I've been collecting statistical data about Italy for some time.
I'm interested in sharing raw information that can be used to develop possible narratives, frameworks, interpretations and - hopefully - solutions.
This page is irregularly updated, so bookmark it if you are interested.
The project is ongoing. Feedback always welcome.
Last update: March 14, 2018 (HAPPINESS)
LA DOLCEVITA? NOT AT ALL: ITALIANS ARE A DISGRUNTLED BUNCH
Mexico, which had 23,000 intentional homicides in 2016, ranks much higher than Italy in the so called ranking of happiness. Even El Salvador, which in 2015 became the world’s most violent peacetime country, is happier. In the EU, Italy has one of the lowest levels of happiness. Source: World Happiness Report 2018
EDUCATION: THE LAND OF IGNORAMUS
Only 26% of Italians has a B.A. as of 2015. That's the worst performance in Europe along Romania. (Source: Eurostat, 2016)
According to Eurostat, the lowest shares of those having completed tertiary education in 2015 were observed in Italy, Romania, Malta and Slovakia, as well as of Macedonia and Turkey.
Moreover, Italy has one of the highest dropout rate in Europe: 14% of the 18-24 demographic segment has not even finished high school.
AGEING: A COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Italy has the highest share of elderly population (65 and over) compared to the total population in the European Union. Source: EuroStat (2013)
In 2016, the number of Italians older than 65 is 13,500,000. Source: Istat, 2017.
As of 2016, for every 100 teenagers there are 161 citizens over 65. And there are 17,000 Italians who are older than 100. Source: Istat, 2016
The average Italian is 44,9. Source: Istat, 2017.
The share of the senior population who have NOT completed secondary education is 83.1%, the third highest in Europe after Portugal (93.0 %) and Spain (85.4 %). The EU-28 average is 60.5 %. Source: EuroStat (2010)
This means that a significant number of Italians tend to be senior and uneducated.
Table 1. Share of population (65 and over) in total population
Table 2: Share of the elderly population (65+) who have not completed secondary education (2010).
Table 3. Age groups
HEALTH: THE WORLD'S HEALTHIEST COUNTRY
Italy is the healthiest country on Earth. Source: Bloomberg Global Health Index, 2017
Ranks 1st out of 163 countries.
EMIGRATION: THE GREAT ESCAPE
Italy has one of the highest emigration rates in Europe. There are now 4.8 millions of Italians living abroad. Source: AIRE, 2016.
Between 2006 - 2016 the percentage of Italians moving abroad has increased significantly: +59,4%. Source: AIRE, 2016.
A remarkable number of Italian emigrants are younger than 25 and highly educated. Source: Chiesa Cattolica, 2016.
The highest number of Italian emigrants now live in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Source: Chiesa Cattolica, 2016.
28 percent of Italians say they consider moving to another country due to the financial situation in Italy. Source: "European Consumer Payment Report, 2016", Intrum Justitia, 2016
That means that almost one Italian out of three would move abroad if they could.
Table 1. Number of Italians enrolled in AIRE (Association of Italians Living Abroad)
Table 2. Italians living abroad: # per country (2014)
Table 3. 28% Italians want to move abroad (2016, p.11)
IMMIGRATION: A BRAND NEW ITALY
The number of foreign citizens living in Italy, as of 2016, is 5.029.000.
While the foreign population grew in 2016 (+26000), the number of Italians decreased once again (-76000). (Source: Istat, 2017).
The largest communities are Romanians, Albanians and Moroccans.
All the major immigrant communities living in Italy are growing in size.
In 2016, foreign communities represent 8,3% of the overall Italian population (+11,716 compared to the previous year). Source, Istat, 2016
58,6% of foreigners live in Northern Italy. Source, Istat, 2016
The presence of foreigners in towns with more than 100,000 inhabitants is less than 5%. Source: Il Sole 24 Ore, 2017
Table 1. Foreign citizens officially living in Italy as of 2016.
The following table shows the biggest communities (column 1), the ratio between women and men, and the percentage of foreigners in relationship to the population of their country of origin.
