Director Stephen Nix. “This demonstrates that commitment to reforms such as decentralization are having a positive impact on the country, and represent an important development in Ukraine’s democratic journey.”

Twenty-three out of 24 cities believe that the economic situation in Ukraine has improved over the past 12 months. Additionally, in all 24 cities surveyed, citizens reported improvements in the economic situation of their households.

Whereas a clear majority of citizens feel that Ukraine as a country is headed in the wrong direction, rates of satisfaction with local government are far higher. For example, in the city of Vinnytsia, 65 percent of respondents say that their city is headed in the right direction, while 57 percent believe that Ukraine is going in the wrong direction.

Corruption remains a key issue for Ukrainian citizens, who singled out medical and educational institutions as particularly problematic. An average of 12 percent of respondents report paying bribes to educational institutions in the past two years, while an average of 27 percent have paid bribes to medical institutions in the past two years. The poll also indicates that support for European integration remains strong, with a majority of citizens in 17 out of 24 cities expressing support for Ukraine joining the European Union.


The survey was conducted by Rating Group Ukraine on behalf of the Center for Insights in Survey Research. The data was collected in 24 cities in Ukraine (Kyiv and all oblast centers, as well as in Mariupol and Severodonetsk in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts) between 20 January and 10 February, 2018 through face-to-face interviews at the respondents’ homes.

The sample consisted of 19,200 permanent residents of Ukraine aged 18 and older and is representative of the general population of the cities and by age and gender. IRI’s first municipal survey was conducted in 22 cities between March 2 and 20, 2015. The sample size consisted of 17,600 respondents. The second municipal survey was conducted in 24 cities from January 20 to February 8, 2016, in which 19,200 respondents were interviewed. The third survey was conducted between January 20 and February 12, 2017 and included a sample size of 19,200 respondents.

The margin of error for each city does not exceed plus or minus 3.5 percent. The average response rate is 64.8 percent. This survey was funded by the National Endowment for Democracy. The previous three surveys were funded by the Government of Canada.

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