Beyond the economic dimensions, there are spheres that concern families and individuals, involving the personal perception and transversal aspects such as social cohesion and the well-being of the population. The indicators shown in this section allow describing socio-economic phenomena, at a regional and European level, and their strong relationship with the territory, the family structure, the education level and the participation in the Labour market.
In 2019, the mean monthly consumption expenditure for households residing in Italy amounted to 2,560 euros, broadly unchanged compared to 2018. Households spent, on average, 464 euros per month on food and non-alcoholic beverages (18.1% out of total consumption expenditure). Instead, expenditure on non-food items accounted for 2,096 euros per month (81.9% of the total). The most significant share of spending was on housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, minor and major maintenance and repair and major renovations.
In 2019, in Italy, absolute poverty affected 6.4% of resident households (almost 1.7 million households) made up of 7.7% of resident individuals (almost 4.6 million people). However, these percentages decreased for the first time after four years. Absolute poverty affected 1.137 million children (11.4% compared to 7.7% of individuals at national level; 12.6%, in 2018).
Households with children under 18 living in absolute poverty were equal to over 619 thousand (9.7% of the total households with minors). Non-national individuals living in absolute poverty were almost 1.4 million (26.9%). The incidence of absolute poverty for the households with at least one foreigner amounted to 22.0% (25.1% in 2018), while for the households of non-nationals it accounted for 24.4% and finally for Italian households it was equal to 4.9%.
The situation was particularly critical for households paying a rent: more than 726 thousand poor households pay a rent, 43.4% of the total poor households, compared to a share of households paying a rent equal to 18.4% of the total number of resident households.
In 2019, households living in relative poverty amounted to about 3 million (11.4% of resident households), over 8.8 million people (14.7% of the total resident population).
In 2018, in Italy the average household net income (excluding imputed rents) amounted to 31,641 euros, about 2,640 euros per month. Since the distribution of household income is asymmetric, the majority of households showed an income level lower than the average. Looking at the median value, i.e. the income level that divides households in two groups of equal size, half of Italian households earned an income up to 25,716 euros per year (2,143 euros per month).
In 2020, the share of people fairly satisfied with their economic situation amounted to 58.0%: The value was increasing compared to the previous year.
In 2019, households residing in the Centre and the North spent, on average, 2,787 euros, 719 euros more than households in the South and the Islands. The highest mean monthly consumption expenditure was observed in Trentino-Alto Adige/Sudtirol and Lombardia (about 3,000 euros per month, more than 3,500 euros in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen). Instead, the lowest expenditure level (about 2,000 euros per month) was registered in Sicilia, Basilicata, Calabria and Puglia. Finally, the highest share of spending on food and non-alcoholic beverages was observed in the South and the Islands (22.7%) while the lowest in the Northeastern area (15.9%).
In 2019, the incidence of households living in absolute poverty was confirmed higher in the Southern regions than in other areas (5.8% in the North-West, 6.0% in the Northeast and 4.5% in the Center), registering values on average equal to 8.6% (8.5% in the South and 8.7% in the Islands). Regional disparities were observed for both households and individuals: Southern regions showed over 2 million absolute poor residents against 1 million and 860 thousand in the Northern Regions.
The share of absolute poor households in the central municipalities of the metropolitan areas of the Center decreased, compared to 2018, it went from 3.5% to 2.0%, while in the South from 13.6% to 9.8% (in the Islands from 11.3% to 6.4%). Relative poverty was stable in all the areas: in the North, the incidence was equal to 6.8% and similar values were registered in the North-West and the Northeast (respectively 6.7% and 6.9%), while in the South it was equal to 21.1%.
In 2018, the median net household income highlighted a different regional distribution. The Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen further recorded the highest income value (equal to 32,768 euros, approximately 2,731 euros per month). The gap between the Autonomous Province of Bolzano/Bozen and Sicilia was equal to 13,204 euros; Sicilia ranked last with regard to this indicator (19,564 euro per year, equal to 1,630 euros per month). The regions registering the highest income concentration were Sicilia and Campania, which showed a Gini coefficient value equal to 0.373 and 0.371 respectively; conversely, a greater uniformity in the income distribution was recorded in the Northern Regions, in particular in Valle d'Aosta/Vallée d'Aoste (0.259) and Veneto (0.271).
In 2019, in Sicilia and Campania, the number of individuals living in households in conditions of severe material deprivation was equal to more than one million (respectively 17.8% and 16.6% of the population living in these regions). The lowest percentages were registered in Veneto (1.7%; over 82,000 individuals) and in Umbria (1.8%; 15,000 individuals). The greatest regional gap was observed between the South and Islands and the Northeast. In fact, in the South and the Islands 13.6% of the population lived in conditions of severe material deprivation (almost 2.8 million people), while in the Northeast this value reached 2.9% (more than 338 thousand individuals).
The satisfaction with the economic situation varied significantly among the different geographical areas of the Country. In the Northeast, in 2020, the share of people aged 14 and over satisfied with their economic condition reached 65.6%, while in the South and Islands it amounted to 50,9%. The share of very satisfied people with their economic situation grew all over the country, with the exception of North-West.
In 2019, the Gini inequality coefficient was computed using 2018 income data and collected for all EU countries through the “Income and living conditions survey” (Eu-Silc). Italy, showing a value equal to 0.328, above the European average (0.302), ranked twenty-three in the ranking of the EU countries. With regard to this coefficient, ranging between 0 and 1, significant regional disparities were observed among the EU countries. The highest values were registered in Bulgaria (0.408) and Lithuania (0.354), where the distribution of income was highly unequal, while Slovakia (0.228) and Slovenia (0.239), characterized by a more equal income distribution, showed the lowest.
Bulgaria showed the highest value of the indicator of severe material deprivation among EU countries (19.9%), followed by Greece (16.2%) and Romania (14.5%). Luxembourg (1.3%), Sweden (1.8%) and Finland (2.4%) showed the lowest ones. The Italian value of the index (7.4%) was 2.0 percentage points higher than the European average.