Martedì, 18 Settembre 2018

Census figures show Italy's north-south gap widening


(By Gordon Sorlini)Rome, March 19 - The gap between
Italy's richer north and poorer south is increasing with the
latter particularly battered by the global economic crisis and
skyrocketing youth unemployment, figures from Italy's latest
national census show.
According to the figures, published Tuesday by social and
economic thinktank Censis, both gross domestic product and
unemployment have taken a harder hit in Italy's south with
respect to the north - GDP dropped by 5.7% in the north between
2007-2012, compared with a 10% collapse in the south.
Of the 505,000 jobs lost in Italy since the beginning of
the crisis, some 60% are in Italy's southern regions, called the
"Mezzogiorno", and salaries have dropped to below the average in
Greece, or around 18,000 euros per year.
Of all the countries of the eurozone, according to the
figures, Italy is the country with the greatest inequality on a
territorial level with certain social categories - like the
young and women - particularly hard-hit in the country's
southern regions.
Young people aged 15-29 who do not study at university, do
not work and are not in school - so-called NEETs - are much more
present in the southern regions than in the rest of Italy.
According to Censis, some 32% of youth in Italy's
Mezzogiorno qualify as NEETs, compared with 22.7% for the
national average.
The situation is so bad in Campania and Sicily, where NEETs
as a proportion of the overall population reach 35.2% and 35.7%,
respectively, that Censis warns of a "social emergency".
A situation that would appear to contradict expenditure on
education: the south spends much more on education than the rest
of the country: 6.7% of GDP, or 1,170 euros per student,
compared with 3.1% of GDP, or 937 euros per student, in Italy's
However, some 21.2% of school-age youths abandon school in
the south, compared with 16% in the center-north and the
learning levels are considered "decidedly worse" in the south,
according to the Censis.
Flows of students seeking better educational opportunities
are also imbalanced, Censis figures show, with some 23.7% of
university students in the south transferring to universities in
the center-north, compared with only 2% of center-north students
transferring to south-based institutions.

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