As was (unfortunately) predictable absolute poverty in Italy in 2020, the year of the pandemic, increased. One million more people than the previous year: in absolute terms, by adding together flows and stocks, we arrive at 5.6 million individuals, which increase the absolute poverty index from 7.7 to 9.4%. Istat told us yesterday and the data it provided validates the first impressions that had been obtained by examining the Milanese rows of last December at Pane Quotidiano.
Above all, the working poor are falling back on the social ladder, the penultimate who in recent months have lost their precarious work mainly in the tertiary sector, who are mostly resident in the North and in metropolitan or neighboring areas. In fact, in the North alone, 218,000 families have slipped into absolute poverty, corresponding to 720,000 people, while in the South the flow of new destitute people is more limited (186,000 units) but the historically largest stock (11.1% of individuals ). The overall balance is therefore negative but given the magnitude of the pandemic crisis, the numbers could have been decidedly worse. We are not in social collapse, to put it briefly.
The relative holding of the embankments is due to the citizenship income and emergency income which could have worked better but still played a dam role. It is no coincidence that absolute poverty grows relatively more in the North, less “wet” by citizenship income than in the South. A confirmation of this moderate interpretation also comes from an additional parameter provided by Istat: the intensity of poverty. . As is well known, the absolute poverty index – one of the three that statistically measure indigence – is obtained by calculating the distance of the quality of household / individual spending with respect to a minimum threshold of purchases of goods and services considered essential for a standard of living. minimally acceptable. Well, yesterday’s data tells us that this distance (intensity) even decreased from 20.3 to 18.7%. It means that many families in the terrible 2020 have unfortunately slipped into absolute poverty, but have still managed to maintain a decent consumer spending regime, thanks also to the government subsidies given.
Who, like precarious workers, was somehow excluded he paid the highest price. Another interesting fact that explains the use of the term penultimate is found in the comparison between Italian and foreign families. The absolute poverty index of the latter passes from 22 to 25.7%, but also in this case due to the stock effect. The flows tell us, in fact, that out of 100 families that become poor today 80 are composed only of Italians. Examining, then, the evolution of the spending of Italians under the slap of the pandemic we can see how drastically decreasing (-9.1% year on year) has gone to concentrate around two essential pillars, food and home. In fact, the expenses for food and housing of all families went from 53.1 to 58.4% in one year and if we take into consideration, instead, only the families in absolute poverty, the increase was even more significant, reaching 77, 1%. The consumer basket has shrunk in quantity and breadth.