Italy Report 2023 results
35TH ITALY REPORT
The duty to have courage
The Italy Report, reaching its 35th edition this year, revolves around 6 chapters, each of which offers a dichotomous reading of the reality examined. Each chapter is illustrated through 6 essays and 60 phenomenological factsheets. Thus, through a dual reading of reality, themes that the Institute considers representative of current political, economic and social events in our country are addressed.
The thematic dichotomies identified for the Italy Report 2023 are:
State/Market • Merit/Obligation • Rights/Duties • Responsibility/Irresponsibility • Security/Insecurity • Otium/Negotium
Says the President of Eurispes, Gian Maria Fara: «We are not in ordinary times. This is the fundamental point against which we should measure both our ability to understand the times we are living in and to intervene in the situations in which we normally operate, and our expectations, both individual and collective. The exceptionality of the present time is measured by the fact that events considered unpredictable, unbelievable are becoming an element of normality in our lives, they are evaluated and experienced as if they were events and processes not destined to profoundly change the structures and dynamics of our societies and our personal lives. Fundamentally accepting this transposition of extraordinary events into events of a new normality is part of our heritage of illusions, but it also gives a precise measure of our individual and collective responsibilities or irresponsibilities in relation to the novelty and scale of the changes taking place, globally and in our national and local communities».
«The geopolitical and geo-economic processes of change, – continues the President of Eurispes – today combine with the elements relating to the great phenomena and processes of change that have been taking place for some time at a global level and to which we have already drawn attention in the past. We refer to the “megatrends”, the great processes linked, for example, to the digital revolution, demographic trends, climate change, migratory flows, economic inequalities, and widespread social imbalances.
The essential fact to reflect on is that the combination of delays and failures to address these changes marks a lack of awareness of the scale of the “giants” we must fight. Precisely giants, because they are capable of profoundly affecting our systems of life and our scenarios of growth and progress, of annihilating traditional structures and practices. The idea, hidden but alive, is that we can ultimately live with these giants without changing our way of living and operating to any great extent. It is the new normality that we risk accepting into our consciences out of fear, or inability, or unwillingness to adequately consider the real challenges of the present and the reverberations they will have in the future. Challenges that, precisely, require from individuals and communities the courage, farsightedness, responsibility and will to make decisions aimed at undertaking growth paths that are truly and profoundly innovative, we could say alternative to the current ones».
«In the “General considerations” illustrated in the Italy Report 2022 – Fara goes on to explain – we made a precise appeal urging that, in the historical passage we are living through, we could all participate and work towards the construction of a “Good Society” as a strategic objective to be pursued with plausible and shared proposals, valid to at least identify possible ways out of the difficulties linked to the incredible and surprising facts that are occurring at a global level and thus better manage the structural changes imposed by the “megatrends”. The scientific community is able to provide decision-makers with the cognitive reference data to identify and build the balance points of a true social cohesion of the system according to the principles and values of solidarity enshrined in the Italian Constitution itself. The question remains open, however, of the effective willingness to measure up, under the current conditions, to the radical challenges to be brought to our way of operating by those with the greatest decision-making responsibilities, both public and private. In essence, the question arises: does the ruling class of our country have an effective will, and ability, to confront the dangers generated by the “giants” towering above us?».
«The Government today is required to make Italy work, not only to exercise the right to lead the country that was entrusted to it with the elections: it has, at the same time, the duty to make an entire apparatus work. In this context, rather than indulging in useless arguments, if the country’s real problems are to be addressed, a constructive confrontation between majority and opposition must be recovered, overcoming the logic of conflict at all costs. In short, we must finally move from “against” to “for”.
An orientation that, in our view, requires the “duty to have courage”.
