Unemployment rate - age class 15-74: There are distinctive differences between northern and southern regions. The southern regions show higher unemployment rates than the north with a maximum up to 28.9% in Crotone. One can find the highest unemployment rates in the rural areas of the 'Mezzogiorno' which are characterised by agriculture. The lowest unemployment rates are located in northern Italy (average of 5%), which is especially characterised by industry. Demographic dependency ratio: The demographic dependency ratio shows it´s highest values in Savona (67.1%). Savona is a port city in the north-west of Italy. The port and the connected industry are the largest employers in the region. It is generally noticeable that there is a clear north-south divide. Cities in the north are characterized by more industry and other work opportunities than rural regions in the south. The lowest dependency ratio is located in Caserta (48.3%), which is characterized by agriculture. Dependency ratio must be considered in combination with migration. The northern area witnessed a high surplus value of migration, due to job opportunities. Migrants with higher fertility rates (especially foreign workers from abroad) tend to settle down in the North of Italy. Old age dependency ratio: In Italy the old age dependency ratio is the highest in Europe (34.7% in 2017). The average value in Europe in 2017 was 29.9%. Furthermore, there are distinctive differences between northern and southern regions. The highest values are located in the northern Savona (49.1), which is a port city in the north-west of Italy. Cities in the north are characterised by more industry and other work opportunities than rural regions in the south. The lowest dependency ratio is located in Caserta (26.5). Old age dependency ratio must be considered in combination with migration. Northern areas display a high surplus value of migration, due to job opportunities, therefore migrants (especially foreign workers from abroad) with higher fertility rates settle down in the North. Share of employees in tourism: The highest rates of employees working in the tourism sector are located in Grosseto (30.37%), followed by Imperia (30.16%) and Pistoia (30.06%). It is notable that especially cities in Tuscany show a high share of employees in this sector as well as coastal towns and historically important cities are characterised by tourism. The university city of Parma shows the lowest value with 14.74%. Economic productivity (GDP): There is a clear north-south gradient. This is because the North of Italy shows significantly stronger economic performance. Not only because of the industry located there, which forms the core of Italy, but also because of numerous influential universities, the gross domestic product in the North is correspondingly high. The highest values are located in northern Milan (€54,209); the lowest in southern Sud Sardegna (€13,446). Share of employees in the high-tech sector: There are distinctive differences between northern and southern regions. The highest value appears in northern Belluno (24.12) as a statistical outlier but stands in contrast to the lowest value in southern Oristano (0.45). The North of Italy offers better future prospects and a higher standard of living compared to the South which causes many (young) people to move to the North. In addition, most of the country's universities are located in the north, which greatly increases the number of highly qualified people for the field. Most research and innovative companies are based in the North, therefore the country's high-tech centre is in the North. Together with Poland, UK and Germany, Italy accounts for about 53% of the EU share. Share of employees in the agricultural sector: There are distinct differences between northern and southern regions. The highest value appears in southern Ragusa (25.48) which stands in contrast to the lowest value in northern Prato (0.13). The South of Italy is the region with the largest share of agriculture. Due to the high intensity of sunshine and the high temperatures, olives and wine can be cultivated particularly well here. In general, the North of Italy stands out as economically better developed, therefore the share of people working in the primary sector is not as high as in the South. Cuneo and Asti are the only northern regions with a share greater than 10%.
Graduates with tertiary qualifications: There are distinctive differences between the northern and southern regions. Especially northern university cities such as Bologna (43.8%), Trieste (42.3%) or Milan (40.5%) have a high proportion of graduates with tertiary qualifications (i.e. university degrees). Most universities are located in the north of the country, due to the proximity to industry and research. An exception is the university in Cagliari (27.5%) on Sardinia. It is one of the oldest universities in the country (built in 1620) and is a popular destination for foreign students.
Share of young people (age 15-29) not in education, employment or training (NEET): This indicator also shows distinctive differences between northern and southern regions. It is remarkable that in the whole south every 4th or 3rd young person is neither in employment nor in education. In Caltanissetta the value reaches 48,2% which means that every 2nd young person is affected. The North of Italy shows smaller values, but also in many areas up to 22% and a minimum of 9,7% in Pordenone. One should mention that the value of NEET in Italy is significantly higher than the EU average. The average in Italy is 23,4% while the European average is 12,9% (data: 2018). That means in general that in Italy one young person in four is neither studying nor working. But why is the value so high? Possible explanations could be that young people do not recognize their skills which leads to self-underestimation and no job application. Another reason could be a mismatch between supply and demand in the youth labor market. Young people do not find the job they want to apply for. Another explanation lies in traditional reasons. The Average age at which young people leave their parents house is much higher than in many other European countries. This causes they are dependent on their parents for a long time. But there is a Program formed in 2014 called “Piano Garanzia Giovani” (Youth Guarantee Plan) which helps young people and supports them in finding jobs and perspectives.
Share of children (0-3 years) in childcare: There is a clear north-south gradient. The highest values can be found in northern Gorizia (36.1) and the lowest in southern Caserta (0.5). The reason for this is that in the North of Italy, parents are often busy with work during the day (industrial or service sector) and therefore have little or no time to look after their children. Furthermore, high values are found in Rome (20.8), due to administrative tasks of the people living there. In contrast to that, in the South of Italy there is often agricultural work, which the younger society does not want to do or educates itself further in the North and settles down there. A classic rural exodus can be identified. Accordingly, there are significantly fewer children in the South and consequently fewer parents who make use of child care services.
