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Italy and its regions

For public expenditure on education and training, Italian regions show widely different behaviours: the South and Islands area presented the highest ratio of public spending on education to Gdp, while the North-west invested comparatively less in this sector.

In 2016 low-educated adults in the South and Islands area were slightly below 50 percent, with a participation in education and training activities lower than in the other areas.


Despite progress in recent years, for early school leavers the regional gap remained wide, with a distance of almost 9 percentage points between the North-east and the South and Islands area, where the incidence is higher (18.4 percent): in Sicilia about one in four young people do not continue their studies beyond lower secondary education.


In 2014, the Centre and North recorded the highest rate of participation of young people aged 15-24 in education (in particular, Emilia Romagna and Lazio); the South followed at a distance of over 11 percentage points (with the lowest value in Basilicata). The share of 30-34-year-olds with tertiary education, too, is different across regions: in 2016 the indicator for almost all regions of the Centre and North was above the national average, while for the South and Islands area it was 5.5 percentage points lower.

Young people who are not in education, employment or training (Neet) were on the decrease in all areas. Although such reduction was also registered in many regions of the South and Islands area, the highest incidences were confirmed in this area, with a peak of 38.2 percent in Calabria.