The most remarkable facts are a) a large Romanian community (close to 1.2m); b) the overwhelming percentage of Ukrainian immigrants in Italy are women (almost 80%) and c) a large percentage of Albanians immigrants in relation to the population of their country of origin (close to 8%). Source: ISTAT, 2017.
DIVERSITY: STRONG ANTI-IMMIGRATION SENTIMENTS
More than half of people (52%) agree with the statement that “There are so many foreigners living round here, it doesn’t feel like home any more”, which makes Italy rank first in Europe in terms of anti-immigration sentiments. Source: YouGo, 2016
Throughout the 20th century, Italy had one of the highest emigration rates in Europe.
table 1. Anti-immigration sentiments in EU countries
DIVERSITY: ITALIANS ARE TERRIFIED OF SOCIAL CHANGE
The vast majority of Italians (53%) believe that growing diversity makes Italy "a worse place to live".
Only the Greeks are more pessimistic than Italians. Source: Pew Resource Center, 2016.
Table 1. Perception of social diversity
BIRTH RATE: CHILDREN OF MEN
As of 2016, Italy has the lowest birthrate in Europe and one of the lowest in the world among developed countries. Source: EuroStat (2016)
The country’s birth rate has more than halved since the so called "baby boom" of the 1960s, with the number of births falling to 485,000 in 2015 – fewer than in any other years since the modern state was formed in 1861.
In 2016, Italy registered 130,000 less births than 2015. Source: Istat, 2016.
In 2016, Italy's population decreased for the first time in 90 years. Source: Istat, 2016.
Table 1. Total population and birth rates in all EU countries (2016).
In 2015, the gap between births and deaths amounts to 76.000, i.e. 615 deaths vs 431 births. Source: Istat, 2017
The Italian Statistical Agency expects the Italian population to decrease significantly in the next decades, specifically:
2016: 60,7 millions
2045: 58,6 millions
2065: 53,7, millions
As for 2015, the worst possible scenario is 46,1 millions (minimum), the best, which only has a 7% of happening, is 61,5 (maximum).
Source: ISTAT Italy, 2017.
WEALTH INEQUALITY: SECOND IN EUROPE
Italy is one the most unequal countries in the developed world. In Europe, Italy is second, after the United Kingdom. The most unequal city in Europe is Bari. Source: Making City Work for All, 2017. OCSE
YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT: DIRE STRAITS
Italy has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in Europe, 37.2% as of 2016, along with Greece (47.7 % in June 2016), Spain (46.2 % in 2015), and Croatia (43,8% in 2015). Source: Il Sole 24 Ore, Eurostat, 2016
Youth unemployment rate is the percentage of the unemployed in the age group 15 to 24 years old compared to the total labor force (both employed and unemployed) in that age group.
Italy ranks 17 out of 134 in "highest unemployment" in the world. Source: CIA, 2014
There are more than 3 millions of Italian unemployed as of November 2016. Source: Il Sole 24 Ore
27% of young adults (15-29 year old) are unemployed. Source: OECD, 2016 ("Society at a glance")
"Young people who are completely outside the labor market and education system are in a very precarious situation that severely restricts their future prospects. Although this indicator has fallen slightly compared with last year’s report (18.0%), in 2008 it was “only” 15.0 percent. The situation in the southern European countries of Italy, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, and Spain is still particularly problematic – despite the fact that they too have seen a recent downward trend. In Spain, more than a fifth (22.2%) of young people fall into the NEET category. In Italy, which brings up the rear for this indicator, the figure is nearly a third (31.1%)." (Bertelsmann Social Justice Report 2016)
In 2015, 31.1 percent of Italians 20 to 24 years old were neither in employment nor education or training (a 10 percentage point increase over 2008). As mentioned earlier, these young adults are at risk of permanent exclusion from the labor market. (Bertelsmann Socual Justice Report 2016)
Youth unemployment in the Southern regions of Italy is above 54%. Source: Istat, 2017
Overall, Italy's employment rate is among the lowest in Europe (Source: Bertelsmann, 2016). Only Croatia and Greece fare worse.
