According to the Survey of Household Income and Wealth, the mean equivalent income of Italian households was 3.5% higher in 2016 than in 2014. This increase comes after an almost uninterrupted fall since 2006. Mean equivalent income was nonetheless still 11% below the 2006 peak. Income growth was driven by the increase in employees' mean earnings and in the number of recipients. At all income levels, the share of households that were able to save part of their income increased in 2016. Households expect income growth to continue in 2017.
Income distribution inequality, measured by the Gini index, increased, returning close to the level prevailing at the end of the last century. The share of individuals at risk of poverty, defined as those with an equivalent income below 60% of median equivalent income, also rose to an all-time high of 23% . This condition affects primarily young households, those living in the South, and those of foreign born residents.
Average and median net wealth decreased by 5% and 9% at constant prices. As in the past, the decline was due almost entirely to the fall in house prices.
The share of indebted households decreased again, to 21%; the median value of the ratio between total household debt and income fell to 63% from the peak of 80% recorded in 2012.