Even basic living standards leave a lot to be desired, although a full 72.4 percent of Italian families own the house they live in. Still, only 56 percent of Italian families have a computer at home; 45.3 percent have a dishwasher, and just 33.4 percent have air conditioning even though Italian summers are among the hottest in Europe.
Sadly, the future doesn’t look bright. In 2011–12, enrollment in university and high school is dwindling. Italy’s dropout rates for high school are the fourth-highest in Europe at 18.8 percent. Those who do make it to college often don’t finish. Only 56 of every 100 university students complete their degree, according to the ISAT report card.
Non-Italians living in the country are also faring poorly. In December, Amnesty International condemned Italy for what it called racist “widespread” and “endemic” exploitation of immigrants. On average, they are paid 40 percent less than Italians–if they are paid at all. Situations of indentured servitude exist across the nation, with migrants working for their room and board yet forced to live in inhumane conditions. Many live in the country illegally, which means they are too afraid to ask police for help or to seek medical care when they are sick and injured. Amnesty International estimates that around half a million foreign nationals live illegally in Italy. “Immigrants are an essential part of the population, the labor force and a source of vital energy for an aging society,” Italy’s president Giorgio Napolitano said in response to the report, which he called misguided. “Still, we have work to do to make life better.”