A survey carried out in fall 2021 in cooperation with the World Bank and minuomavalitsus.ee (My Municipality) shows that the majority of Estonians are satisfied with where they live, according to a press release by the Ministry of Finance. Estonians also believe, that education is the sphere, which it is most important for their local authorities to invest money in.
"The priority of every local authority is to provide the best services it can to its residents," said Ats Aasmaa, data analyst at minuomavalitsus.ee. "The results of the World Bank's survey provide an opportunity to assess the results of work carried out by municipalities, through the eyes of their residents," Aasmaa said.
62 percent of respondents to the survey said they were satisfied with their local municipality as a place to live. Aasmaa explained that, while this represents a majority overall, the picture varies from municipality to municipality. "For example, the level of satisfaction in two neighboring municipalities, Kose and Kiili (both Harju County), differs by as much as 24 percent" he pointed out.
However, when it to comes to the services provided by local municipalities, satisfaction rates are just 54 percent, with many Estonians feeling that their views were often not reflected in the priorities of the municipality.
Of the 16 local services listed in the survey, the one most Estonian citizens wished to see an increase in funding for, was primary and basic education. "Although currently more than 50 percent of local government budgets go on education, the survey results clearly show that quality education opportunities and conditions remain a priority for our people," said Aasmaa
The overall quality of services in different municipalities was found to be linked to levels of satisfaction of the people who live there. In other words, the more high quality services available in a municipality, the higher satisfaction levels of the local population
Economic conditions also play an important role in levels of satisfaction. For example, municipalities where salaries are lower on average, also generally have lower quality services on offer.
Therefore, according to the survey results, the main local level factors influencing satisfaction levels are the average quality of services available, unemployment rates, and the respondent's employment status as well as their household income.
More information about the survey results can be found HERE.
Editor: Michael Cole