Average gross income: In the northern area of Italy one can find higher salaries thanks to industry, recruitment of foreign workers, important universities, and research institutions. The highest value appears in Bolzano-Bozen, the capital of South Tyrol with an average of 12.67 euro/hour. Cities like Torino (12.01 euro/hour), Bergamo (11.93 euro/hour), Milano (12.49 euro/hour) and Bologna (12.13 euro/hour) also show high values due to developed labour markets and possibly tourism. The region in and around Rome (11.3 euro/hour) stands out in central Italy e.g. due to government jobs, industry and tourism. In the south of Italy, the average gross income per hour is area-wide less than 11 euro.
Gender pay gap: Italy has, compared to the rest of Europe, a relatively small gender pay gap (GPG). But the GPG should be seen critically because it does not take the female labour force participation rate into account. Many women still fulfill the traditional role of a housewife. The lowest ratio of women's income to men's income is found in Genoa where women on average earn 85.94% of the income of men, followed by Mantua with 86.08%. Rimini shows the smallest GPG. In Rimini, the average salary of a woman reaches 96.46% of the average salary of a man, followed by Andria with 96.08%. In general, the smallest gender pay gap can be found in the centre of Italy. The island of Sardinia stands out in particular with significantly higher values (high value= small GPG) than the rest of Italy. The north generally shows the lowest ratios of income and therefore the highest gender pay gap.
Life expectancy at birth: A high life expectancy is usually associated with wealth, education, and health services experienced over longer time periods. In Italy there are significant disparities with spatial clustering of higher life expectancy in central and northern Italy. It is worth mentioning that the country shows the highest life expectancy in the EU in recent years with a maximum of 84 years in Florence and a minimum of 80.56 years in Naples. The average life expectancy is 82.6 years. Many regions in southern Italy have a low life expectancy, especially Sicily. However, one also finds a “blue zone” on Sardinia, a zone where a remarkable number of citizens reaches an age of 100 or more. House prices: The high demand for living space in urbanised regions raises the average selling price of houses in these areas. Since the North of Italy is more urbanised than the South, one can find higher housing prices in the North than in the South which is characterised to a large extent as rural. House prices follow disparities between North and South, plus higher prices in metropolitan areas. Rome has the highest value as the capital (4,950 euros per m²) and rural Avellino in the south has the lowest (800 euros per m²). The national average is 1,852 euros per m².
Number of family doctors: The number of family doctors tends to be higher in the southern part of Italy than in the North. Therefore, the highest values are located in Terni and in Nuoro (1.4 per 1,000 inhabitants), and the lowest in Rovigo (0.5 per 1,000 inhabitants).
Broadband connections at 30 and 100 MB/s (in per cent of the resident population): The patterns of broadband internet usage as a share of the resident population in Italy do not follow the general picture of the North-South divide of socio-economic disparities as witnessed for other indicators. Provinces in the South (e.g. Naples, around Bari, in Sicily and around Cagliari in Sardinia) show very high values of more than 80% just as metropolitan areas in the very North (e.g. Milano, Genoa). The highest value is in the region of Barletta-Andria-Trani (95.5%), the lowest value in Sondrio (31.5%). The provision of broadband stands as an example of state action that creates opportunities in disadvantaged regions. Such opportunities should be complemented by government support for digital business innovation and related activities (e.g. educational programmes, start-up networks, etc.). Remaining deficiencies in parts of Italy with connections under 50% (e.g. in the very North and central Italy) require infrastructure investments to allow more people to connect to high-speed internet.
Voter turnout in national parliamentary elections as the mean of elections in 2013 and 2018, in per cent (exception: Aosta and South Sardinia voter turnout only from 2018): The voter turnout at national elections shows strong disparities between the North and the South of Italy. Whereas provinces like Reggio nell’Emilia witnessed a participation of 81.3% (the highest value), Crotone had a participation rate of only 60.2%. The national average at the regional elections 2018 was 74.0%. Within the North, the map reveals spatial clusters of highest voting shares around Bologna and Florence as well as Brescia, Bergamo, Padova, Treviso and Vicenza. Very low voter turnouts can be seen in Sicily, Sardinia and the Calabria region.
Social expenditure by local authorities per capita (for minors, the disabled and the elderly) (€): Social care expenditures per capita are generally highest in the North of Italy and in Sardinia. Within this overarching national pattern, the highest values can for example be found around Bologna, Genoa, Trento, Milan, Trieste, Cagliari and the northern Sardinian provinces, also in the Rome province. Values in the South of Italy and Sicily are remarkably low, with few exceptions (e.g. Agrigento). This disparity can have effects on the quality of social life in disadvantaged regions, especially for vulnerable population groups who rely on social care services. In combination with structural disadvantages (e.g. lower income, unemployment, old age) it shows deficiencies in state action to combat social inequalities.
Overall internal net migration:TThere are distinctive differences between northern and southern regions. The highest value appears in northern Bologna (28) which stands in contrast to the lowest value in southern Caltanissetta (-40.6). Between 2014 and 2019 the rural and agricultural regions in the south registered massive migration losses whereas there are migration gains in the northern regions (Trieste, Parma, Bolzano-Bozen). The North of Italy offers better future prospects and a higher standard of living compared to the South which causes many (young) people to move to the North.
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