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Khakimov Javlonbek Adhamdzhanovich,
State Statistics Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Department of Living Standards Statistics and Population Surveys

What do we mean by the standard of living of the population?

For a description of the standard of living and well-being in the countries of the world use different terms and concepts. In Uzbekistan, for example, the term "standard of living" is widely used, reflecting the level of satisfaction of people's material, spiritual and social needs. This description contains statistics on the standard of living, which is highly variable, since it is influenced by many factors.

To the full, the term "standard of living" is a complex socioeconomic category reflecting the level of development of the physical, spiritual and social needs of the population, as well as the opportunities created to meet it.

A significant contribution to the study of the category "living standards" and the development of socio-economic indicators was made by the United Nations (UN). So, in 1960, the UN Working Group prepared a report on the principles of identification and evaluation of the standard of living worldwide. This was the first attempt to create a comprehensive system of indicators of the standard of living of the population.

Along with the studies conducted by the United Nations, the development of specific evaluation systems and an integral indicator of the standard of living of the population was also carried out by individual scientists.

From what time is the standard of living determined?

Scientific understanding of issues related to the development of systems of indicators of the level and quality of life of the population began after the era of capitalism. Studies in this area initially began to appear in the works of the British scientist W. Pitt (1623-1687 gg.). Also F.Kene (1694-1774 gg.) Made an attempt to assess the real sources of raising the standard of living of the population, A. Smith (1723-1790), in turn, was concerned about the spread of poverty among workers and noted that the desire to improve welfare population is natural. J.M.Caines (1883-1946) and A.Marshall (1842-1924) made a significant contribution to the development of the theory of the formation of favorable financial conditions for improving the standard of living of the population.

From the second half of the nineteenth century, the scientific views of Western scholars began to mark a shift in emphasis from the political and economic to the economic statistical direction of assessing the standard of living. At that time, researchers mainly analyzed the living conditions and real needs of workers.

Later, when studying the standard of living, special attention was paid to mitigating confrontation and harmonizing the interests of various strata of the population, practical implementation of the restriction of unjustified differentiation of income-generating poverty.

The achievement of Western scientists in this direction is that they used a differentiated approach when assessing the average parameters of the standard of living, which was especially important in the context of the polarization of people's economic opportunities in the process of meeting their needs.

Today, the UN is addressing issues related to raising the living standards of the world's population and helping countries suffering from poverty. Thus, the Millennium Development Goals were adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2000, and in 2015, the "Sustainable Development Goals until 2030".

What are the criteria for classifying the standard of living of the population?

According to the level of satisfaction, the standard of living is divided into four groups:

prosperity is the enjoyment of the benefits that provide for the physical and mental development of man;

the normal level is the rational use of scientifically grounded principles that provide favorable conditions for the complete restoration of the physical and mental strength of man;

poverty - consumption of goods at the level of preservation of efficiency as the lowest limit of the reproduction of labor;

poverty is the consumption of minimal types of nutrients and services that can be used to preserve human abilities.

What indicators include the standard of living of the population?

It is known that the standard of living is based on the assessment of income, increase or decrease in per capita consumption. Nevertheless, both the level and indicators of the quality of life of the population - these concepts are quite broad.

At present, there is no effective way to correlate the concept of the standard of living with a single indicator that would fully characterize the quality of life of the population.

The latest version of the international statistical system of indicators of life was developed in 1978 by the UN, consisting of 12 groups of basic life indicators.

So, according to the recommendations of the UN, the indicators of the standard of living are such as birth rate, mortality, life expectancy, sanitary and hygienic conditions, level of food consumption, housing conditions, educational and cultural opportunities, working conditions and employment level, income and expenditure balance, consumer prices, availability of transport, recreation opportunities, social security system, ensuring human rights and freedoms.

Meanwhile, not all indicators are evaluated in terms of cost. The standard of living can be determined by combining the individual parameters of these indicators.

