Living standards slowly match those of the West
The 2007 Social Diagnosis study indicates Poland’s living standards are rapidly improving. According to Dziennik, the unemployment issue is being resolved, poverty is at a lower level and safety in Poland is better than it has ever been.
According to Dziennik, Poles are wealthier, happier, and more optimistic about the future. The fourth Social Diagnosis study about Poland’s standard of living has surprised everyone. Poland is now viewed as being half way between transformation and stabilization.The findings indicate that those living below the poverty line (earnings of less than 360 zloty per month) has fallen to 4.8 percent. This is three percent less than what the survey indicated two years ago.
Dziennik reports people most affected by poverty are those who are on a pension or unemployment benefits. It does not include retirees. The study also finds that there were more than twice the amount of households rising out of poverty than as falling into it. The unemployment problem has also been hugely eradicated. Despite the 12.5 percent unemployment rate, the analysts indicate the real figure is half that amount. Some 76 percent of Poles have indicated that they are content and are viewed as being happy.
It is the happiest Poles have been since the beginning of the Third Republic of Poland. Poles are happier with their financial situation, no longer fear loss of employment and are happy with the way the economy is developing. The improvement in their financial situation means that Poles can now afford more than the bare essentials. The sales of books, movie tickets, theater tickets, magazines and newspapers have all increased in the last two years. Break-ins and robberies have also fallen by 30 percent, increasing the general consensus that Poland is becoming a safer place to live.
Despite the positive findings by the study, there are also some downfalls. Poles are more likely to divorce than two years ago and maintaining contact with their children is also on the decline. Friendships are beginning to suffer due to lack of time and Poles are becoming increasingly more distrusting of strangers. All signs of a society developing along the lines of a Western model.