And this means finding the courage to make choices, even unpopular ones; the courage to break with the past and abandon those consolidated logics that hold back the entire system; the courage to accompany the reforms towards a definitive conclusion and thus get the country moving again; the courage to equip the territory with modern connections; the courage to invest in new family policies that incentivise births and shelter families from the fears linked to the economic crisis; the courage to find common ground among the various political alignments and unavoidable objectives on which to work to restore the country to its rightful role; the courage to eliminate widespread areas of backwardness and project it into modernity; the courage to give the necessary resources to the South of Italy to fully develop its potential and to ensure that these resources are committed within a framework of effective legality; the courage to carry out a real reform of the justice system that will bring back to the courtrooms the rights of the accused in terms of guarantees and a fair trial; the courage to state that without education a country cannot see progress, yet also that we cannot all be university graduates and that we need specialised work as well; the courage to rediscover, for example, craftsmanship as the unicum of Italian success in the world, and on so much more we must, today, find the courage to have courage».
«But this awareness – President Fara points out – cannot fully unfold if we do not also have, along with courage, the awareness of the need to rediscover duties. Our Constitutional Charter clearly identifies what the rights and duties of citizens are. Over time, however, it seems to us that there has been a tension to delineate more broadly and precisely the contours of what rights are.
Yet, in the same way as rights, duties contribute to the formation of an accomplished democracy.
It is therefore necessary to succeed in combining rights and duties. Exercising, for example, the right to govern but also the duty to make the country work; the right to oppose and, at the same time, the duty to take charge of the country’s problems as a whole; the right to have a job and, at the same time, the duty to prepare oneself, to train oneself to do it in the best possible way.
In fact, it is the entire system that, with its ruling class, is called upon to measure itself against these fundamental choices; it is required to have an active attitude, capable of managing the transitions linked to the changes taking place, instead of moving passively with continuous remedial actions of an essentially emergency nature».
THE PANDEMIC HAS BROUGHT A SENSE OF PESSIMISM AMONG THE ITALIANS, THE MAJORITY OF WHOM INDICATE THAT THE COUNTRY’S ECONOMIC SITUATION HAS WORSENED OVER THE PAST YEAR. UNTIL 2020, IN FACT, THE BELIEF THAT THERE WAS STABILITY PREVAILED. DESPITE THIS GENERAL TREND, 42% OF CITIZENS SAY THAT THEIR PERSONAL/FAMILY ECONOMIC SITUATION HAS REMAINED STABLE OVER THE PAST 12 MONTHS. THE MAIN PROBLEMS FACED BY ITALIANS ARE THE RENT (48.4%), UTILITY BILLS AND UTILITIES (37.9%; +3.5% COMPARED TO 2022) AND THE MORTGAGE (37.5%). WHEN FACED WITH FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES, THE FAMILY OF ORIGIN STILL ACTS AS A SOCIAL SHOCK ABSORBER (36.8%). RECOURSE TO INSTALMENT PAYMENTS TO FACE THE PURCHASE OF NEW GOODS IS GROWING (45.8%), 16.3% HAVE CHOSEN THE NEW ONLINE PLATFORMS THAT OFFER INTEREST-FREE FINANCIAL SERVICES.
According to data from the Eurispes survey for 2023, 53.8% of citizens indicate that the country’s economic trend has worsened over the past year. The pandemic has brought pessimism: until 2020, the prevailing opinion was that the situation was substantially stable. There is also little optimism when thinking about Italy’s economic future over the next 12 months, although many are hoping for stability: according to 31.2% of Italians, the situation will remain stable, while for about 30% it will worsen, for only 8.5% there will be an improvement, and as many as 30.2% do not know or do not answer. Despite the perception of a worsening economic situation in the country, 42% of citizens say that their personal/family economic situation has remained stable in the last 12 months.
