The profile of domestic workers in Italy: migrants, people over fifty, and low-income earners

Quasi 900 mila colf e badanti, 7 su 10 sono migranti

Rome, July 4, 2023 – According to recent data from the INPS Observatory on domestic workers, updated in 2022, a recurring profile emerges among housekeepers and caregivers in Italy. They are primarily migrant women, over fifty years old, and low-income earners. These pieces of information provide an in-depth look into the composition of the domestic workforce in the country, highlighting significant trends regarding nationality, age, and income levels of the workers.

Composition by Nationality Out of the 894,299 domestic workers who contributed to INPS in 2022, 86.4% were women. The majority of domestic workers are of foreign nationality, representing 69.5% of the total. Eastern Europe is the main geographical region from which most domestic workers come, accounting for 35.4% of the total, followed by workers with Italian citizenship (30.5%), those from South America (7.8%), and East Asia (6.8%). Over the past ten years, there has been a notable shift in the composition of workers, with a significant decrease in the share of Eastern European workers.

Distribution by Age Group The most common age group among domestic workers is between 50 and 54 years old, representing 17.2% of the total. 21.4% are aged 60 or above, while only 1.9% are under the age of 25. It is interesting to note that in 2022, domestic workers under the age of 45 accounted for 30.2% of the total, compared to 49.7% a decade ago. This suggests an aging workforce in the domestic sector over the years.

Income The analysis of the data reveals that 60% of domestic workers earn less than 8,000 euros per year. On average, women earn slightly higher wages than men. In fact, 66% of men earn less than 8,000 euros per year, compared to 59% of women. These figures highlight the economic precarity that affects a large portion of domestic workers, who often face low wages despite their significant role in society.

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