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Great social and economic transformations took place in Italy over the past 60 years with a poor agricultural society giving way to an advanced post-industrial society.

Within this reference frame, the Italian population changed its structure, habits and behaviour, increasing from 47 million in 1950 to 60 million now. The period was characterised by a strongly decreasing birth-rate, a gradually ageing population and an increase in immigration.

After a relatively stable period of economic growth in 1945-1950, the population grew impressively with annual rates of up to 1 %, especially in urban and peri-urban areas. The years from 1958 to 1963 were known as Italy’s economic miracle, but it should be highlighted that economic development was always characterised by marked regional disparities, most notably between the centre and north and the south. Urban areas were able to provide better employment conditions, which is the reason for intense rural depopulation in the uplands of the Alps, the Apennines, Sicily, and Calabria and the influx of migrants to Rome, Milan, Turin, and Genoa. This movement to the industrial areas continues, but it is slowing due to the current economic depression.

 

In 1970, Italy’s population was about 54 million, with about 4 million employed in agriculture, more than 8 million in services, and around 7.6 million in industry, totalling about 20 million. Between 1970 and 2008 the population increased by almost 6 million or 11 %, and there was a substantial change in the level and composition of employment.

 

Table 1a - Total employed (in thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

1970

1980

1990

2000

2008

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

4 008.2

2 856.6

1 689.9

1 102.9

991.7

Industry

5 689.7

6 429.1

5 820.1

5 189.5

5 179.1

Construction

1 970.4

1 709.9

1 511.4

1 553.9

1 938.1

Trade, repair, hotels and restaurants, transport and communication

3 932.4

4 742.8

5 561.2

5 631.7

6 175.0

Monetary and financial intermediation, real estate and business activities

707.7

1 068.8

2 091.8

2 949.8

3 783.7

Other service activities

3 623.0

4 565.8

5 935.1

6 502.3

7 195.3

TOTAL

19 931.4

21 373.0

22 609.5

22 930.1

25 262.9

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1b - Total employed (percentage composition)

 

 

 

 

 

ECONOMIC ACTIVITY

1970

1980

1990

2000

2008

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

20.1

13.4

7.5

4.8

3.9

Industry (strict sense)

28.5

30.1

25.7

22.6

20.5

Construction

9.9

8.0

6.7

6.8

7.7

Trade, repair, hotels and restaurants, transport and communication

19.7

22.2

24.6

24.6

24.4

Monetary and financial intermediation, real estate and business activities

3.6

5.0

9.3

12.9

15.0

Other service activities

18.2

21.4

26.3

28.4

28.5

Source: ISTAT – National Accounts data processed by ISPRA

 


No

No

Unknown (XX)

[Diversity topics] country introduction


[DIVERSITY] What are the major societal trends?


http://rod.eionet.europa.eu/spatial/19

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