The number of Italians living in absolute poverty did not increase in 2018 after rising in the previous three years, although poverty remains a major problem in Italy, according to data released by the government on Tuesday 18th June, Reuters has reported.
According to figures from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), some five million people, or 8.4% of the country's population, live in extreme poverty. The Bureau defines this as people who are unable to purchase goods and services "essential to avoid grave forms of social exclusion."
The number of families living in absolute poverty was 1.8 million, the highest number recorded since the start of the Institute’s records in 2005.
Fighting poverty is a key goal of the current populist government, which has been in power for a year.
The economy grew by 0.9% in 2018 and ISTAT expects it to achieve a hard-won 0.3% in 2019.