Friendship in Italy - Statistics & Facts

Friendship plays a central role in the lives of many people. Humans usually live in stable, bonded social groups, linked either by blood or affection. Friendships can vary considerably from person to person as well as across cultures. Generally, friendships have reciprocal love and support in common, however, how people experience friendship varies by age. In Italy, young people seem to be more satisfied with their friends and also have more bonds compared to older generations. For instance, satisfaction with friends is the highest among teenagers and lowest among elderly. Similarly, among the people who stated they do not have friends at all, elderly people held the largest percentages.

You've got a friend in me

Four in ten Italians declared they tend to trust most of the people. Over 80 percent also declared to have someone they can count on. When asked who they trust the most, young people indicated that they mainly trust their mother or their friends. Specifically, 25 percent of young Italians see their friends as the most trustworthy people in their life, and are also among the people they would likely confide in about bad experiences. For 34 percent of Italians, friends are their point of refence in life. Having such people in life is extremely important and lacking friends' support can have serious consequences on wellbeing. Among the causes of loneliness of young people, is, indeed, the lack of friends. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic and the related isolation measures have impacted friendships. Even if for over half of Italian respondents their friendships were not affected, for some people friendships have ended.

A lifetime with friends

The time people spend with friends is precious and probably the most enjoyable. Hanging out with friends is young Italians' favorite activity to do in their free time. Around 60 percent of young people in Italy pointed out spending time with friends as their main way to spend free time. Unsurprisingly, Italians tend to meet their friends quite often, or at least once a week. Usually, teenagers are those meeting with their friends more frequently. On the other hand, the frequency with which people see their friends decreases considerably after the second half of the 30s, reaching some of the lowest levels between the 40s and 50s. Nonetheless, this might be related to the busy life people lead in those ages, conventionally divided between work and family. In fact, executives, employers, and blue collar workers are among the professionals meeting up with their friends more rarely, while retied people are by far the Italians seeing their friends more often than people of any other professional status.

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