How incomes of Ukrainians changed during 25 years of independence?

Author : Oleksandr Okhrymenko

Source : 112 Ukraine

In the 25 years, incomes of Ukrainians have grown and the welfare has increased
15:48, 26 August 2016

Open source

25 years of Ukraine’s independence... It is time to compare how the Ukrainians lived in the USSR in 1990, when it seemed that the Soviet Union was eternal. But now everyone knows that nothing is eternal.

In 1990, a hundred Soviet families owned 19 cars, and one hundred Ukrainian Soviet families had 17 cars. According to the State Statistics Service, today, one hundred families have 23 cars. Another thing is that the cars are different. Previously, the most fashionable and coolest car brand was "Lada," and today owning “Lada” does not even mean having a car at all. The income and the preferences have changed. Ukrainians are used to import.

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In 1990, one hundred families had 20 motorcycles, and now this number reduced to two motorcycles. Fashion for motorcycles have passed. In 1990, one hundred families had 59 bicycles, and now there are 52 bikes for a hundred families. Ukrainians began to live a healthy lifestyle and follow the example of the Europeans.

Now, one hundred families have TVs 119, and in 1990 - only 107 TV sets, 49 of which were colorful. Nowadays, Ukrainian families have more refrigerators, not to mention computers and mobile phones, which previously did not exist. The number of sewing machines decreased. People have forgotten how to sew. In terms of consumption everything is changing. In the USSR, many Ukrainians sewed and knitted, not because they wanted to, but because it was impossible to buy the clothes in the store.

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According to official data of 1990, the median income for a Ukrainian Soviet family was 179 Soviet rubles, and for 2015 Ukrainian average family receives 5231 UAH. But how to compare them? If we take the official rate of the US dollar, it turns out that the average income was about 238 dollars in 1990, and 217 dollars in 2015. Although in 2013, the figure was 558 US dollars. Our revenue felt after Maidan and active reforms. In any case, the dollar equivalent is always debatable. We can compare the level of food consumption instead But this indicator is not that simple too. In 1990, the average citizen consumed 4.9 kg of meat and meat products, the same rate is in 2015. But then the meat was different. Soviet meat consisted of about 50% of bone and a piece of frozen beef (at best). Now Ukrainians eat poultry or pork, but without the bones. Previously, one Ukrainian had 8.6 kg of potatoes per month, and now - 6.6 kg. Bread and bakery products consumption in 1990 for was about 11 kg, and now it is only 8.5 kg. Generally, it is believed that people who consume less bread have higher standard of living. In many cases, a large consumption of bread shows the poverty of the population.

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Now about payment of utility bills. Today this might seem unrealistic, but the cost did not exceed 2.5% of average Soviet household expenditure. In Ukraine, at the end of 2015, the cost of payment of utility services already accounted for 11.7% and continues to grow.

In the 25 years, incomes of Ukrainians have grown and the welfare has increased. But not as fast as we would like to. Now it turns out that Ukrainians spend on food, 53.1% of their income. That is a lot. Even in 1990, the figure was about 40%. In 2013, the share of spending on products was about 50% and reduced. Ukrainians will spend more money on entertainment and recreation than for cereals and milk. But the sharp devaluation of the hryvnia, inflation, and unemployment force more and more Ukrainians to save on vacations and think about how to pay the utility bills and buy food. Crises are not eternal, but unfortunately, in Ukraine they occur too often.

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