The most important of these is per capita income, which is an indicator that allows, along with an assessment of the standard of living of the population of the country, to use international comparisons. At the same time, these indicators are often used in practice, as gross domestic product per capita gross national product, human development index, as well as differentiation factors for population groups (quintile, decile groups).

It should be noted that the standard of living of the population, the productivity of production and services, scientific and technological development and progress, the cultural and educational level, the composition of the population and national characteristics are, of course, the measures and results of actions undertaken and implemented by the government.

What is the role of statistical bodies in studying the standard of living of the population?

In accordance with Article 3 of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On State Statistics", the main task of the State Statistics Committee is the collection, processing, accumulation, storage, compilation, analysis and publication of statistical information on socio-economic phenomena, processes and their results.

Based on this, Goskomstat is entitled to receive data from legal entities and individuals in the established manner through statistical reporting forms or through various surveys of events and processes occurring in the economy and society, including indicators that characterize the standard of living of the population.

In this context, according to the annual Statistical Work Program of the State Statistics Committee, such indicators as total income and total per capita income, expenditures, education level, use of medical services, food consumption, provision of durable goods, and living conditions in accordance with the data of ministries and departments and household surveys.

A sample survey is conducted annually in 10,000 households, covering all regions of the republic. More than 120 specialists (interviewers) receive information through interviews with members of the household.

For reference: a household is an aggregate of persons living together, leading a common economy, wholly or partly combining their incomes. At the same time, it is not always necessary to have closely related household members.

The interviewer is an employee of the territorial statistical office, who during the survey conducts a survey (interview) of members of households that are in the sample.

How are the general and average per capita indicators of the aggregate income of the population formed, which are considered to be one of the most important factors affecting the quality of life of the population?

The most important indicator of the quality of life of the population is the economic well-being of households, expressed by the aggregate of economic resources at their disposal and determining the ability of the household to purchase goods and services. These resources, in particular, include current and capital revenues, as well as the balance of fixed assets and debt.

An analysis of the level of economic well-being makes it possible to determine the extent to which households own economic resources, their ability to consume or accumulate, and to choose.

The most important indicator used as a criterion of a household's ability to consume is the total income (current receipts), since it determines the real contribution to consumption or accumulation.

The aggregate income of the population is the gross income before deduction from it of compulsory or other deductions. It includes monetary incomes and incomes in kind, consists of income, which, as a rule, has the property of recurrence and enter the household or its individual members on a regular basis annually or at shorter intervals.

The basic social and economic indicators of the standard of living of the population are characterized by such indicators as the monetary income and expenditures of the population, their structure and use, as well as the distribution of the population by income. Monetary incomes, as a rule, consist of the wages of the population of all categories, income from entrepreneurial activity, pensions, allowances, scholarships, income from capital investments in the form of interest, rent, proceeds from the sale of real estate, agricultural products and livestock, income from various services and others.

In accordance with international statistical practice, aggregate income is divided into "primary income" and "income from transfers", which allows you to monitor the impact of institutional changes depending on the state of employment or the social security system.

Primary income, in turn, includes income from production (income from labor activity and income from own production of services for own consumption) and income from property.

The income from labor activity consists of the income of employees and self-employed people.

The income of hired workers is the income in the form of labor remuneration in cash and in kind (in the form of goods or services), including the hidden part of wages (ie employer payments that are not reflected in primary and accounting).

The income from self-employment is income derived from the involvement of household members in the work process, organized independently.

Income from own production of services for own consumption includes conditionally estimated services of housing occupied by the owner and not intended for the market.

Income from property (property income) is defined as income to households associated with ownership of financial and non-financial assets transferred for use to others.

Income from transfers includes social transfers (pensions, allowances and scholarships) and other current transfers.

For your information: transfers are household income goods, services and assets without receiving compensation from him in the form of goods, services or assets.

Now we will analyze the structure of the aggregate income of the population of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the end of 2017 compared with the previous year, as well as with the CIS countries, and what factors affect it.

If you look at the figures, according to the preliminary estimates of 2017, in the total volume of aggregate income, the share of income from production was 71%, of which 34.3% are incomes of wage earners and 34.5% are self-employment income, 2.2% % - income from own production for own consumption. The share of social payments is 11.3%. 

