A survey of international residents found those who move to Italy are less satisfied with their financial situation than foreigners in other countries.
Almost a third of foreign residents in Italy say their disposable household income is not enough to their expenses. This is according to the 2021 edition of the annual Expat Insider survey by InterNations.
Poor results overall
In fact, Italy did not fare well in the annual survey coming 58th out of 59 countries for living and working abroad. 59th and last place went to Kuwait.
Italy’s performance was particularly dire in Personal Finance (last place), Working Abroad (second to last place), with last place in the subcategory of career prospects and satisfaction.
Foreigners at work
For the Working Abroad Index, respondents had to rate six factors in three different sub-categories. The subcategories were: career prospects and satisfaction; work and leisure; economy and job security.
Since the first InterNations survey in 2014, Italy has always come in the last 10 of the Working Abroad Index.
Some 42% of respondents reported making less than $25,000 per year, compared to the global average of 30%. Further, 30% of those surveyed in Italy said they were unhappy with their financial situation, versus just 19% worldwide.
“I notice financial corruption and do not like the low salaries,” wrote one respondent from the United States.
Italy also came bottom for “career prospects and satisfaction”, with more than half of foreign residents (56%) rating their work opportunities negatively and nearly a third (31%) saying they were dissatisfied with their current job.
Common complaints were lack of job security, a weak local economy, inflexible working hours and poor work-life balance.
Quality of Life
Italy’s highest marks came in the quality of life category. Weather, travel and leisure subcategories fares well. However, digital life helped drag Italy’s score down, placing it 42nd out of 59. The ability to get a high-speed internet connection or carry out government processes online were among the biggest complaints.
An expat from the United States said, “Nothing is easy here, from internet access to setting up accounts. Additionally, there is too much politics and there are too many formalities.”
However, 66% said they were happy with their life in Italy in general. However, this is comparatively poor compared to the worldwide average of 75%.
Key areas foreigners (dis)like about Italy
Affordability of healthcare came out very well for Italy. 67% of ex-pats surveyed said it was good, compared to 61% globally.
However, on the other side of the coin was the state of the local economy. 42% of respondents found it poor compared to 16% worldwide.
The overall satisfaction rate for Italy amongst surveyed ex-pats was 68% compared to 77% globally.
For its 2021 survey, InterNations asked more than 12,000 people living abroad to rate up to 37 different aspects of life in their new country. Each country included was rated by at least 50 respondents.
The top three countries chosen by international residents were Taiwan (1st), Mexico (2nd) and Costa Rica (3rd), while Italy (58th) was joined at the bottom by Kuwait (59th) and South Africa (57th).