The expense that most often puts families in difficulty is paying the rent (48.4%), followed by bills and utilities (37.9%; +3.5% compared to 2022) and the mortgage instalment (37.5%), while three out of ten Italians have difficulty paying medical expenses (30.1%; +5.6%). On the savings front, only about one Italian in four claims to be able to save (24.6%) and 38.9% of households are forced to use their savings to make ends meet. In economic difficulties, the family of origin still acts as a social shock absorber (36.8%). There is growing recourse to instalment payments to deal with the purchase of new goods (45.8%), 16.3% have chosen online platforms offering interest-free financial services (e.g. Klarna, Scalapay, etc.). On the other hand, the need to save money prompted 29.5% of Italians to pay off the books for certain services such as tutoring, repairs, babysitting, doctors, cleaning, etc., 28.6% had to give up the babysitter and 28% the caregiver.
Of the citizens surveyed, 17.4% had needed to resort to bank or financial loans in the last three years, mainly for buying a house (37.4%) and a car/motorbike (36.3%). Only 22.8% think they will be able to save in the next 12 months.
PRICES ARE RISING (75%), ITALIANS MAINLY REPORT HIGHER BILLS, FOOD AND PETROL (OVER 90% OF INDICATIONS). PEOPLE ARE CUTTING BACK ON GIFTS AND TAKING MORE ADVANTAGE OF SALES OR CHEAP SHOPPING OUTLETS. MANY PEOPLE (77.8%) ARE LIMITING THEIR OUTINGS AND INCREASINGLY POSTPONING IMPORTANT PURCHASES SUCH AS A NEW CAR (43.4%). TO COPE WITH HIGH ENERGY BILLS, 65% USE LOW-ENERGY LIGHT BULBS, 62.9% USE LESS HEATING, 55.1% RUN THEIR WASHING MACHINES AT WEEKENDS OR IN THE EVENINGS.
The majority of Italians (75.1%) have seen price increases in Italy over the past year. The most significant increases are found for bills, food and petrol (with over 90% of indications). Over the past year, Italians have reduced their spending on gifts (69.6%); bought more products on sale (64.6%), bought clothes in cheaper outlets (61%), bought food in discount shops (56.2%); many have changed the brand of a food product if it is cheaper (64%).
Meanwhile, 60.5% of Italians gave up eating out more often, while 58.6% reduced their spending on travel and holidays and 57.2% on leisure. In addition, 77.8% limited their outings; around 70% preferred streaming, DVD or platform films instead of the cinema, while 66.5% attend fewer cultural events such as concerts, exhibitions and theatre performances. Of these, 63.6% watch matches on TV instead of going to the stadium, and 61% have replaced outings to pizzerias or restaurants with dinners at home with friends. In addition, 56.7% bring their lunch to the office or university from home to reduce expenses, while others more often go to their parents or relatives for lunch or dinner (45.5%). To make ends meet in the past year, people most often gave up buying a new car (43.4%). To cope with high utility bills, 65% of those surveyed use low-energy light bulbs, 62.9% use their home heating less, and 55.1% run their washing machine at weekends or in the evenings. More than half of Italians avoid keeping household appliances on standby (54.4%) and use hot water as little as possible (51.9%). Ordering dinner or other meals at home is now a widespread habit (55.5%; +10.9 compared to 2022).
TOO MUCH WORK AND NOT ENOUGH SPACE FOR ONESELF AND FAMILY. THE SHADOW OF BURNOUT STRETCHES OVER THREE OUT OF TEN WORKERS WHO REPORT FEELING PSYCHOPHYSICAL DISCOMFORT ASSOCIATED WITH WORK. MORE THAN A QUARTER OF WORKERS COMPLAIN ABOUT JOB INSECURITY, LACK OF RIGHTS AND PRECARIOUSNESS. ONE THIRD HAVE WORKED TWO JOBS IN THE LAST YEAR AND ONE IN FIVE HAVE WORKED WITHOUT A CONTRACT. UNEQUAL TREATMENT BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN IN THE LABOUR MARKET IS A REALITY FOR 26.8% OF ITALIANS.
