Surveys

International surveys in foreign countries

European Social Survey (ESS), including Russia (2016-2017)

The large-scale European Social Survey “Attitudes of Russians and Europeans toward the social welfare system” was conducted in 2016-2017 (wave 8 of the ESS) in 23 European countries. Public opinion on existing social policies and social support and the need to change them was studied.

According to the study, Russia (73%) was in second place in Europe after Lithuania (80%) in the share of citizens supporting the introduction of basic income. At the same time, Russian young people are more ready for the innovations (more than 75%) than older respondents (70%).

In Russia, citizens’ opinions on the basic income were distributed as follows:

  • strongly in favor – 13%;
  • for – 60%;
  • against – 20%;
  • strongly against – 7%.

Next were the countries whose citizens supported the idea of introducing a basic income: 70% in Hungary, 65% in Slovenia and Israel, about 60% in Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Poland.

The least supporters of a basic income (33-38%) were in Norway, Switzerland and Sweden.

Russia was also in second place (45%) in Europe after the Republic of Lithuania (over 55%) in terms of citizens’ uncertainty that they will have enough money for everyday needs during the year. They are followed by Portugal (43%) and Italy (40%). Residents of Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland (up to 10%) are the least concerned about financial difficulties.

Surveys of citizens of the European Union

FEPS and Policy Solutions survey (2019)

The FEPS European Progressive Research Foundation and Policy Solutions, a progressive policy research institute, conducted a joint survey in August 2019 entitled “what is the European dream?” (“WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN DREAM?”). The survey was conducted in 14 of Europe’s most populous countries: Belgium, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The sample in each country was 1,000 people, meaning a total of 14,000 people were surveyed in the European Union.

One section of the

focuses on basic income.

Forty-six percent of those surveyed were in favor of basic income, and 29% were against it. Neutrality towards it was maintained by 21% of respondents, and 4% were unable to decide on the answer.

The opinion of Europeans concerning the basic income by country is presented in the table.

Table. Europeans’ opinion on basic income by country (FEPS data, 2019).

№  Country Pro UBI, % Against UBI, % Neutral or difficult to answer, %
1 Germany 62 17 21
2 Sweden 53 27 20
3 Belgium 52 22 27
4 Hungary 51 29 20
5 UK 50 27 24
6 Greece 50 23 26
7 Spain 48 28 25
8 France 45 32 23
9 Netherlands 44 28 28
10 Italy 44 29 28
11 Poland 39 43 19
12 Czech Republic 37 38 26
13 Romania 36 41 23
14 Portugal 35 44 20

Research by Dalia Research (2016)

In 2016, a large-scale study was conducted in the European Union by the German center Dalia Research. The sample consisted of 10,000 people from 500 cities in all 28 EU countries.

At the time of the survey almost 60% of Europeans knew about the concept of basic income, but only a quarter of citizens (23%) fully understood all aspects of this term, believing that the basic income is received by everyone without any conditions, replaces all other social payments, and its amount covers all basic needs (food, housing, etc.).

The introduction of a basic income was supported by 64% of the respondents, while 24% were against it.

The top 5 countries supporting the introduction of a basic income in the EU:

  1. Spain (71%);
  2. Italy (69%)%
  3. Germany and Poland (63% each);
  4. United Kingdom (62%);
  5. France (58%).

Europeans cited the following arguments in favor of basic income:

  • reduced anxiety about lack of money;
  • reduced inequality and increased opportunities for the population;
  • increased independence and responsibility.

Arguments against an unconditional basic income included:

  • people would stop working;
  • risk of an influx of migrants;
  • difficulties with financing.

We need to provide targeted assistance to those who are in dire need of it.
Regarding the question of how an unconditional basic income would affect the choice of employment, the answers were as follows:

  • base income would have no effect on work – 34%;
  • would spend more time with family – 15%;
  • would study to acquire new skills 10% of respondents;
  • only 4% of Europeans would give up their jobs.

Dalia Research (2017)

In 2017, the German center Dalia Research conducted an even larger study in the European Union. The sample was 11,000 people from all 28 EU countries.

