Deindustrialisation, demographic decline, aging, economic crisis and social involution in a metropolitan area analysed by applying Socio-Economic and Health Deprivation Indices.


Metropolitan area; Deindustrialization; Socio-economic crisis; Aging; Deprivation; Deprivation indices.


Aims - Genoa is a city hit by a strong economic, demographic and social involution. The changes in the demographic and socio-economic (SE) situation were analysed and the capacity of two Socio-Economic and Health Deprivation Indices (SEHDI) in describing the evolutions of the recent period were verified.

Material and Methods – The data about the evolution of demographic and SE situation in Genoa came from publications of Statistics Offices of Genoa Municipality and Liguria Region and from published analyses of Bank of Italy. The two SEHDIs, referring to 2001 and 2011 population, were computed at census tract level by linear regression, factor and clusters analyses and had been already validated and published.

Results – Wide transformations in aging and population composition by age groups and gender occurred in Genoa between 1951 and 2016. Internal (from other Italian regions) and external (from other countries) migrations concurred to change the profile of Genoese population. These changes followed the industrial history of city and its deindustrialization occurred since 2001. A progressive SE involution, worsened by the Italian and international crises, carried out the recent impoverishment of the city. Between 2001 and 2011 the population at medium-high deprivation increased and the SEHDIs 2001 and 2011 contributed to describe the population distribution by deprivation groups, either geographically, and by groups of citizenships (Italians and Foreigners). The first identified in 2001 some aspects of a well-off society regarding education, labour market and characteristics of the family and housing structure. The second depicted in 2011 an impoverished society in aging, lack of family support and of property of the main house, diminishing of educational level.

Discussion - Genoa city demonstrated an its own specific decline. Starting from the deindustrialization, a worsening of welfare, independently from the national and international economic troubles, was evident. The aging and the changed equilibria among age groups testified the growing difficulties of society in keeping up with the deep social and economic changes. The results demonstrated that specific deprivation indices aid to better define the populations under analysis, because they identify the subpopulations that could have the maximum benefit from investments of resources targeted to the correction of inequalities.


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