Excessively heavy workloads (44.3%) and lack of time for oneself (39.2%) are the most common inconveniences among workers. This is followed by conflictual relations with superiors (34.9%), difficulties in reconciling work and family (34.3%), home-work journeys (33.6%), lack of professional stimuli (31.2%); while about 30% complain of conflictual relations with colleagues or psychophysical malaise associated with work. Around 27.4% suffer from job insecurity, 26.2% feel that their rights are poorly protected and around 26% are concerned by the precariousness of their contract; almost a quarter (23.6 %) experience irregularity in payments.
In the last year, some have been doing double work (32.9%), working without a contract (20.1%), doing work that is less qualified than their skills (23.6%) or night work (15%). As many as 35.6% worked from home.
Among those who gave up work and those who thought of doing so, it emerges that this was because of lack of pay (24.4%), because they were victims of mobbing (26.7%), because they did not have a contract (21.2%), or because they were subjected to sexual harassment (12.6%).
The Eurispes survey then focused on those categories of workers whose inclusion is not always adequately guaranteed: women, people with a non-heterosexual orientation, foreigners. With regard to equal gender opportunities, 26.8% of the sample found differences in treatment in the world of work between men and women in terms of career opportunities, 24.3% in terms of personal respect, 24% in terms of economic recognition. In 15.4% of cases, there was direct or indirect experience of discrimination in relation to people’s sexual orientation; in 13.9% of cases in relation to foreign origin.
ON THE REFORM FRONT, AGREEMENT TO THE DIRECT ELECTION OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND TO THE AUTONOMY OF THE REGIONS, EVEN THOUGH JUST OVER HALF ARE IN FAVOUR.
A total of 51.9% of Italians want the direct election of the Prime Minister and advocate the autonomy of the regions (56.1%). Just under half of Italians (48.3%) are in favour of the direct election of the President of the Republic. The opinion on the major open issues in the country’s domestic and foreign affairs reveals widespread scepticism. On average, one third of the sample indicates a positive opinion on the issues raised.
THE PICTURE THAT EMERGES FROM THE DATA COLLECTED IN THE SAMPLE SURVEY CARRIED OUT BY EURISPES IS THAT OF A GENERAL DECLINE IN THE TRUST EXPRESSED BY CITIZENS IN INSTITUTIONS, ALTHOUGH THERE ARE SOME THAT MAINTAIN A BROAD CONSENSUS, SUCH AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC, THE POLICE AND ARMED FORCES, THE INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, TOGETHER WITH OTHER INSTITUTIONS SUCH AS THE SCHOOL, CIVIL PROTECTION, HEALTH, UNIVERSITY, VOLUNTARY WORK AND, TO SOME EXTENT, THE CHURCH.
According to the data collected, the President of the Republic enjoys the trust expressed by the majority of citizens (52.2%). The current government garners a third (34.3%) of the trust. The Judiciary is at 41% of the consensus, Parliament at 30%, and Regional Presidents at 34.8%. Approximately 55% of citizens say they trust the Guardia di Finanza, 52.8% trust the Polizia di Stato, 52.7% the Carabinieri. More than six out of ten citizens trust our Army (64.3%), the Air Force (64%) and the Navy (67.5%). Still in the area of Defence, the Coast Guard garners 65.1% of the consensus. The Fire Brigade received 77.8% of the consensus. The Prison Police is at 53.4% and the Local Police at 53.2%. As for our intelligence services, confidence stands at 55.5%. Among the other institutions considered, the following results are recorded: School, 62.4%; Civil Protection, 69.9%; National Health System, 55.8%; University, 64.9%; Voluntary work, 60.6%; Church 50.4%. On lower figures are: Trade unions, 43.1%; other religious denominations, 38%; Consumer associations, 46%; Public administration, 39.6%; Associations representing entrepreneurs, 39%; Parties, 32.5%.
FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF ITALIANS, THE PRESENCE OF WOMEN IN POLITICS IS INADEQUATE AND PINK QUOTAS CANNOT BE THE ANSWER TO THE GENDER GAP BECAUSE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES ARE ONLY CREATED BY IMPLEMENTING THE CONDITIONS THAT CAN GUARANTEE WOMEN AN EFFECTIVE PARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC LIFE.