The overall unemployment rate has gone from 6.8 percent in 2008 to 12.1 percent in 2015. Since the crisis began, the long-term unemployed have seen their numbers more than double (from 3.1% in 2008 to a peak of 7.9% in 2014). Similarly, for youth the unemployment rate has nearly doubled since 2008. (Bertelsmann Social Justice Report 2016)
Table 2. Youth unemployment rate in Italy (November 2016)
Table 3. Youth unemployment rate in Italy: North vs South (January 2017) (Source: Istat)
Table 4. Youth unemployment rates in EU countries (2015)
Table 5. Youth unemployment rates in EU countries.
Table 6. Historical trajectory of unemployment rates in selected EU countries. Source: Eurostat/Bicocca University, 2017
YOUTH REMUNERATION: MASSIVELY EXPLOITED
Young Italians are among the worst compensated in Europe. Source: Global 50 Remuneration Planning Report (2016).
Among the fifteen western European nations ranked, Italy is last, paying an average gross salary of €27,400 a year.
Italy's closest counterparts are Spain, where entry-level workers can expect to take home €30,700, and France, where average earnings are slightly better at €33,400.
Switzerland (ranked in first place) pays an average pre-tax salary of €83,600.
64 percent of Italians have had periods in life when they were unable to pay their debts. That rate is considerably higher than the survey average. Source: "European Consumer Payment Report, 2016", Intrum Justitia, 2016
34 percent say they sometimes are unable to pay their debts today, which also is a bit over the survey average. Source: "European Consumer Payment Report, 2016", Intrum Justitia, 2016
58% of Italians believe that their economy is getting worse. Source: "European Consumer Payment Report, 2016", Intrum Justitia, 2016
This means that if you're younger than 30, living in Italy may work against you, no pun intended.
GENDER GAP: SIMPLY GINORMOUS
This basically means that it's extremely hard to work and earn in Italy if you are a woman compared to most European countries.
Table 1. Gender gap in Italy (World Economic Forum, 2015)
WORKING HOURS: ITALIANS SIMPLY DON'T LIKE TO WORK
The average working week in Italy is 30,7 hours long vs. an average of 35.4 hours in the European Union. Source: Istat 2017
The average working life of an Italian is 30,7 years, a decade+ shorter than the average Swedish, whose working life amounts to approximately 42.1 years. Source: Istat, 2017
Interestingly, there seems to be a direct relationship between the quality of life and working hours: Countries like Sweden, Holland, Germany, and Denmark whose citizens work more other European Union members declare a much higher level of happiness and quality of life.
According to ISTAT, Italians living in the Northern part tend to work more, on average, than Italians living in the South:
DIMINISHING INCOMES: THE ITALIAN MIDDLE CLASS IS DISAPPEARING
As a recent Pew Research study shows, the trajectories of the middle classes in Western Europe’s largest economies are moving in opposite directions. From 1991 to 2010, the shares of adults living in middle-income households increased in France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, but shrank in Italy, Germany, and Spain where incomes are either stagnant or falling.
In 2010, the middle class in Italy lived on a median income of $35,608, the most modest means among the 12 EU countries.
To be part of the middle class in Italy in 2010 means that a household has a disposable in the range of $21,569 to $64,706. (Source: Pew Research, 2017)
Tab. 1 Shares of adults living in middle-income households fell in many countries in Western Europe (1991-2010)
Tab. 2 Household incomes (1991 to 2010)
ALONE TOGETHER: LONELINESS AS A LIFESTYLE
Alongside with France, Italy is the European country whose citizens declare to feel "alone" and devoid of a significant support system.
This is true for most ages, social classes, and income. In short, Italians are "alone together". Source, Istat, Il Sole 24 Ore, 2017.
tab. 1 Europeans and loneliness
DURA LEX: NO FAITH IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM
Italians' faith in the justice system is among the lowest in the world. Source: OECD/Gallup, 2014
Only 29% of Italians trust their judicial system vs. 83% of Danish and Norwegian citizens.
