GIOVENTU » One in five Italians don't read or participate in cultural events

One in five Italians don't read or participate in cultural events

One Italian out of five, that is 18.5% of the population doesn't read or participate in cultural events.

The alarming data emerged from the latest Istat annual report on Italians and culture. According to the research more than a half of the Italian population didn't even flick through a newspaper and six people out of ten didn't even read a book.

According to the annual report, the most cultured Italian area is the north east, where only 12.1% weren't involved in cultural activities in 2015 and the lowest rate of cultural participation was recorded in the south with a 28.2% of people not involved in any cultural activity in the last year. 


Italians are not even particularity interested in the news: more than 51.9% didn't read newspapers during the week. The data is not more encouraging when it comes to books or visiting museums, as 6 Italians out of 10 didn't read a book and 68.3% didn't visit museums or exhibitions.

Music is not doing better: during the last year 88.3% of Italians didn't go to a concert of classical music (78.8% didn't go to modern or contemporary music concerts either), and almost 80% haven't been to the theatre.

Cinema is certainly the most popular activity, but even in this case, the percentage of attendance is low: 48.9% have never seen a film on the big screen last year, and among those over 75 the percentage rises even to 90%. In the south there is greater interest in cinema: 50.1% against 48.9% of the national average. Among citizens of more than 20 years of age, the number of those who don't go to the cinema increases with age.

The non-participation in sporting events instead is strongly marked by gender differences: 62.5% of males, against 81.9% of females.


Things get worse as years go by, more than 20% of 60 year olds are totally excluded from any cultural activity and this percentage increases with age. More women (21%) than men (15.8%) do not participate in cultural activities, and this percentage reaches its peak among 75-year-old women (50.8% against 35.5% of men).

As for reading, those who neglect this interest are mainly from the South (62.7%). They are children, adolescents and young people up to 19 years (with values that go from 92% to 84.9% for those who are less than 15 and ranging from 74.5% to 66% for the age group '15-17 and 18-19). Women who have never opened a newspaper are more than men (56.8% versus 46.7%) but  books are ignored by half of the women, and by as much as 63.4% of men. 


Among those who read, 45.5% read a maximum of 3 books a year and they are especially young people, while only 13.7% read more than one book per month.

Even though Italians are not strong readers they are increasingly getting used to new technologies: in 2015, 56.5% of the population declared that they used the computer and 60.2% said they used the Internet. 40.3% browsed the net every day. There was an increase of 2.8% of people using the internet in 2015 compared to 2014, that is a rise of over 33 percentage points from 2011.

Giulia Lombardo

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