In a market economy for the majority of the population, the salary received from the main place of work is the leading source of income, otherwise it can not fulfill its functional role. In developed countries, wages are 60-80% of the total income of the population, i.e. serves as a basis for the provision of its normal life.

If we look at the structure of incomes of the CIS population, then the incomes of hired workers in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia range from 55 to 69%, in Kyrgyzstan - about 40%. The share of social payments in Belarus is 29%, in Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and the Russian Federation - from 16 to 18%.

As of January-December 2017 in the Republic of Uzbekistan, in the total volume of the aggregate income of the population, property income amounted to 4.2%, revenues from transfers - 24.8%.

As a result of targeted measures to support small businesses and entrepreneurship, the share of the incomes of the population, received from small businesses, increases from year to year, in 2017 it was 56.5%. Considering the fact that in 2010 this indicator was 47.1%, this means that in 2017 it grew by 9.4% points. It should be noted that 82.7% of the total number is currently employed in the non-state sector.

Although the influence of income from ownership on the change in the total volume of the aggregate income of the population is insignificant (increase in people's confidence in commercial banks, development of innovative developments, growth of profits of joint-stock companies, rental of housing and other real estate), however, as a result of improving market mechanisms, it can be clearly seen that The income from interest, dividends, copyrights and similar assets grows annually. For example, if the share of property income in the total volume of total income of the population in 2010 was 2.4%, then in 2017 this figure was already 4.2%.

With the purpose of analyzing the distribution structure of the income received by the population, the disposable income is determined, which allows to reveal the amount that is maximally available for consumer spending of the population.

For your information: disposable income is calculated from total income, excluding direct taxes (including their return), mandatory fees and fines and cash support paid by one household to other households.

The per capita income is calculated by dividing the total aggregate income of the population by the average annual population. According to preliminary data, as of January-December 2017, the average annual number of permanent residents in the Republic of Uzbekistan reached 32,387.2 thousand people.

Based on preliminary data, the total income of the population in January December 2017 was 186.2 trillion soums. Real growth, compared with the corresponding period last year, was 12.2%. The average per capita income was 5.8 million soums, while real growth reached the level of 10.3%.

In addition, as a result of the reduction in the tax burden on household incomes in recent years, according to preliminary data as of January December 2017, the average disposable income per capita was 5.2 million soums, real growth compared with the corresponding period in 2016 , was 9.6%. In comparison with 2000, the average disposable income per capita increased more than 12 times.

The measures connected with the increase in the incomes of the population and targeted social support have become an important factor in the growth of the average incomes of all strata of the population. At the same time, the Gini coefficient, reflecting the difference in the income level of various population groups, decreased from 0.39 to 0.26 in 2000-2017, which is much lower than in many economically developed countries of the world.

How does the annual increase in household incomes affect expenditures and their structural changes?

According to the survey, as a result of rising incomes and living standards of the population and, at the same time, stabilizing the share of spending on the purchase of food products, the share of spending on non-food products and services increases. If we compare the data for January-December 2017 with the data for 2000, food expenditures decreased from 61.4 to 47.2%, while for non-food products, they increased from 25.8 to 32.8%, expenditures on services amounted to from 12.8 to 20%.

If you look at the structure of consumer spending in the CIS, the share of spending on food purchases in the Russian Federation is 38%, in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan - more than 40%, in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Ukraine - over 50%.

The share of expenditures on non-food products in Russia is more than 35%, in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Belarus - from 28 to 33%, in Armenia and Ukraine - about 22%, and in Azerbaijan - 17%.

In addition, the share of expenditures on services in Azerbaijan is more than 40%, in the Russian Federation - over 25%, in Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan - from 19 to 23%, in Tajikistan - about 15%.

It is gratifying that the share of purchases of food products is stabilizing, and the share of expenditures on non-food products and services is increasing.

At what level is housing provided to the population today?