This time the idea of a referendum on the introduction of a basic income was supported by 68% of respondents (in 2016 – 64%). At the same time, 33% of respondents were in favor of introducing a basic income “as soon as possible. The number of opponents of a basic income was unchanged from the previous survey at 24%.

Top 5 countries that supported a basic income: Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Poland.

When asked, “What is the most likely effect a basic income would have on your choice of work?” – the following answers were given:

  • base income would have no effect on job choice – 37%;
  • would spend more time with their family – 17%;
  • 7% would do volunteer work;
  • 7% of respondents would be able to acquire new skills;
  • change their job 5%;
  • If they would switch to freelance work 4% would do so;
  • only 3% of Europeans would give up their jobs.

Arguments in favor of basic income were as follows:

  • reduced anxiety about not having enough money – 55%;
  • reduction of inequality – over 40%;
  • encouragement of financial independence and increased responsibility for oneself – almost 40%;
  • more enjoyable activities would be volunteering and housework – almost 40%;
  • an increase in solidarity – over 30%;
  • reduction in bureaucracy and administrative costs – 25%.

Among the arguments against unconditional basic income were:

  • the motivation to work would disappear – 52%;
  • we should expect an influx of migrants – 32%;
  • difficulties with financing;
  • it is necessary to provide targeted assistance to those who are in dire need of it.

Institute of Policy Studies, University of Bath, UK (2017)

In August 2017, a survey of 1,100 British adults was conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies at the University of Bath.

Half (49%) were in favor of a universal basic income, while a quarter (26%) were against it.

Additional questions asked had this effect on citizens’ changing opinion:

1) If the introduction of a basic income meant an increase in taxes, 30% were FOR and 40% were against;

2) If the introduction of a basic income meant a reduction in social security spending, 37% were in favor, and 3% were against;

3) If it meant both (raising taxes and cutting Social Security funding), 22% were FOR and 47% were against.

Europe regarding basic income in 2016 found out the University of the Basque Country (Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea). More than 3 thousand people took part in the survey.

Survey of the University of the Basque Country (2016)

The opinion of European citizens regarding basic income in 2016 was found out by the University of the Basque Country (Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea). More than 3 thousand people took part in the survey, including almost 1.5 thousand students and almost as many working Europeans. Almost 55% of respondents were in favor of unconditional basic income. Only 3.5% of Europeans said they would quit their jobs if they had a basic income.

Survey by the Catalan organization GESOP (2015)

One of the earliest studies regarding basic income is a survey by the Catalan organization GESOP. The survey was conducted in 2015 in Catalonia with a sample of 1,600 people.

72% of those surveyed were in favor of basic income and 20.1% were against it. The maximum number of supporters of basic income was in the younger age group (16 to 29 years) – 76.4%, and the maximum number of opponents – in the next age group (30 to 44 years) – 23.7%

At the same time, 2.9% of respondents were prepared to give up their jobs after the introduction of a basic income.

Surveys of British residents

YouGov poll (2020)

In April 2020, the results of the YouGov poll were released.

More than half, 51%, were in favor of a universal basic income. Twenty-four percent were against it, and 9% were undecided.

Conservative supporters were significantly more opposed (37%), while only 39% of voters were in favor of a basic income.

Surveys of U.S. citizens

University of Chicago Youth Survey (2020)

On February 7-20, 2020, the University of Chicago conducted an online survey as part of the GenForward Survey Project. The sample was 3,257 people between the ages of 18 and 36.

A majority of those surveyed (51%) expressed support for a base income of $1,000 per month, paid out of federal funds. Such payments were mandated by Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s program.

Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they were unsure of their ability to cover the $1,000 contingency and had concerns about it. Only 30% of those surveyed are confident they are not worried about such unexpected expenses.

Economic Security Organization Survey (2016)

The sample in the Economic Security Organization survey was 500 U.S. citizens. Forty-six percent of respondents were in favor of introducing a basic income, assuming it would be between $500 and $2,000 per month. Thirty-five percent were opposed, while 19% were undecided.

