Italy in … 4 indexes!

Describe the current macroeconomic state of Italy using only four attributes seems a very hard challenge, but also a good way to establish “priority” in my Country. If an index is indispensable to describe the state of a Country, probably it means that it is full of information, or that it measures a very important characteristic of the Country, or both.

I tried to use the following four attributes[1] to describe the “good” and “bad” Italy, and most important, to suggest some key-problems that needed to be solved:

1. Real GDP:

Very important to convey the idea that Italy is one of the richest and most developed Countries. IMF, World Bank and CIA World Factbook agree that Italy ranks 7th by GDP.

This feature is important to understand that Italy has great opportunity to organize in the best way its society: richness means possibility to plan the future!

2. Corruption Perception Index (CPI) and Views of Corruption in the Future (VCF) :

( sources: http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2007; and http://www.transparency.org/content/download/27256/410704/file/GCB_2007_report_en_02-12-2007.pdf )

Useful to understand one of the biggest problems in Italy and the “perceived” trend of this phenomena. The CPI in 2007 ranked Italy 41th, one of the lowest position among developed Countries; the VCF show that 61%[2] of people in Italy think that in the next three years Country/Territory corruption will increase.

This is a point of weakness. A far-seeing policy maker should focus his efforts also in fighting this increasing phenomena.

3. Life expectancy :

This index could be considered a good summary of a lot of information: diffusion of diseases (due to contagious illnesses, bad/good hygiene, pollution, ecc.), efficacy and accessibility to public/private health (so, in some way, also social welfare), ecc.

Italy ranks 13th in World rank for life expectancy. Our life expectancy in 2007 was 79.94, one of the highest value among developed and richest Countries[3].

This is a point of strengthens that a policy maker should try to preserve. People looks carefully to their health and life expectancy.

4. Median age of population :

Italian population is one of the oldest in the World! Italy ranked 4th in 2008[4], with an average age of its population equal to 42.50.

An old population means higher social costs (e.g. for sanity), lower labor force and other related problems. For instance, one of the aspect that a policy maker should pay attention in this case is to plan policies to induce immigration.

Other aspects are important, but surely less than the four mentioned before. A curiosity: Italy is 14th in the rank of most livable places[5]!


[1] Sometimes I reported numerical value to give a better understanding of why I think that the index is important.

[2] Similarly, in USA this value is 59%, but actually USA ranks 20th for CPI.

[3] In USA life expectancy is 78.00, and the Country ranks only 41th.

[4] Source: CIA World Factbook 2008

[5] http://www.photius.com/rankings/greenest_countries_2008.html

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