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The results of the Caucasus Barometer 2017 have been released

The Caucasus Research Resource Center (CRRC)-Armenia Foundation has released the results of the latest-2017 wave of the Caucasus Barometer survey conducted in the South Caucasus countries since 2004. The questionnaire consists of more than 100 questions, enabling collection of thorough information on public opinion regarding socio-economic, demographic and political developments in the countries. Survey findings contain rich information on developments in the region.

In 2017, around 4027 households in Armenia and Georgia (1648 and 2379, respectively) were randomly selected and surveyed.

The results of the survey illustrate that 54 percent of respondents in Armenia and 36 percent in Georgia connect the prospects of political and economic development of the country with equally strong relations with both the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union. According to 50 percent of respondents in Armenia and 34 percent in Georgia, having equal relations with CSTO and NATO will contribute to the security of the country.  Twenty seven percent of respondents in Armenia rely on the CSTO only and the same share of respondents in Georgia - on NATO only. Interestingly, 13-20 percent of respondents in both countries refused to answer or found it difficult to answer the above-mentioned question commissioned by the RAND Corporation. In general, compared to the previous waves of the survey, in 2017, the share of respondents who were uncertain in their opinion regarding to the questions of political nature has notably increased.

Russia is perceived as the friendliest country to Armenia by 64 percent of respondents, compared to 74 percent in 2015 and 84 percent in 2013.

The survey shows that unemployment and poverty continue to be the most pressing issues facing the public both in Armenia and Georgia. Unemployment was the most important issue according to 36 percent of respondents in Armenia and 56 percent in Georgia, while the poverty was listed by 17 and 14 percent of respondents, respectively.

In the context of reducing trust towards public governance bodies, the trust towards the army and the church remains high. Specifically, in 2017, 77 percent of respondents in Armenia and 75 percent in Georgia fully or rather trust the army.

Some interesting findings brought the answers on Armenia specific questions asked to capture the recent developments in the country:

   - in response to a question about the April 2016 war, 87 percent of respondents shared the opinion that in the case of a national security threat, the entire society, Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora are consolidating. Moreover, 63% of the respondents believe that Armenia should rely solely on itself in solving the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. At the same time, the overwhelming majority, 77 percent, said it should be settled through negotiations.

- The actions of “Sasna Tsrer” group that seized the Patrol-Guard Service Regiment building in July 2016 were condemned by 16 percent of the respondents; 36 percent expressed support, and 28 percent said they neither condemn nor support.

- Speaking about the inflow of Syrian Armenians to Armenia, half of respondents believe that it contributes to Armenia's economic development and activation of the cultural life.

Despite the socio-economic hardship in the region, the average self-assessment of happiness in 2017 was 6.8 and 7.1 (out of 10) in Armenia and Georgia, respectively.

Adhering to its mission to facilitate the public policy debate via active research in social sciences, CRRC-Armenia assures availability of the complete database and supporting documents to all interested counterparts. The databases and respective documents are available at the Caucasus Barometer and the CRRC-Armenia websites.

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