July 16, 2009 / 3:14 PM / 10 years ago

Poles happier than ever despite crisis: survey

Young people play in mud-water as they attend the 13th edition of the Woodstock Festival, organised by The Great Orchestra of Christmas, in Kostrzyn along Odra River, close to the Polish and German border, western Poland August 04, 2007. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

WARSAW (Reuters Life!) - More Poles are happy with their lot than ever before despite the global financial crisis, according to a survey published on Thursday.

Three quarters of participants in the statistics office (GUS) poll said they were very or quite happy, the highest level since the survey began in 1993. They also felt more secure, more prosperous and hopeful for the future than ever before.

Two thirds of Poles said their country had benefited from joining the European Union in 2004, the poll showed.

Poles have seen average incomes rise by a third since 2000, and by more than 16 percent in the last two years alone. The economy is now slowing sharply though Poland is still expected to be among the very few in Europe to grow slightly this year.

The survey showed more than 1.5 million Poles have gone abroad to work since Poland joined the EU, though the number considering making such a move has halved since 2007.

Nearly half of people in staunchly Roman Catholic Poland regularly attend church services, down slightly from two years ago, the poll showed. Nearly a third do not go to church at all.

The GUS survey canvassed 26,178 people in March and April, when the financial crisis had already struck eastern Europe.

Writing by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Paul Casciato

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