This means that Italian institutions are significantly de-legitimized: the legislative, executive, and judicial branches are considered part of the problem - rather than a solution - by a large swath of the population.
DIGITAL DIVIDE: NO INTERNET FOR YOU
Internet broadband penetration in Italy is among the lowest in Europe. Source: EuroStat, 2015
One in three Italian families has no Internet access. Source: Istat, 2015
Online shopping rates are among the lowest in Europe. Source: Istat, 2015
In terms of digital literacy, Italians are considerably behind their European neighbors.
Among the 28 countries of the European Union, Italy ranks 25th in terms of digital competitiveness. (Desi Index) Only Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria fare worse. Source: Eurostat, 2017
Table 1. Individuals who used the internet away from home or work, 2012 and 2014 (% of individuals aged 16 to 74) (Source: EuroStat)
Table 2: Desi Index 2017
PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION: A CONGESTION NIGHTMARE
Italy holds the second place in Europe for the absolute number of registered passenger cars: 37 million as of 2015 (Germany: 44m, France 32m) resulting the worst smog-related pollution in urban areas in the entire continent. Source: Istat, 2016.
Air pollution kills approximately 400.000 people per year in Europe. Source: Lega Ambiente, 2017
7 out of 10 Italians use their cars to commute to work. Source: Istat, 2016.
Italy is 2nd in Europe for the number of passenger cars per 1000 inhabitants: 619 cars per 1000 inhabitants, behind Luxembourg. Source: Istat, 2016.
Unsurprisingly, according to the OMS, air quality in Northern Italy is among the worst in the entire European continent. Source: OMS, 2014.
Italy has the highest number of car-related accidents in Europe. Source: Eurostat, 2016
This means that a remarkable number of Italians own a car AND drive badly: a toxic combo.
Ironically, Italian families are mostly concerned about:
1. Air pollution: 38%
2. Traffic: 37,9%
3. Parking: 37.2%
4. Litter and trash in the streets: 33%
And yet, no one is willing to change their habits. Source: Istat, 2016.
Table 1. Number of registered passenger cars in Europe (2009-2013)
Table 2. Car-related accidents in Europe (2009-2013)
CITY POLLUTION: DON'T BREATHE
Three Italians cities - Turin, Rome, and Milan - are among the 20 most polluted in Europe. Turin ranks 3rd. Source: Numbeo, 2016.
Only Eastern European cities fare worse.
During 2016, 32 Italian cities registered unhealthy, toxic levels of air pollution for more than 50 days. Source: Lega Ambiente, 2017
According to Lega Ambiente, the worst offenders are
Turin 86 days
Frosinone 85 days
Milano and Venice 73 days
Vicenza 71 days
Padova and Treviso 68
Here's another chart that shows the most polluted Italian cities, also from Lega Ambiente, 2017.
If your goal in life is to get lung cancer, you may consider moving to either Milan or Turin, but both Piedmont and Lombardy are basically gas chambers.
Table 1. Air toxicity of Italian cities: # of violations per year (Source: Lega Ambiente, 2017)
Table 2. Most polluted Italian cities (Source: Numbeo, 2016)
Italy has one of the highest rates of air-pollution related deaths in Europe. Source: OECD, 2014
ENERGY: IT WILL COST YOU DEARLY
Italy has the highest electricity rates in Europe. Source: Eurostat, 2016.
Italy has the second highest tax on electricity in Europe (after Germany). Source: Eurostat, 2016.
A liter of unleaded gasoline in Italy costs 1,544 euros. Only the Netherlands and Greece have higher prices in Europe. Source: Il Sole 24 Ore, 2017
If you combine this with the fact that salaries are very low compared to the rest of Europe, it becomes obvious that La Dolce Vita is a myth (see below).
