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Italy improving but South remains behind says ISTAT (2)

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Rome, April 27 - Italy is "clearly improving in many
sectors" but is not in line with its EU partners "especially in
the South", ISTAT said in its 'Noi Italia' report Friday.
It said the Mezzogiorno was among the worst areas in the EU
for unemployment, especially youth unemployment.
There are more poor people in the south of Italy, ISTAT said
Friday in the report on 2015-2016 but the "intensity" of poverty
is more marked in the north (20.8%) than in the south (20.5%).
Some 7.3 million Italians are in "grave economic hardship",
ISTAT said.
It said the quota rose to 12.1% in 2016, with the south
triple the north.
Life expectancy in the northern city of Trento is three years
longer than that in the southern region of Campania, ISTAT also
said.
ISTAT also said that Italy is third last alongside
Bulgaria in the EU for education spending, with 4.0% of GDP,
compared to to the EU average of 4.9%.
In another finding, the statistics agency said one out of
four people in Sicily are in grave economic hardship, "really
struggling to get by."
Italy also has the highest share of the elderly in the
population in Europe, ISTAT said in its 'Noi Italia' report
Friday.
On January 1, 2017 there were 165.3 elderly people to 100
young people and 55.8 people of non working age to every 100
people of working age in Italy.
The two indexes were significantly higher in central and
northern regions, at 174.3 and 57.8 respectively.
Italy came second to last in Europe for female employment in
2016, ahead only of Greece, ISTAT said in its 'Noi Italia'
report Friday.
In that year Italy remained 13.7 percentage points below the
European average for female employment and 9.4 percentage points
below the average for employment overall.
In other findings, ISTAT said the number of young people who
abandon their studies in Italy was growing steadily year upon
year.
It also said the number of young people not in education,
employment or training (NEET) had dipped below 2.2 million but
was still the highest in Europe.
There were 16.3 divorces per 10,000 inhabitants in Italy in
2016, up from 13.6 the previous year, ISTAT said.
The increase was due to the introduction of a new law
allowing 'quickie divorce' in May 2015, the national statistics
institute added.
The marriage rate in Italy remained low with 3.2 marriages
celebrated per 1,000 inhabitants, ahead only of Portugal and
Slovenia.

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