This article will focus on household access to essential social services provision (in particular examining access to public utilities) in countries of Southern, Central and Eastern Europe (SEE/CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The article uses original household data from two rounds of the Life in Transition Survey (LiTS) of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank, conducted in 2006 and 2010, and from the Social Exclusion Survey, which the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) conducted in late 2009. We will focus our analysis on differentiation according to the locality where households were residing, in rural and urban areas. Large differences in access to essential public utilities (such as piped tap water, sewerage systems, telephone and internet) are shown between urban and rural areas, combined with marked inequality within rural areas. In addition, issues of social exclusion (including access to social services) and life satisfaction are investigated. While objective gaps in access are wide, subjective satisfaction with the quality of life is still higher in rural areas, including among those who are found to be socially excluded, indicating greater resilience of the rural population.

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Journal Post-Communist Economies
Spoor, M.N, Tasciotti, L, & Peleah, M. (2014). Quality of life and social exclusion in rural Southern, Central and Eastern Europe and the CIS. Post-Communist Economies, 26(2), 201–219. doi:10.1080/14631377.2014.904107