In the process of unification and the subsequent phases of the nation’s growth and development, education has played a fundamental role, acting both as an instrument for modernisation and a factor of integration and social development of the most disadvantaged sections of the population.

Participation in education from the unification of Italy to the present day, viewed through the historical data presented in this section, provides a picture of the profound transformation that has taken place in our society over the last 150 years, due in large part to ever wider access to guaranteed education for citizens of both sexes.

The data presented are mainly drawn from surveys carried out in schools and universities over time, whereas the information on qualifications gained by the population is taken from general population censuses. In both cases, the sources date back a very long way. In 1861, the General Statistics Department set up at the Ministry of Agriculture, Industry and Commerce was entrusted with the task of carrying out the first population census of the unified nation. The survey gathered the first information on the number of citizens able to read and write and on the then far larger number who were illiterate... full text




  General instructions