Russians Require Minimum Monthly Income of $350, Poll Shows
(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – August 13, 2015)
The minimum monthly income a household needs to make ends meet, according to the average Russian, is 22,755 rubles ($350) per person – nearly 2.5 times more than the official minimum cost of living in Russia, a survey by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VTsIOM) revealed.
Respondents’ answers varied according to geography and income level.
Residents of Moscow and St. Petersburg said they need a minimum monthly income of 25,153 rubles ($395) per person to support themselves, while village residents consider a minimum monthly income of 17,414 rubles ($270) per person sufficient for modest living.
Low-income Russians, who struggle to buy food, reported that a monthly income of 18,809 rubles ($290) per person is needed to get by, while property owners needed a minimum monthly income of 31,935 rubles ($490) per person.
Respondents said they considered poor households to be those with a monthly income of 11,173 rubles ($173) per person and below.
Respondents from villages considered poor households to be those with a monthly income of less than 10,050 rubles ($155) per person. In cities with a population greater than a million people, respondents considered households earning a monthly income of less than 13,045 rubles ($200) per person poor.
The poll was conducted on July 4-5 and 11-12, among 1,600 people in 46 Russian regions. The margin of error does not exceed 3.5 percentage points, according to VTsIOM.
In April, a poll carried out by the National Agency of Financial Research (NACFIN) showed that 7 percent of Russians polled are barely making ends meet. A quarter of respondents could afford food but not clothing, the survey indicated.
Rosstat state statistics service reported a significantly lower minimum subsistence level of 9,662 rubles ($150) a month per person. As of June, the average Russian monthly income is 35,930 rubles ($555) per person.
The first four months of this year saw the number of Russians with incomes below the poverty line increase to 22.9 million and now accounts for 15.9 percent of the total population, Rosstat said.