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Press release

Population and the environment: behaviors and concerns

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The last decades have been characterized by changes in the environment, most of which determined by the increasing pressure of human activities on natural ecosystems. The annual Multipurpose Survey “Aspetti della vita quotidiana” (Aspects of Everyday Life), allows the analysis of the relationship between citizens and the environment regarding several factors, such as the adoption of environment-friendly behaviours, the environmental concerns, the satisfaction with the state of the environment, etc.

In 2014, the environmental concerns of Italian population were mainly directed towards air pollution (indicated by 50% of citizens), waste (47%) and climate change (42%).

Educational level affects environmental awareness of population: the proportion of individuals who reported concerns related to the environment goes along with the level of education.

Great attention was paid by Italian population to the protection of natural resources: 72 out of 100 citizens were careful not to waste electricity, 67 out of 100 not to waste water.

Overall, citizens living in the North-eastern area adopted environment friendly behaviours more frequently than average, the ones living in the South and Islands area less frequently.

Women and people with higher education were more active in adopting environmental conscious behaviours, especially in the field of food consumption (buying locally produced and organic products, checking the food labels).
Over the last five years, 22 out of 100 households have invested money to reduce energy expenditures (by replacing equipment and appliances with more efficient ones, by thermal insulation of dwellings, etc.). Investments are more frequent in the North area and less in the South and Islands area.

In 2014, 42% of the population believed that the creation of protected natural areas contributes “a lot” to the conservation of animal and plant species and 45% “sufficient”.

Despite the strong awareness about the role played by the areas of protection of natural heritage, in the last twelve months only 16 out of 100 citizens visited protected areas.

For Information:
Paola Ungaro

Valentina Talucci

Valeria Greco

Reference period: Year 2014

Date of Issue: 22 December 2015