AGI – Absolute poverty in Italy is back on the rise. In 2020, just over two million families are in absolute poverty, 7.7% of the total, from 6.4% in 2019, and over 5.6 million individuals (9.4% from 7.7%). Istat notes it.
The value of the intensity of absolute poverty – which measures in percentage terms how much the monthly expenditure of poor families is on average below the poverty line (ie “how poor the poor are”) – records a reduction (from 20.3 % to 18.7%) in all geographical areas.
This dynamic is also the result of the measures put in place to support citizens (citizenship income, emergency income, extension of the redundancy fund, etc.) which have allowed families in economic difficulty – both those who have fallen below the poverty line in the 2020, both those that were already poor – to maintain consumer spending not very far from the poverty line.
In 2020, the incidence of families in absolute poverty it is confirmed higher in the South (9.4%, from 8.6%), but the largest growth is recorded in the North where family poverty rises to 7.6% from 5.8% in 2019.
This dynamic means that, if in 2019 the poor families of our country were distributed almost equally in the North (43.4%) and in the South (42.2%), in 2020 they reach 47% in the North compared to 38 , 6% of the South, with a difference in absolute value of 167 thousand families.
After the improvement of 2019, therefore, in the year of the pandemic absolute poverty increases to its highest level since 2005 (start of time series). Furthermore, in 2020, absolute poverty in Italy affects 1.33 million minors (13.5% compared to 9.4% of individuals nationwide). The incidence varies from 9.5% in the Center to 14.5% in the South. Compared to 2019, the conditions of minors worsened nationally (from 11.4% to 13.5%) and in particular in the North (from 10.7% to 14.4%) and in the Center (from 7.2% to 9.5%).
Disaggregating by age, the incidence is confirmed to be higher in the 7-13 year olds (14.2%) and 14-17 year olds (13.9%, increasing) compared to the 4-6 year olds (12.8%) and 0-3 years (12.0%, up compared to 2019). There are over 767 thousand families with minors in absolute poverty, with an incidence of 11.9% (9.7% in 2019).
The greatest criticality of these families also emerges in terms of poverty intensity, with a value equal to 21% against 18.7% of the general figure. In addition to being more often poor, families with minors are also in conditions of more marked hardship. Finally, almost half of the poor families live in a rented house.