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Perceptions of social classes in Italy 2019

In 2019, most of Italians assumed to belong to the middle class. More specifically, 52 percent of individuals defined their social status as middle class. Moreover, 37 percent of Italians stated to be part of the lower social class. Data for social class perception suggested that the occupation with the highest share of upper-class people was being a student. At the same time, freelance professional was most popular job position among middle class citizens, while the majority of unemployed people felt to belong to the lower class.

How much do Italians earn on average?

From 2006 to 2015, gross household disposable income per capita in Italy was fluctuating with no precise pattern. In the next three years, however, gross income per capita steadily increased until peaking above 31 thousand U.S. dollars in 2018. This figure put Italy at the 17th place in the ranking of OECD countries with the gross disposable income per household.

Income inequalities in Italy

National average figures can be quite misleading. In Italy, substantial economic differences across regions and also due to gender can be observed. Inhabitants of the South and the Islands earn on average around ten thousand euros less annually than Italians from the North East. Moreover, female households’ average net income in 2017 was eight thousand euros smaller than male households’ income.

In your opinion, which social class does your family belong to?

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Release date

October 2019



Survey time period

Ottobre 2-5, 2019

Number of respondents

1,308 respondents

Age group

15 years and older

Method of interview

CATI, online interview

Supplementary notes

The source combined CATI, CAMI and CAWI methodologies (mixed mode)

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Statistics on "Families in Italy"

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