The peculiarity of the survey was that the respondents were first asked general questions, after which the organizers gave the following additional details

1) the amount of base income would range from $500 to $2,000 per month;

2) Basic income would be paid regardless of employment, and it could be managed at one’s discretion;

3) The source of funding for basic income would be taxes paid by citizens.

Such clarifications led to an increase in the number of opponents of basic income.

The survey showed that 73% of those surveyed were not familiar with the idea of basic income and were encountering it for the first time. Only 12% of those surveyed were informed.

Those surveyed most liked the name of the basic income concept: “social guarantees for all. The term “universal income” caused the greatest dislike.

Among the arguments against unconditional basic income the most popular were:

  • the encouragement of laziness and idleness;
  • the utopian nature of the idea;
  • insufficiency of the amount of taxes levied to carry out such a project.

Surveys in the Russian Federation

SuperJob polls

Poll September 11, 2020

On September 11, 2020, the Research Center of the Superjob.ru portal published the results of a survey on attitudes toward the idea of basic income, conducted in 340 localities in all districts of the Russian Federation. The sample consisted of 1,600 economically active people over the age of 18. The timing of the survey: September 9-10, 2020.

The service Superjob found that 68% of Russians approve of the introduction of basic income in the country.

Strangely enough, men speak out in favor of basic income more often than women (70% and 65% respectively). The poll also shows that people who are not low-income also support the basic income, as 74% of Russians with monthly incomes of over 80,000 rubles responded positively.

Eight percent of respondents who voted against basic income cited the following reasons:

  • “It is better to reduce taxes and utility payments.”
  • “The able-bodied should earn their own money.”
  • “Pensions should be dealt with first: the elderly do not live, but survive.”
  • “I don’t want the taxes I pay to be used to feed slackers.”

24% of those who found it difficult to answer cited the following arguments:

“It is better to have inequality eradicated” and “The rich don’t need payments.

As for the amount of base income per adult per month, the following opinions were expressed:

  • Up to 10 thousand rubles – 9%;
  • 1 minimum wage in the region (in the country as a whole in 2020 – about 12 thousand rubles) – 5%;
  • 10-20 thousand rubles – 32%;
  • 20-30 thousand rubles – 25%;
  • 2-3 minimum wage for the region (in 2020 – approximately 24-36 thousand rubles) – 1%;
  • 30-40 thousand rubles – 12%;
  • 40-50 thousand rubles – 9%;
  • over 50,000 rubles – 6%;
  • average salary in the region – 1%.

On average, the desired amount of basic income was 28.5 thousand rubles.

Survey of June 2, 2020

On June 2, 2020, the Research Center of the Superjob.ru portal published the results of a survey on attitudes toward the idea of basic income conducted in 349 localities in all districts of the Russian Federation. The sample consisted of 1,600 economically active people over the age of 18.

The Superjob service found that 67% of Russians approve of the introduction of basic income in the country.

Opinions of men and women regarding the basic income coincide: 68% of men and 66% of women speak in favor of its introduction in Russia. The survey also showed that people who are not low-income also support the basic income, as 66% of Russians with monthly incomes of over 80 thousand rubles responded positively.

5% of respondents who voted against a basic income, and 28% of those who found it difficult to answer, cited the following arguments:

  • “Our people will stop working.”
  • “Help should be targeted: children, the disabled, pensioners.”

It is curious that most of those who were undecided (32%) were in the category of people with the least income – up to 30 thousand rubles per month.

Regarding the amount of basic income per adult per month, opinions were expressed:

  • up to 10 thousand rubles – 6%;
  • 1 minimum wage in the region (in the country as a whole in 2020 – about 12 thousand rubles) – 11%;
  • 10-20 thousand rubles – 40%;
  • 20-30 thousand rubles – 25%;
  • 2-3 minimum wage for the region (in 2020 – approximately 24-36 thousand rubles) – 2%;
  • 30-40 thousand rubles – 5%;
  • 40-50 thousand rubles – 6%;
  • over 50,000 rubles – 4%;
  • average salary in the region – 1%.

