No. 648 - The poverty debate in Italy: from politics to statistics

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by Andrea BrandoliniOctober 2021

The paper examines the debate on poverty in Italy over the last seventy years, identifying some key passages: the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into Poverty in the early 1950s; the long period of the Poverty Commission, established in 1984 and definitively abolished in 2012; and the European Commission's initiatives. The paper outlines the main poverty trends and deals with some important issues in its measurement.

Looking back at the debate on poverty in Italy from the specific perspective of statistical measurement, a close link emerges between the institutionalisation of the measure of poverty in official statistics and the political process, both national and international. In the last two decades, a clear stratification of poverty by age and citizenship, which sees children and migrants at a disadvantage, has arisen alongside the traditional geographical divide.

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