Carla Bodo

Lo sviluppo culturale del Mezzogiorno: il ritardo in cifre

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The focus of this article is on showing statistical evidence of the persisting gap in cultural development between our Mezzogiorno (Southern Italy) and Northern and Central Italy. In fact, whereas 35% of the Italian population belongs to the South, most of the cultural development indicators of this area are swinging between only 27% and 11% of the total. Starting from financial indicators, where available statistics show an incidence of the Mezzogiorno around 21% on State expenditure for the performing arts and on local expenditure, and an even lower incidence on earned income from household expenditure, evidence is given of the negative effects of such under financing on cultural supply and demand in the different domains. In particular for heritage and museums and for music, demand indicators (participation and audiences) are not even able to keep up with supply. Finally, the impact of such cultural deprivation on employment in the area are shown: whereas the share of the South on total employment in Italy is 28%, employment in the cultural sector reaches only 19%, with the lowest peak -15%- for artists in the performing arts. The article claims that a better awareness in the national community of the cultural imbalances still affecting our Mezzogiorno is urgently needed. Its well known wealth in historical heritage and in artistic and musical talents, should in fact be considered as an asset for an exit strategy from the present crisis based on a socially and economically sustainable development.

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