people hired
thanks to the induced employment
generated by Hera in 2017
million euro
Investments in innovation and
digitalization. 13 projects in smart city,
circular economy and 4.0 utilities
of reused soil
in projects implemented in 2016
and 2017

Spreading innovation and digitalization

Scenario and policies

Why it is important

The global economy is recovering, but not quickly enough. Furthermore, despite average living conditions have improved compared to 30 years ago, the wealth generated ends up in the hands of fewer people, increasing social inequality. Developed countries reveal lower average annual income and minimum growth in GDP per capita, which is evidence of a fall in the spending power of households. To counter this situation, it is important to invest in education and innovation, and to aim for inclusive growth favouring employment and local development.


people who live in absolute poverty across the globe


Italy’s position in the 2017 global competitiveness ranking


the average income ratio of 10% of the richest population compared to 10% of the poorest population

1 person out of 4

in Europe lives in conditions of poverty or exclusion


the number of people in 2016 living in conditions of extreme poverty in Italy, around three times more than 2006


the growth of household spending in the 3rd quarter 2017, against +0.8% of the purchasing power due to uncertainty

Poverty: difficult targets to reach for Italy and Europe

There are growing numbers of poor people or at risk of poverty in Italy and Europe. Our country has been afflicted above all by the recent economic stagnation: almost one in three Italians is at risk of poverty or social exclusion, increasing by 21.5% compared to 2010. Istat reveals that we are quite far from the EU objectives:  it is estimated that in 2016 there were 4 million and 742 thousand individuals living in strict poverty. 11.9% of Italians live in financial hardship, up compared to previous years. The index of severe material deprivation increased between 2015 and 2016, especially for older people, followed by young people between the ages of 18 and 35. The situation in Italy and in Europe with regard to poverty and social inclusion is in contrast with the targets.

The situation in Italy and in Europe with regard to poverty and social inclusion is in contrast with the targets
  2015 situation 2020 target
Situation compared to EU poverty reduction targets +3.7%
Population at risk of poverty or social exclusion compared to 2010
+433 thousand
Increase in people at risk of poverty or exclusion compared to 2010
Number of Europeans living below national poverty lines
-20 million people out of poverty compared to 2010
Situation compared to Italian poverty targets +3.2 million
Increase in the number of people at risk or suffering poverty and exclusion
-2.2 million
Reduction in the number of people at risk or suffering poverty and exclusion

Trend of economic inequality between 1980 and 2016

The existing gap between the annual income of the rich population and of the poorest population has reached very high levels: between 1980 and 2016, 1% of the global population obtained an incredible 27% of the wealth generated. This growing inequality has a negative impact on overall consumption, causing a spiralling effect that leads to lower revenues for businesses, increased taxation to maintain current welfare levels, a gradual increase in unemployment and, therefore, a further decline in consumption.