NEWS » Italy has the largest percentage of elderly in Europe

Italy has the largest percentage of elderly in Europe

As we already know Italians live longer on average than other European citizens. if we combine this data with the very low Italian birth rate we find out that Italy has also the largest percentage of elderly in Europe. 6% of the Italian population is aged over 80 and more than 20% of Italians are aged over 65.

According to ISTAT In Italy there are 147.2 elderly to every hundred young people. It is called "ageing index", and in Europe, only Germany has an index higher than the Italian one. Liguria region is confirmed as the oldest, while Campania, the youngest.

The problem is that Italian elderly are becoming increasingly poor, and the number of people selling their family house at a discounted price to real estate agencies, on the condition that they can stay on until they die, has also increased. This phenomenon can be seen as another example of how the economic crisis continues to deepen inequalities in the country. The economic crisis has worsened an already difficult situation in which social support for the vulnerable is highly inadequate. In big cities the situation is even more difficult because the elderly are more at risk of poverty and physical isolation. A report issued by The National Superior Institute of Health, portrays an ageing country where the majority of its elderly are facing financial difficulties, as over half of the Italians aged over 64 can barely get by.

According to Auser, a social service for Italian elderly, 55 percent of Italians over the age of 65 survive on less than 1,000 Euros per month, and 25% receive less than 500 Euros per month.

Taking into account the quality of life of the Italian elderly the results released by the Global Age Watch Index, by HelpAge International, a global network dedicated to the world elderly population, in collaboration with the United Nations Organization, are not very encouraging. Italy is at the 27th place in the world ranking close after Chile, Slovenia , Uruguay and Argentina. Sweden won the first place as the nation more "ageing -friendly" of the Earth, with generous pensions and welfare, reliable transports and strong sense of community. Germany  and Norway follow.

Let’s hope Italian elderly won’t be forced to emigrate to these countries in order to have a decent happy life.

Giulia Lombardo

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