Family, good health & rewarding jobs: Russians reveal what makes them so happy

Over 80 percent of Russians describe themselves as happy people, according to a nationwide poll. When asked what made them happy, they named loving families, children and good work as major factors.

According to the survey results released by the state-run public opinion research center on Thursday, 83 percent of Russians currently think of themselves as happy. The proportion was even higher amongst people with large incomes (96 percent). Some 87 percent of people aged between 18 and 24 say they are happy.

Almost 90 percent of Russians say they are unwilling to participate in protests

However, the overall share of happy people amongst respondents is slightly lower when compared to 2017, when it was 84 percent. When researchers asked ‘happy’ respondents what made them so content, 30 percent said their families, 16 percent said it was good health, 14 percent a good job and 13 percent their children. Just seven percent of Russians who were unhappy with their lives blamed this fact on material problems.

The main drivers for happiness are health and family. This is fairly curious as from other sociological studies we know that Russians now drink and smoke less and also spend less time on their couches in front of TVs,” Director of the Center for Socio-Economic Research of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Oleg Chernozub, said in comments with RBC daily. “Now they spend more time with their children in parks and at stadiums, they read more and attend theaters and concerts.”

A separate poll conducted by the independent Russian sociological service, Levada, in mid-April, showed that 86 percent of Russians are reluctant to take part in street protests, and 75 percent of respondents said they did not expect others to demonstrate their discontent. Only eight percent of Russians told researchers that they were ready to protest – down from 13 percent in 2017.