A new online platform launched by Mastercard, GdzieZamieszkac.com, will determine the approximate cost of living in various cities, towns, and regions across Poland based on data from the Central Statistical Office (Gizny Urzwad Statistyczny).
As a result, Ukrainian refugees seeking a place to live can find the right location according to their budget and family situation.
The data used in the online platform is based on an analysis of data from the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS) and includes, among others, average rent costs and average salaries by industry, aggregated with shopping trends in the area of essential, everyday purchases from Mastercard.
Consequently, the platform presents the approximate cost of living combined with average salaries in different cities, towns, and regions.
The war in Ukraine
The tool is Mastercard’s response to the refugee crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. Since February 24, due to the war, 4 million Ukrainian people settled in Poland overnight. Of that, 97% of them are women with children.
Speaking to Mastercard about this initiative, they explained, “After benefiting from the goodwill of Polish citizens, they feel the urge to re-establish their economic autonomy. The crisis will be long-term, and the Ukrainians must start rebuilding their lives in a new place. Most are unaware of the cost of living or the salary opportunities in each city. So, one of the key dilemmas becomes the strategic decision of where to settle for longer in Poland.”
Opportunities in small towns
Although 56% of refugees declare they want to return to their homes as soon as possible, the current situation forces them to stay in Poland longer than initially expected.
Among the refugees trying to find a new place to work and live independently, 69% choose cities with more than 200 000 residents.
However, Polish agglomerations are on the verge of their capacity; therefore, smaller towns can offer more opportunities, so finding a job or a flat and meeting the current costs of supporting a family may be easier there.
Thanks to GdzieZamieszkac.com, incoming Ukrainian citizens looking for a place to live can find a location that is optimal for their family situation and budget. GdzieZamieszkac.com is available from the browser, and no registration or login is required.
To get the most tailored results, the user needs to provide some basic information in a few steps, such as the household size, occupation, the region where they would like to settle, and the preferred means of transportation.
GdzieZamieszkac.com helps Ukrainians find themselves in this complex and challenging situation by analyzing their earnings compared to the cost of living and choosing the best place to live.
Data for social change
“GdzieZamieszkac.com is a great example of how data can be used to identify new needs and opportunities to drive positive social change, and this was the idea behind the development of the platform,” explains Mastercard.
GdzieZamieszkac.com tool is available in three languages: Polish, Ukrainian, and English, so it can be utilized by both Ukrainian citizens and the Poles who support them.
Although the platform was created with refugees in mind, in the future, it may also become a knowledge base for other people looking for a new place to live, such as students.
Helen Femi Williams is a freelance journalist and podcaster interested in fintech, politics, economics, and their intersections.
She is the host of the letsgetlitical podcast, a fortnightly show interviewing guests from all different sides of the political spectrum, in partnership with the Mozilla Foundation.
Prior to this role, she worked as an innovation consultant developing insurtech and fintech products and ideas for brands, startups, and major corporations.
She studied International Relations at the University of Nottingham (UK and Malaysia).