Is it any wonder the Italians are revolting against the European Union?
Italians living below the level of absolute poverty almost tripled over the last decade as the country went through a double-dip, record-long recession. As Bloomberg reports, the absolute poor, or those unable to purchase a basket of necessary goods and services, reached 4.7 million last year, up from almost 1.7 million in 2006, national statistics agency Istat said Thursday. That is 7.9 percent of the population, with many of them concentrated in the nation’s southern regions.
For decades, Italy has grappled with a low fertility rate — just 1.35 children per woman compared with a 1.58 average across the 28-nation European union as of 2015, the last year for which comparable data are available.
“The poverty report shows how it is pointless to wonder why there are fewer newborn in Italy,” said Gigi De Palo, head of Italy’s Forum of Family Associations.
“Making a child means becoming poor, it seems like in Italy children are not seen as a common good.”
The number of absolute poor rose last year in the younger-age classes, reaching 10 percent in the group of those between 18 and 34 years old. It fell among seniors to 3.8 percent in the age group of 65 and older, the Istat report also showed.