On average, the desired amount of basic income was 25 thousand rubles.

Survey of February 2, 2016

February 2, 2016 the Research Center of the portal Superjob.ru published the results of a survey conducted the day before, entitled as follows: “Why Russia is not Switzerland – every fifth economically active Russian is ready not to work for money.” The sample consisted of 1,600 economically active people over the age of 18. The survey was conducted in 249 locations in all districts of the Russian Federation.

To the question: “If you had the opportunity to receive a salary and not go to work, would you be able to give up the pleasure of going to work? – the following answers were received:

  • No, work is not just about money – 67%;
  • Yes, I would gladly stay at home – 23%;
  • Difficult to answer – 10%.

The opinions of men and women in this respect coincide: 67% of representatives of both sexes spoke in favor of work, while 24% of women and 23% of men would prefer to stay at home. The maximum number of those who would like to work is observed in the older age category (over 45 years of age) – 72%, while the largest number of homebodies was among young people (24-35 years of age) – 27%.

Respondents who wanted to quit their jobs gave the following reasons:

  • opportunity to devote time to favorite activities and hobbies;
  • desire to spend more time with family and children;
  • the desire to volunteer.

Those who wished to continue working cited the following reasons

  • work brings pleasure and moral satisfaction;
  • work gives an opportunity to develop, self-improve and self-organize;
  • the need to communicate with people and gain life experience;
  • “if you get bored, you can get drunk…”.

Comparative analysis of similar surveys for the period from 2007 to 2016 is shown in the table.

Table. Results of Superjob.ru surveys regarding the desire to work while earning a basic income (2007-2016)

Answer November 2007 October 2008 March 2010 February 2014 November 2015 February 2016
No, work is not just about money 67% 66% 63% 52% 67% 67%
Yes, I would love to stay home 25% 25% 27% 38% 27% 23%
Hard to answer 8% 9% 10% 10% 12% 10%

Otkritie Bank survey (2020)

On June 13-15, 2020 Otkritie Bank conducted a survey on introduction of basic income in Russian cities with population over 100 thousand people. The sample was 1,000 people aged 18-60 with an average income of 30 to 60 thousand rubles per month.

75% of respondents were “For”, that is, three out of four Russians supported the introduction of a basic income. Only 13% of Russians were “against”, that is, one in 10 people.

The top 3 regions supporting the introduction of a basic income in the Russian Federation:

  1. Southern Federal District – 86% “For.”
  2. North Caucasian Federal District – 79% “For”;
  3. Far Eastern Federal District – 77% “For”.

The top 3 regions by the number of opponents of basic income in the Russian Federation:

  1. Siberian Federal District – 20% “Against.”
  2. Central Federal District – 19% “Against”;
  3. Moscow and Moscow oblast – 18% “Against”.

The Far East was the least opposed to basic income – only 6%.

Russians gave the following arguments in favor of a basic income:

  • solving the problem of poverty – 43% of respondents across the country, 50% of residents of the Far East;
  • the opportunity to do what one likes and feels like doing, rather than what the market demands – 37% of respondents;
  • reduction of inequality in society – 34% of Russians;
  • reduction of the crime rate – 34% of the respondents;
  • gaining confidence in the future, an increase in the birth rate, and a decrease in suicide rates.

The arguments against unconditional basic income included:

  • too much government spending – 19% of Far East residents;
  • decreased incentive to work – 15% of the respondents;
  • possible influx of migrants – 19% of Russians;
  • “the rich will become even richer.”

Russians had different opinions regarding the amount of basic income:

  • at the level of the established official living wage (in 2020 – about 12 thousand rubles) – 30% of respondents across the country and 27% of Far East residents;
  • within 10-20 thousand rubles per month – 13% of the Far East residents;
  • 20-30 thousand rubles – 35% of Russians;
  • 30-40 thousand rubles – 17% of Russians;
  • over 40 thousand rubles a month – 8% of Russians.

The vast majority of Russians gave their votes for the basic income in the range of 20-30 thousand rubles a month.