Table 1. Electricity prices for industrial consumers, second half 2015 (EUR per kWh)
Table 2. Consumer prices of petroleum products, end of second half 2015 (EUR per litre)
POVERTY: ONE YOUNG ITALIAN OUT OF THREE IS (ABSOLUTELY) POOR
36.9% of Italians aged 15-24 are considered poor. One Young Italian out of ten is considered extremely poor. Source Il Sole 24 Ore/Eurostat, 2016
36,1% of Italians aged 16-10 are considered poor. Source: Il Sole 24 ore/Save the children, 2017
Overall, 28,7% of Italians are near the poverty line. Source: Il Sole 24 Ore/Eurostat, 2016
In 2015, an individual is considered "poor" in Italy if she/he earns less than 9,508 euros per year. (That's absolute poverty, not relative poverty).
In Norway, an individual is considered poor if she/he earns less than 24,890 euros.
Between 2005 and 2015, the percentage of absolute poverty in Italy has tripled, reaching 32,1% the highest in Europe after Spain. Source: Il Sole 24 ore/Save the children, 2017
The recently released Bertelsmann Social Justice 2016 report came to similar conclusions: 28.7% of the Italian population is practically poor.
In Italy, 33.5 percent of children and young people are affected by poverty (2013: 32%).:
"In terms of the EU average, 26.9 percent of all children and young people are currently at risk of poverty or social exclusion. This is more than in 2008 (26.4%). However, it is difficult to interpret such averages for the EU because of the differences in population sizes between the individual EU states. Looking instead exclusively at the rise in the poverty and exclusion risk in the four crisis-hit countries of Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Italy, a much bigger increase is visible: the rise in these four countries alone between 2008 and 2015 was more than four percentage points – from 29.1 percent in 2008 to 33.8 percent. Translated into absolute figures, this means that in these four countries, more than one million (1.09 million) more children and young people are affected by poverty and social exclusion than in 2008." (Bertelsmann report)
This is probably related to the fact that Italy has one of the highest rates of early school-leavers in the European Union.
The numbers are staggering. Only Romania, Spain, and Malta fare worse. (Source: Bertelsmann, 2016)
FAMILIES: MAMMONI & BAMBOCCIONI
65% of Italians aged 18-34 live with their parents. Source: Pew Research 2016.
On average, 30% of Italians living with their parents have a job: Source: Istat, 2016
That percentage increases to 51% in the region of Trentino Alto-Adige.
to 49,9% in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia.
to 45% in the regions of Veneto and Marche.
Table 1. Percentage of young people living with parents
Table 2. Percentage of young people living with parents
HOUSE OF CARDS: NO FAITH IN THE GOVERNMENT
CORRUPTION: SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE BELPAESE
The perceived corruption of public and political institutions in Italy is among the highest in Europe.
According to a recently released report by Transparency International, Italy ranks 3rd as the most corrupted country in Europe after Greece and Bulgaria.
In 2015, Italy ranked first.
Globally, Italy ranks 60th out of 176 countries. Source: Transparency International, 2017
IT: ITALIANS DO NOT BELIEVE IN TECHNOLOGY (UNLESS IT'S FOR GOSSIPING)
Additionally, Italy has the lowest number of researchers as a percentage of R&D personnel in business enterprise sectors in Europe after Luxemburg. Source: EuroStat Digital Skills, 2016
Table 1. Workers in IT in Italy vs. Europe (under 35)
Table 2: Number of researchers as a percentage of R&D personnel in business enterprise sectors in Europe (2014)
85% of Italians own at least one smartphone in 2016. Source: Global TMT Research Center di Deloitte/Il Sole 24 Ore, 2017.
21% of Italians use their smartphones mostly for gossiping. Their most preferred use of this technology is to check their favorite celebrities, use social networks services and share videos. Source: Global TMT Research Center di Deloitte/Il Sole 24 Ore, 2017.
37% of Italians check their phones in the middle of the night. Source: Global TMT Research Center di Deloitte/Il Sole 24 Ore, 2017.
