¾ of the Bulgarians give minimalist definitions to the term “Quality of life”
In our mass perception today the “quality of life” is confused with the standard of living that is associated mainly with fortune. This show the results of a national representative survey ordered by “Quality of Life” association, conducted by NCIOM at the end of September 2011.
The Association, established on 3rd of August this year from native business representatives, started its work with conduction of a national survey "Public perceptions about quality of life in our country".
Survey results show that that over three quarters of the interviewed Bulgarians have minimalist perceptions about "quality of life", such as: to have enough money to live, to have access to high quality health services, to be able to cover household expenses, to have enough clothes for all seasons, to eat good food, to have a car, to have basic electrical home appliances, etc.
Interesting are the results concerning the 14 indicators divided into three main groups – "To have," "To love" and "To be", that reflect the understanding of Bulgarian people about status, achievements and success of individuals and society. The most diverse answers are in the group "to be." Results show that those who say they have successful careers and actively participate in the activities of various associations and organizations, feel useful and acknowledged. This applies especially to highly educated, affluent and labor active Bulgarians. When it comes to professional development and career, the results suggest that one of the conditions for successful professional growth and a good career is to live in Sofia or in the big cities. Higher education is also a foundation of good career - 61% of university graduates interviewed consider their careers successful.
The need to be useful to others is declared mostly by people living in small towns, work active, higher educated, and by those at the age between 40 and 49 years.
Positive self-esteem is registered most often with indicators that measure the partnership and friendship relations (in the group "To love"). 90% of the interviewed indicate that they have friendly relations with their neighbors, 77% say they frequently communicate with their children, and 70% - that they have a good relationship with their partner. The survey registered significant differences in public judgments about the indicators from the group "to have". It's about access to good education and knowledge, interesting work and good relaxation, and the availability of property and money. Most often people claim to have good housing - 80% of all interviewed. Most rarely is registered satisfaction with good job and time for rest, and nearly 64% of the interviewed indicated that their education is good.
An important aspect of the survey is the fact that almost half of the interviewed say their quality of life has reduced over the past year. 21% declare their quality of life retains good - most often these are university graduates, people between the ages of 18 and 29 years, people livingng in the big cities and the capital, as well as the wealthy Bulgarians. Only 6% of the interviewed (mainly people aged between 30 and 39, graduates with incomes above 400 lv. per household member) think that their quality of life has improved over the last year.
“We started this project with the idea to understand where we are in terms of our national understanding of quality of life. The survey shows that the general perception now is determined largely by the effects of the crisis. The mass equivalence of “quality of life” with the “standard of living” is a symptom that we have a lot to work for and that the establishment of our association was quite on time. We want to achieve conscious assessment among people about the quality of their lives and ambition to achieve better and more complete one. We will also try to reach a maximum range of individuals and organizations and attract associates among business, NGOs, institutions and people. And I hope thanks to our work, the next study will show another public picture. Although at this stage it sounds a bit abstract, the quality of life is extremely important indicator of maturation and development of a society, because it puts things in context, explains the interconnection of various social processes and, ultimately, increase rigor, expectations and activity, as well as the degree of responsibility for the general well-being of each of us "- said Lyuben Stanev, Chairman of the Association" Quality of Life. "
Association "Quality of Life" will work actively to increase the personal satisfaction of the Bulgarians from their own lifestyle and to ensure their full human development, and opportunities for fulfillment and personal happiness. Most short-term steps in its activities relate to several public events. The Association plans a workshop in February 2012, in which companies and organizations related to their activity will present their best practices in direction of providing high quality life. Next is a round table for a public discussion about the quality of life of Bulgarians and the steps for its improvement.