The majority of Italians (72.6%) consider the presence of women in politics to be inadequate, from a quantitative and/or qualitative point of view: 36% state in particular that there are too few women and that they rarely hold key roles, while 36.6% consider the number of women to be adequate, but note that they rarely manage to reach high-profile roles. Only 21.2%, on the other hand, consider the presence of women to be adequate both in number and in role, and just 6.2% consider it excessive at institutional level. Pink quotas are not the answer to the gender gap for 30.9% of citizens, since equal opportunities are only created by creating the conditions that can guarantee women effective participation in public life, while 19.5% instead justified their opposition with the need for women to win public office on an equal footing with men. For 36%, on the other hand, pink quotas are the only way to guarantee the presence of women in politics.
A total of 36.7% of Italians believe that more effective family and maternity support policies could benefit and encourage women’s political commitment, while for 25.7%, a better division of family responsibilities between the two genders is needed and for 24.6%, quotas reserved for women, established by law, should be used. Finally, there is no shortage of those, 12.9%, who do not consider particular interventions necessary because women are already sufficiently represented.
ITALIANS FAVOURABLE TO EUTHANASIA (67.9%) AND THE NUMBER OF THOSE WHO SAY THEY ARE IN FAVOUR OF ASSISTED SUICIDE IS GROWING UP TO 50%. THE PROTECTION OF DE FACTO COUPLES AND THE POSSIBILITY OF SAME-SEX MARRIAGE SEES THE MAJORITY OF ITALIANS IN FAVOUR. ADOPTION ALSO FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES DIVIDES THE SAMPLE IN HALF, WHILE FOR SINGLES THERE IS MORE SUPPORT. 58% ARE IN FAVOUR OF HETEROLOGOUS FERTILISATION. NO TO THE LEGALISATION OF SOFT DRUGS AND PROSTITUTION, SURROGACY, SEX CHANGE THROUGH SELF-DECLARATION AND THE RECOGNITION OF GENDER IDENTITIES THAT DO NOT REFLECT MALE AND FEMALE. ALSO REJECTED BY A CLEAR MAJORITY OF ITALIANS WERE VIVISECTION, FUR COATS, ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES AND HUNTING.
The survey on ethical issues shows that 67.9% of Italians are in favour of euthanasia (-7% compared to 2022), 68.8% support living wills (they were 69.3% last year). Regarding the possibility of assisted suicide, Italians in favour represent 50% (they were 41.9% in 2022; 42.4% in 2021; 45.4% in 2020 and only 39.4% in 2019).
The legal protection of de facto couples regardless of sex finds 64.1% of Italians in favour, while the possibility of same-sex marriage receives 59.2% of favourable indications and the legal protection of de facto couples finds 64.1% of citizens in agreement. In 2019, 31.1% of Italians were in favour of the adoption of children even for same-sex couples; today they are 50.4%.
On the other hand, less than 4 out of 10 Italians agree (38.1%) with the possibility of changing sex through self-declaration, even without medical certification. There seems instead to be more consensus on the recognition of gender identities that do not reflect male and female, although less than half of the sample (48.9%) agrees in any case. The adoption of children also for singles is an issue that just over half of Italians agree on (56.3%).
Of the Italians, 58% are in favour of heterologous fertilisation, an increase compared to 2022 (56.9%); just under 4 out of 10 Italians are in favour of surrogacy (39.5%). As far as the legalisation of soft drugs is concerned, less than half of Italians declare themselves in favour (47.9%); a similar result can be seen for the legalisation of prostitution (45.7% of citizens in favour).
In 2023, vivisection is not acceptable to almost 8 out of 10 Italians (76.9%), as is the use of fur coats (73.9%) and the presence of animals in circuses (75.6%). There is also a clear rejection of hunting (69%), although the data is down compared to last year (76.1%).