Italians' addiction to iPhones is controversial. Almost 3 Italians out of 10 (partners, families) fight over their use of this technology at least once per month. It's the highest rate in Europe. Source: Global TMT Research Center di Deloitte/Il Sole 24 Ore, 2017.
PRODUCTIVITY: LAST IN EUROPE
Italy has the lowest productivity rate in Europe. Source: Il Sole 24 Ore. 2016
In 2015, Italy's productivity rate dropped by 0.3% (it grew by 1.6% in Europe). The most affected sectors are communication, media, art, and entertainment: -5.2% between 2005 - 2015.
That basically means that if you are an artist or a journalist, it is particularly hard to live in Italy.
Here's a recent table comparing the productivity levels of various European nations. (Sources: Eurostat, Ocse, 2016-2017):
QUALITY OF LIFE: MOST ITALIANS DO NOT LIVE WELL
The quality of life in Italy has been steadily declining for the past ten years.
Among the cities where the decline has been more manifest is Rome, Italy's capital, now considered one of the worst places to live in the Belpaese. It ranks 88th out of 100.
Tab. 1 Quality of Life in Italian Cities 2016
These are the cities with the highest quality of life...
SOCIAL JUSTICE: VERY LITTLE
Italy has not much to offer in terms of intergenerational social justice. The EU average is 5.75. Italy is 4.78. Only Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece fare worse.
The situation has been declining since 2008. Italy is 24 out of 28 countries in the EU. Source: Bertelsmann 2016.
"Overall, Italy’s 24th place position on the latest SJI ranks it among the worst-performing EU countries with a score of 4.78. Italy’s social justice performance has fluctuated somewhat since 2008 and shows only minimal improvement over the previous two years. How Italy measures up against the other EU member countries varies somewhat across the six dimensions, though it ranks among the bottom third in all. It performs worst in terms of intergenerational justice, where it places second to last, and ranks 23rd in labor market access. With regard to our subindex on children and youth, the country comes in 24th with a score of 4.35." (Bertelsmann 2016).
Based on 36 indicators, the recently released Bertelsmann Social Justice Index compares the 28 EU states across six dimensions: Poverty prevention, equitable education, labor market access, social cohesion and non-discrimination, health, as well as intergenerational justice.
The Italian job market has very little to offer to young generations.
The country ranks second to last in terms of intergenerational justice. Aside from the poor prospects for young people on the labor market, Italy is demographically the “oldest” country in the EU and also carries one of the highest public debts (132.6% of GDP). The fiscal burdens for today’s young people as well as future generations are thus immense. At the same time, investment in research and development has remained too low (1.3% of GDP).
Italy is one of the most indebted countries in Europe (132,6% of its GDP), has an extremely high existing fiscal pressure (43,3%), and an abysmal record of investments in Research & Development (1,3% of its GDP).
table 1. Social Justice in the European Union Source: Bertelsmann 2016.
INCOME INEQUALITY: THE RICH GET RICHER, THE POOR GET POORER
Italy has a high level of income inequality, with a Gini coefficient* that has remained largely unchanged for decades.
* The maximum possible value of the Gini coefficient is 1 (when one individual has all the income in a country), while the lowest value is 0 (when everyone has the same income).
In Italy, 1% of the population owns 25% of the overall wealth. Source: Oxfam, 2017
Table 1: Income inequality in the EU (Source: European Commission, 2016)
And yet, Italy's social mobility is higher than the United States of America whose celebrated "Dream" is looking less and less realistic for most. Source: Quartz, 2017
POLITICAL INSTABILITY: ITALIAN GOVERNMENTS LAST, ON AVERAGE, LITTLE MORE THAN ONE YEAR
Italy has had 63 governments in 70 years. No other country in the EU has had as many governments since WWII.
Determining the country's uniqueness in Europe in terms of such great alternation in its executive branch is complicated by the differing democratic and institutional contexts across the EU. Nonetheless among the Member States that have been democracies without interruptions since 1945, Italy does indeed hold the record. (Source: Fact Check EU)
Table 1. Number of governments in EU since 1945
To be continued