According to ISTAT (Italian Institute of Statistics), there
has been an increase in the number of families struggling to
make it to the end of the month. In 2008, according to ISTAT
data, 17% had serious difficulties in making it to payday,
making it necessary to economise on food, clothing and
According to research, more than 10% of Italian families was
unable to heat their homes adequately. Economic problems
have hit more people (with a 1.6% rise on the previous
year’s figures). Almost one-fifth of Italians have
experienced difficulty in purchasing necessary clothing (a
rise of 1.3%). There has also been an increase in those
unable to pay their bills on time – now 11.9% of the
population (representing a rise of 3.1%).
Over 8% of Italians have had difficulties covering transport
costs. Even the most basic purchases, such as food and drink
have been problematic for many; nearly 6% have admitted to
economising at the supermarket due to lack of income.
Spending on healthcare has revealed itself a luxury for
many: 11.2% admitted to having cut out medical expenditure
in order to save money.
Economic hardship has not been experienced to the same
extent everywhere in Italy: the further south you go, and
the more children there are in the family unit, the greater
the hardship faced. In fact, the level of difficulty
experienced by Italian families hits nearly 26% (30.7% of
families with more than 3 children), as compared with the
national average of 17.6%. Sicily has earned itself the
unenviable title of being the Italian region which has
suffered the most in 2008. ISTAT data shows that more than
30% of the population struggle to make it to the end of the
month and 10% of families have insufficient means to buy
essential food and drink; 25% of the population avoid
switching on the heating for fear of high bills.
Go to the north of Italy, and the picture changes markedly.
In Valle d’Aosta, only 6.8% of families report problems in
making ends meet and only 2.6% report making economies at
the supermarket. The one region which has seen a positive
improvement despite the economic crisis – has been Molise.
In comparison with the previous year’s figures, families in
difficulty reduced by 7% from 17.6 to 11.9% and those
unwilling to switch on the heating feel from 11.5 to 6.4%.
The Marche region has also held up reasonably well to the
ravages of the recession: from 2007 the percentage of those
not able to make it to the end of the month has not