Italy’s poverty rate fell slightly in 2013

Over a quarter of residents in Italy faced poverty or social exclusion last year, but the number of people at risk of poverty is falling across the country, new statistics show.

Italy's poverty rate fell slightly in 2013
The number of residents whose monthly spending is less than €800 remains high. Poverty photo: Shutterstock

A total of 28.4 percent of residents in Italy were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2013, a fall of 1.5 percent in a year, national statistics agency Istat said on Thursday.

The improvement is reflected in a number of indicators that show the change in the level of serious deprivation in Italy.

The number of people who don’t have adequate heating at home has dropped from 21.2 percent to 19.1 percent in a year.

Last year, 14.2 percent of family members couldn’t afford a protein meal – be it meat, fish or vegetarian – every two days, down from 16.8 percent in the previous year.

However, the number of residents whose monthly spending is less than €800 remains high, at 40.3 percent last year, compared to 42.5 percent in 2012.

The rich-poor divide is evident within the figures, as Istat said 20 percent of the richest families earned 37 percent of the country's total income in 2012. The poorest 20 percent of families took home 7.9 percent of income.

Families with more than three children are most at risk of poverty and social exclusion, with 43.7 percent at risk in 2013 compared to 39.8 percent in 2012.

Single parents in Italy also struggle; 38.3 percent faced poverty last year, although the figure fell from 41.7 percent the previous year.

Poverty among pensioners is also falling, down from 38.0 percent in 2012 to 32.2 percent last year, Istat said.

READ MORE: One in four Spaniards live in poverty: report

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