Intensive livestock breeding for food represents another of those issues towards which Italians have developed great attention and sensitivity: 72.7% of Italians say they are against it.
SOCIAL NETWORKS: THE ONLY PLATFORMS THAT ARE USED MOST FREQUENTLY IN ALL THE AGE GROUPS CONSIDERED ARE WHATSAPP, FACEBOOK AND YOUTUBE, FOR THE REST THE USE OF THE VARIOUS SOCIAL NETWORKS IS THE PREROGATIVE OF YOUNG PEOPLE, ABOVE ALL TO PASS THE TIME, KEEP IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS AND INFORM THEMSELVES. THERE APPEARS TO BE WIDESPREAD AWARENESS OF THE RISKS INVOLVED IN USING SOCIAL NETWORKS, ALTHOUGH FOR 45.8%, THE USE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS SHOULD BE COMPLETELY FREE AND UNCENSORED. THE USE OF MOBILE PHONES INCREASES IN BED, WHEN WAKING UP, BEFORE SLEEPING; AT THE TABLE ALONE OR IN COMPANY; IN THE CAR STOPPED AT TRAFFIC LIGHTS; DRIVING OR WALKING.
The most used social networks are WhatsApp (73.9%), Facebook (67.5%), Telegram (34.4%) and Twitter (25.9%). As far as media sharing platforms are concerned, the primacy is held by YouTube (59.2%), followed by Instagram (46.8%) and TikTok (26.5%). A total of 23.2% of Italians report using Linkedin, a social networking site very much linked to their profession and work. Fewer are fans of Pinterest (18.4%) and Snapchat (11.7%). Tinder, Meetic, Badoo, etc., interest 10% of respondents, and a similar proportion connect on Onlyfans (9.7%).
There are three reasons why people choose to subscribe to one or more social networks: to pass the time (23.5%), to keep in touch with their friends (21.4%), and to keep informed about topics and events of interest to them (18.1%).
A good awareness of the risks related to the use of Social networks was detected: 69% of respondents believe they can negatively affect social interactions, 66.6% of respondents raise the issue of digital addiction, 68.8% emphasise that Social networks contribute to the spread of fake news and 66.3% consider them dangerous for privacy. Another worrying issue concerns anonymous surfing, which can encourage aggressive, offensive and intimidating behaviour (66.9%). Finally, for Italians, the use of social networks: is useful for work (64%); encourages racist and discriminatory attitudes (63.4%); should be regulated and subjected to more controls (56.2%); should only be allowed to adults (51%); stimulates creativity (47.8%). For 45.8% it should instead be completely free and uncensored.
At what age is the mobile phone acceptable? For 34.8% of Italians, the consensus is that children should get a smartphone as late as possible. For 22.6%, on the other hand, the appropriate age range to provide a smartphone is between 14 and 15 years, while 16.6% from 16 years. The survey recorded an increase in phone use in bed, when waking up or before going to sleep (73.3% compared to 59.2% in 2018). Phone use at the dinner table is also even more prevalent today, both when alone (from 58.2% in 2018 to 64.4% in 2023) and when in company (from 31.6% in 2018 to 33.9% in 2023). There is also an increase in the number of people using their phone when stopped at traffic lights (from 30.6% to 32.7%), or when driving (from 23% to 28%). Many continue to use their phones while walking (from 54.3% in 2018 to 55.1% in 2023).
BECOMING A PARENT FOR THE RESPONDENTS MEANT ABOVE ALL GIVING UP THEIR OWN INTERESTS, TIME WITH FRIENDS, BUT ALSO MAKING FINANCIAL SACRIFICES. PARENTS (68.6%) WANT THEIR CHILDREN TO ACHIEVE THINGS THEY THEMSELVES COULD NOT ACHIEVE. WITH THE BIRTH OF CHILDREN, THE COUPLE WAS PUT UNDER STRAIN IN ABOUT 40% OF CASES. AND POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION AFFECTED AT LEAST 3 OUT OF 10 WOMEN.
