RIGA - Latvians still feel less secure than people in other Baltic states, shows the latest Ergo Security Index in the Baltic States.
This year, Latvia's Security Index is negative, at minus 10 (in 2014 it was minus 13 and in 2015 minus 12). Meanwhile, Lithuania's Security Index is minus 6 (in 2014 it was minus 5 and in 2015 minus 4), while Estonia's Security Index is positive, plus 11 (8 in 2014 and 6 in 2015).
Arnis Kaktins, director of SKDS research center, told journalists that security was measured on a scale from minus 100 to 100, which means that if all respondents had felt absolutely secure about all aspects of their lives the index would have been 100, whereas if they had felt completely insecure about all aspects the index would have been minus 100.
"The index is negative, which means that we have been feeling insecure more often than secure, but the good news is that the result was bleaker in 2014, which means that compared to 2014 we have been feeling more and more secure," the expert said.
In comparison with respondents in Lithuania and Estonia, people in Latvia feel more insecure in all five areas covered by the survey: material and financial situation, job security, health security, the country's stability and national security, as well as physical security/crime situation.
Like people in Lithuania and Estonia, respondents in Latvia mostly worry about health-related issues, as well as their country's stability and security. According to the latest survey, security about health measured at minus 34 in Latvia, minus 31 in Lithuania and minus 7 in Estonia, while the country's stability and national security were evaluated at minus 26 in Latvia, minus 20 in Lithuania and minus 3 in Estonia.
The assessment of job security and people's material and financial situation was also negative in Latvia and Lithuania (minus 13 and minus 8 respectively in Latvia and minus 10 and minus 0.4 respectively in Lithuania). Meanwhile, the assessment of these aspects in Estonia was positive (4 and 17 respectively). The assessment of physical security/crime situation was positive in all three Baltic states: 29 in Latvia, 32 in Lithuania and 47 in Estonia.
Kaktins said, however, that the negative assessment of some security aspects was groundless, except for health as the Latvian health sector, indeed has serious issues, but that the pessimistic assessment of job security and the country's stability was largely exaggerated.
In Latvia, 75 percent of respondents, especially those aged between 55 and 74, worry that in the case of an illness they might be unable to pay for medical treatment. Also, 70 percent of Latvians, mostly 45 to 54 years old, fear that they might face poverty in old age, 64 percent worry that they might be left without means of sustenance, 80 percent are concerned about a possible economic crisis, 64 percent worry about immigration, and 62 percent fear the possibility of a military conflict.
SKDS conducted the online poll, interviewing 1,005 residents, aged 18 to 74, in each Baltic state.