Surprise: poverty decreases. The secret? Growth, of course

Surprise: poverty decreases.  The secret?  Growth, of course

Economic growth is the most effective antidote to poverty and inequality, yet too many families still depend on public support. This is the message, more in chiaroscuro than it appears, that emerges from Istat report on living conditions and household income in 2021-22. The report investigates the trend of the risk of poverty and social exclusion (2022) and income (2021), including the various supports provided in the context of the pandemic. A first result is that, although the percentage of the population at risk of poverty is stable over time (about one fifth of the population), the share of those who find themselves in severe social deprivation is clearly decreasing. It fell from 5.9 percent in 2021 to 4.5 percent in 2022. The indicators improve in all areas of the country except the South, but the problem essentially concerns three regions (Puglia, Sardinia and Calabria) given that others (Campania and Sicily) follow the national trend. In the north, the exception is represented by Liguria, which in 2022 will see an increase in the risk of poverty and the portion of the population characterized by low work intensity (i.e. those who work less than 20 percent of the time). The same problem concerns Lazio and the Marches. Istat attributes the improvements "to the recovery of the economy after the pandemic crisis and the increase in employment and family incomes".

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