Table 12: Structure of household spending (% of total spending, COICOP),
and number of PCs by 100 households, 2004-2007
|Grouping according to the income level|
ii ||iii||iv||v (max.)|
|Alimentary goods (food)||54.2||48.1||50.0||43.1||45.0||37.6||35.5||28.3||26.3||18.8|
|Number of PCs||7||18||11||26||17||39||30||56||31||53|
Source: Gosudarstvenny komitet RF po statistike: Rossijsky statistichesky yyezhegodnik, 2007, 2008. (State Committee of the RF for Statistics: Russian Statistical Yearbook, 2007, 2008. Moscow, 2008-2009). Moskva, 2008-2009.
Monitoring Internet usage also supports the correlation between income and education levels, age and regularity / volume of use, while the gender differences are slowly but surely smoothed away. In 2008, 12% of the population were active Internet users (everyday or several times a week activities). In 2005, 10% and in 2008, 20% of the population preferred the Internet as a source of information. The most popular searches are for information and reference materials, education and music downloading.
The Levada Centre’s survey of 2009 estimated that, several times a week, the Internet is accessed by 50% of students, 41% of managers, and 32% of specialists (see http://www.levada.ru/press/2009080701.html). Reading the news (77%), e-mailing (74%), information searches (68%), browsing photos and videos (46%), loading software (44%) and music (39%), and communicating (38%) were the most popular web activities in 2009. In the same year, almost half of Muscovites accessed the Internet; 70% of them did so every day. Work, entertainment, and study were the reasons for relatively 23%, 14% and 12% of respondents accessing the Internet. In addition, the Internet has become a popular medium for buying books.
The situation for museums and libraries is more complex. Although the number of libraries, during the 1990s, decreased as well as reading activities, in the 2000s library attendance rates remained almost stable. This can be explained by the prohibitive prices of new books, especially of scientific, reference editions, textbooks and periodicals and by formation of regular library users such as students, specialists or reading lovers. According the VCIOM estimations, 14% of readers look for required books in city libraries and 3% visit higher school libraries; downloading books from the Internet is most popular among those younger than 34 (14-16%).
In spite of different figures stated, the main trend of reading activities is characterised by a decline of its traditional forms. In 2005, 37% of the population never read, while the figure increased to 46% of adults in the survey of 2008. The share of those often reading books diminished from 23 to 16%, the same trend characterised readers of all types of editions; the most drastic decrease was in the number of regular magazine readers (two times and more). According to VCIOM estimations (2009), 16% of respondents have no books at home; the largest volume books in home libraries is up to 100 books and the number of such libraries increases. Only 2% have home libraries that comprise of more than 1 000 books; their share is higher in Moscow and St. Petersburg. If compared to 2002, Russian and foreign classics (25 – 19%), Russian crime stories (14 – 8%), fantasy (10 – 6%), classical adventure stories (26 – 22%) and contemporary historical novels (16 – 11% in 2002) are becoming more popular. The e-books and related devices are not very popular yet; the VCIOM survey (2010) estimates that 3% use e-readers and 79% do not see a use for them.
According to the VCIOM survey of 2008, watching Soviet films (from the 1930s to the 1970s) and new domestic productions on TV remain the most popular leisure activity, notwithstanding age of respondents. A survey analysing leisure preferences among the rural population was undertaken in 2003 in Karelia Republic, Pskov and Novgorod regions. The results showed the importance of cultural houses as focal and cohesive points for cultural activities in rural areas; and the popularity of public festivities and professional tour performances.