According to the survey, as of January-December 2017, 97.9% of the population of Uzbekistan owns a separate house or apartment. This indicator is 99.3% of the rural population. In 2000, these figures were respectively 93.7% and 95.4%.

In addition, in 2000, the share of households, living space for each family member in which was equal to 20 sq.m and more, was 17.1%, and by 2017 this figure had increased to 28.6%.

These indicators can be considered as an effective result of measures aimed at providing the population with housing, supporting low-income and young families.

At what level in the country are the consumption of food and the provision of the population with durable goods?

According to the household survey, in January-December 2017, consumption of one of the main food products - meat and meat products - per capita was 43 kg and, compared to 2000, it increased by 127.1%. Also, dairy products were 270 kg (1.7 times more than in 2000), eggs - 215 pcs. (in 4.6 times), vegetables and melons - 277 kg (2.2 times), potatoes - 55 kg (1.5 times), sugar and confectionery products - 31 kg (2 times), fruits and berries - 145 kg (3.5 times).

Moreover, the level of provision of durable goods for the period 2000-2017 has also increased. It is important to note that most of these goods used by people of our country are currently produced in Uzbekistan.

In particular, the level of car security by the end of 2017 was 44 pcs. per 100 households. In addition, the number of TV sets per 100 households reached 154, which is 1.7 times higher than in 2000, and 34 air conditioners. (increase in comparison with 2000, 3.1 times), electric vacuum cleaners - 54 pcs. (an increase of 1.8 times), washing machines - 80 pcs. (an increase of 1.1 times).

In addition, the rapid penetration of ICT resources (such as personal computers, desktop computers, laptops (notebooks, netbooks), tablets, other handheld computers and mobile phones) into the life of the population, the growth in the resolution of these tools, day in and day out, communication, information exchange, to keep abreast of the world news, as well as to promote active participation in public life.

At the end of 2017, there were 50 personal computers per 100 households (in 2000 this figure was 0.2 units), and the provision of cellular telephones in 2000-2017 increased by 14.4 times (by the end of 2017, by 100 households accounted for 257 units, ie 2.6 mobile phones per household).

On the basis of this information, it can be concluded that today there is still a need for household products, in particular such as electric vacuums, washing machines, computers and air conditioners, necessary in the everyday life of the population.

Also, this information points to the existence of a large consumer market in the Republic of Uzbekistan, which, in turn, is a major commodity producer and importer of goods from abroad.

In assessing the standard of living of the population, along with the above indicators, the following are also used: development and improvement of the state of the environment, availability of necessary infrastructure and its effectiveness, modern requirements for education and health systems and their satisfaction with the population.

At present, the government adopts a number of normative and legal acts aimed at improving the people's standard of living. This includes, among other things, the adoption of the State Program for the Year of Support for Active Business, Innovative Ideas and Technologies on the implementation of the Strategy for Action on the five priority development directions of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021 aimed at developing entrepreneurial activities, creating new jobs through the development of entrepreneurship and, on this basis, an increase in the employment of the population, which, in turn, contributes to the improvement of people's standard of living and well-being.

In recent years, the government has been taking a number of measures to provide cheap housing to support those in need of social protection, large families and young families. So, in 2018 the volume of construction of similar houses is planned to increase by 1.5-2 times.

On January 16, 2018, Presidential Decree No. PD-5303 "On measures to further ensure food security of the country" was adopted. Accordingly, live cattle, live sheep and goats, meat of cattle, lamb or goat, soybeans, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, sugar cane or sugar beet and chemically pure sucrose were exempt from customs payments. By Presidential Decree No. PD-5354 of February 20, 2018, the list of certain types of foodstuffs and raw materials exempted from payment of customs duties (except for customs clearance fees) until January 1, 2019, was expanded. Now it includes potatoes, including frozen - one of the most important products consumed by the population.

All these reforms implemented in our country are aimed at improving people's quality of life, since peace and tranquility in the country, the welfare of the people and the prosperity of our Motherland are the highest goal for all of us.

Tugmani bosing Tinglash