As parents, one mainly gives up cultivating one’s own interests and hobbies (52.5%), makes financial sacrifices (51.7%) and sacrifices time with friends (51.2%). Personal care (50.8%) and relationships (50.1%) are also penalised.
Well over half of the parents (84.8%) feel they have encouraged their children to have an open relationship based on the sharing of feelings and emotions; but there are also those who, 67.9%, have established an authoritarian relationship, with clear and defined rules to be respected, and those who (62.3%) say they use the means of punishment to enforce the rules, where necessary.
Parents (68.6%) want their children to achieve goals that they themselves could not achieve. The majority of parents (72.4%) stated that they had not intervened in their child’s defence with a teacher over a measure or behaviour that they considered unfair, nor had they taken action in their child’s defence with a fellow pupil who was pestering them (69.5%), or protested over a mark they considered unfair (67%).
With the birth of their child, some indicate that they have been overwhelmed by the emotional wave that characterises the initial period, generating tension and nervousness in the couple (43.3%). Similarly, there are also 40.1% of parents who have experienced difficulties in cultivating the relationship. Mothers (32.6%) more than fathers (27.7%) admit that post partum depression occurred after the birth of their children.
ONLY 37% OF SINGLES ARE SO BY CHOICE EVEN THOUGH THE MAJORITY BELIEVE THAT THIS CONDITION OFFERS MORE OPPORTUNITIES THAN LIMITATIONS AND GIVES FREEDOM. ON THE CONSUMPTION FRONT, MANY PERCEIVE DIFFICULTY IN BUYING CUSTOMISED FOOD (53%) AND FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO MEET HOUSING COSTS (53.3%).
More than thirty years ago, Eurispes decided to carry out research to trace the identikit of the single person: they were metropolitan, careerist, spendthrifts, lovers of adventure and travel, narcissistic, insomniac, stressed. They were almost always men and women in their thirties or forties, highly educated, with a medium or medium-high income, engaged in self-employed professions or in services, in activities of considerable commitment. Italian singles were observed again in the 2023 survey. Being single is a personal choice for more than a third of singles (37.1%) but for many (62.9%) it remains a choice forced by other factors.
The majority (58.9%) do not believe that being single provides more opportunities than limitations, while 41.1% of singles think so. For half of the singles (50.2%), this condition means feeling free; on the other hand, for 46.8% of the respondents, being single is a condition that is not dictated by a personal choice, but is somehow suffered. Singles report that they are considered lucky because they are free (22.9%), economically advantaged (23.8%) and have a challenging personality (24.1%). A total of 47% of singles never have difficulty finding single or small quantities of food in the supermarket, although 53% report encountering this problem at least sometimes, often or even always. The majority (51.8%) has never experienced high costs when travelling alone.
ONE IN FOUR ITALIANS WOULD BE WILLING TO EAT SYNTHETIC MEAT. VEGANS AND VEGETARIANS ARE AROUND 6.6%, 7% HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST. WIDESPREAD USE OF ‘WITHOUT’ FOODS EVEN WHEN ONE HAS NO SPECIFIC HEALTH PROBLEMS. ALMOST SEVEN OUT OF TEN ITALIANS CONSUME SUPPLEMENTS AND VITAMINS. VERY LITTLE OPENNESS TOWARDS INSECTS AS FOOD.
