Poverty still seen as main problem in Russia - poll

Poverty, inflation, corruption and housing shortages are still the main headaches for Russians but migrant labor, which wasn't on their list of typical worries eight years ago, has since become a serious national problem in their view.

Poverty, inflation, corruption and housing shortages are still the main headaches for Russians but migrant labor, which wasn't on their list of typical worries eight years ago, has since become a serious national problem in their view.

More people see ethnic relations as Russia's main problem than in 2005. About one quarter of the population believes Russia needs much stronger government - about one sixth felt that way eight years ago, according to the findings of a survey made by the Romir opinion studies group in September.

As in 2005, poverty is the Russians' main concern - 60 percent of those questioned in the 2013 poll named it as the country's number one problem. And as eight years ago, inflation comes second (59 percent), Romir told Interfax on Wednesday.

Unemployment, drug abuse and growing crime are no longer among the Russians' top five concerns, as they were in 2005. They have been ousted by corruption and housing shortages, according to what 40 percent and 37 percent of respondents in September's poll said respectively.

Unemployment was named as the country's chief problem by 36 percent of respondents in last month's poll compared with 41 percent in the 2005 survey. Another 36 percent of those questioned in September saw drug abuse as the country's top problem - 31 percent did in the 2005 survey.

A larger proportion of Russians believe the alleged weakness of government is the country's main problem - such was the view of 26 percent of respondents in September's poll compared with 18 percent in the 2005 one.

In 2005, respondents weren't asked about migrant labor but the latter was named as the country's main problem by 19 percent of those questioned last month.

Ethnic relations were the main problem in the eyes of 12 percent of respondents in September's poll compared with 3 percent in 2005.

The percentages make up more than 100 percent as respondents could pick more than one answer.

Romir questioned 1,500 people, ages 18 to 60 in all of Russia's federal districts.

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