Another relevant question about whether people will continue to work in the case of an unconditional basic income showed:

76% of respondents nationwide and 81% of residents of the Far East will continue;

Change jobs to do what they like – 27% of Russians and 23% of Far East residents;

Quit their jobs – 2% of respondents.

ResearchMe survey (2018)

In 2018, ResearchMe conducted a survey regarding unconditional basic income on the social networking site VKontakte. The sample was 5,064 people aged 18 and older.

How much is needed?

Regarding the desired amount of basic income, the answers were distributed as follows:

  • 10-15 thousand rubles – 7%;
  • 15-25 thousand rubles – 9%;
  • 25-40 thousand rubles – 19%;
  • 40-50 thousand rubles – 18%;
  • 50-75 thousand rubles – 16%;
  • 75-100 thousand rubles – 12%;
  • 100-150 thousand rubles – 9%;
  • over 150 thousand rubles – 10%.

Researchers have found a correlation between the level of education of respondents and the amount of money they name:

  • people with general secondary education more often than others chose the amount of 10-15 thousand rubles (15% compared with the average value of 7%);
  • those with two or more higher educations more often preferred a base income of more than 150 thousand rubles (32% compared with the average of 10%).

What should we spend it on?

Respondents also responded that they would spend their basic income on the following:

  • on food – 51%;
  • clothing – 46%;
  • education – 28%;
  • vacations – 26%;
  • for rent – 21%;
  • for the purchase of household appliances – 20%.

At the same time, women tend to spend more than men on food (54% and 48%, respectively) and education (31% and 28%, respectively). Men, in turn, would spend more than women on purchasing appliances (25% and 16%, respectively) and gasoline or paying for transportation in the city (18% and 14%, respectively).

Villagers would spend the most on educational expenses (40%).

Respondents with two or more higher education degrees preferred to spend most on charity (16%), entertainment (20%), and even buying cryptocurrencies (9%).

Will we work?

When asked if they would continue working if they had a basic income, people answered:

  • No, wouldn’t quit – 52%;
  • Would rather quit – 10%;
  • Difficult to answer – 38%.

At the same time, the greatest number of those who wanted to work was among those who had two or more higher educations – 59%. Older respondents were more inclined to quit their jobs – 15%.

What will we do?

If our basic income covers all our needs and we do not have to work, what will we do with the time that has become available? This was the question respondents were asked in the conclusion. The Russians preferred:

  • travel – 46%;
  • to be creative – 34%;
  • get an education and devote time to self-development – 35%.

At the same time, women more than men aspire to be creative (40% and 30%, respectively) and would like to travel (49% and 42%, respectively).

HeadHunter survey (2018)

In February 2018, HeadHunter surveyed 5,000 Russians about basic income.

At the time of the survey, only 18% of respondents had a good understanding of the concept of basic income, 22% had a general idea, and 58% had heard about it for the first time.

Respondents expressed their attitude to the introduction of basic income as follows:

  • for – 62%;
  • against – 20%;
  • difficult to answer – 18%.

Among the arguments in favor of a basic income were:

  • reducing poverty-related crime – 50%;
  • reducing inequality and improving living standards – 47%;
  • quitting a job you don’t like would allow you to find a vocation and get an education – 45%;
  • will lead to economic growth by increasing the purchasing power of the population – 44%;
  • The cost of maintaining officials will be reduced – 22%;
  • increase the number of volunteers and people engaged in charity – 9%.

The following were listed as negative consequences of a basic income:

  • people would stop working – 56%;
  • the influx of migrants will increase – 48%;
  • there is no money for it – 44%;
  • better targeted assistance – 31%;
  • inflation would increase – 31%.

In terms of attitudes toward labor in earning a basic income, the answers were as follows:

  • will quit my job – 3%;
  • it won’t have any effect – 13%;
  • think about changing professions – 13%;
  • I will have an easier attitude to my work and worry less – 18%;
  • I will engage in education and development – 51%.
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Universal Basic Income: pros and cons, countries with UBI