What kind of diet do Italians follow? According to the results of the Eurispes survey, in 2023, 4.2% of the sample made the vegetarian choice while 2.4% were vegan (a total of 6.6%). However, 93.4% say they are not vegetarians, but among them 7% say they have been previously. One in four Italians would be willing to eat synthetic meat, although a majority of those who would not be inclined to change their diet prevail (73.6%). Many people buy lactose-free foods (30%; 26% in 2019), some even without having an intolerance (18.3%); the consumption of gluten-free foods is also growing (21.1%; in 2019 it was 19.3%) and for many it is not an intolerance (12.1%). A similar situation is noted for yeast-free foods, which are bought in almost a fifth of cases (18.8%), although in 12.5% there is no medical need. People buy foods without eggs to a lesser extent (13.3%) and of these only 3.5% due to intolerance. The percentage of those who buy sugar-free products is higher (23.3%), 19.8% of them without any real intolerance. Food supplements and vitamins are instead consumed by 68.5% of the sample.
Of those surveyed, 82.5% of Italians declare themselves to be little or not at all inclined to eat insects. The results are different when it comes to products resulting from the processing of insects, e.g. flour: 76.7% would not buy products containing them; 23.3% would.
ONE IN FIVE ITALIANS GAMBLES. THE MOST POPULAR GAME IS SCRATCH CARDS. THE NUMBER OF THOSE WHO HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF ILLEGAL GAMBLING CIRCUITS INCREASES. 26.8% OF PLAYERS HAVE TAKEN OUT A LOAN TO PLAY.
The number of Italians who participate in games with cash prizes is 21.3%, while 78.7% say they never do so. In detail: 12% play only live, 4.2% only online, 5.1% both ways. The most popular cash game overall in Italy is the scratch card: only 15.3% never play it.
Among risky behaviours, the majority of gamblers affirm that they have never had the feeling of spending too much time gambling (52.3%), to more than a third (34.7%) it happened sometimes, to 9% often, to 3.9% even always. A total of 56.3% never felt they spent too much money gambling, while to a third (32.9%) it happened sometimes, to 6.5% often and to 4.4% always. Worryingly, 26.8% of those who took out a loan to gamble. Of citizens, 38% (they were 26.9% in 2019) have direct or indirect knowledge of the existence of illegal gambling schemes: almost a third (31.6%) are aware of them but have never taken part in them, 6.4% have also participated.
OF ITALIANS, 32.7% (-5% COMPARED TO 2022) HAVE A PET. MONTHLY EXPENDITURE ON ANIMAL FRIENDS IS CONCENTRATED BETWEEN 31 AND 100 EUROS, WITH OUTGOINGS MAINLY DEDICATED TO HEALTH AND FOOD. THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF CUTS TO CURB EXPENSES, PARTICULARLY ON FOOD OR BY RENOUNCING TAKING IN OTHER PETS. VIRTUAL FUNERALS AND TESTAMENTARY BEQUESTS ARE STARTING TO BE CONSIDERED AS POSSIBLE OPTIONS.
One third of Italians welcome an animal into their home. The trend is downward. In 2023, according to data collected by Eurispes, the number of Italians who say they own a pet is 32.7% (-5% compared to 2022). Italians’ favourite animals remain dogs (42%) and cats (34.4%). Of those who have a pet at home, 18.7% say they spend less than 30 euros a month on their pets, a percentage that rises to 28.4% in the 31-50 euros bracket and 33.2% in the 51-100 euros bracket. An additional 12.1% spend between 100 and 200 euros per month, while only 3.2% spend between 200 and 300 euros per month. Among the expenditure items, those where people tend to spend the most are related to health and food.
Different cuts are made to deal with pet expenses: there are those who buy less expensive food (35.8%), those who renounce adopting a new animal (36%), but also those who choose to pass up treatment or surgery (28.5%) or reduce veterinary visits (26.3%).
Of the respondents, 14.7% have considered using a virtual cemetery for their pet; 13.1% have considered being buried together and 11.9% have considered using an online funeral when their pet passes away. One Italian in five (20.2%), among those who own at least one pet, has seriously considered the hypothesis of allocating a part of their inheritance to the latter but also of being buried together with their pet.
A summary of the Report is available at https://eurispes.eu/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/summary-italy-report-2023.pdf
The full version of the Report is available, after registering on the site, at https://eurispes.eu/ricerca-