Genoa – A postcode can sometimes make a big difference. Of residence and urban planning, of course. But also of income. And the latter, in some cases, can be striking. To get a confirmation just move from Via Piacenza (Cap 16138) to Corso Italia (Cap 16146). Streets, buildings and shops change, but above all the declarations to the tax authorities of the residents of those areas. In this specific case, they even double. From about 19 thousand euros in Molassana / Staglieno to 40 thousand in Albaro. All in just 7 kilometers and 20 minutes by car.
And if we decide to move from Corso Italia to the west, to Via Vincenzo Bellini for example, the gap becomes even greater. Moving from one of the favorite walks of the Genoese to a neighborhood still in search of a post-industrial identity, we move from the “richest” area of the city to the “poorest”. In Cornigliano (Cap 16152) the average taxable income of the inhabitants stops at 17,035 euros, the lowest within the city limits. The one in Albaro, from which we started, is instead the highest. Just to give a reference, the municipal average stands at € 22,131.
The primacy of the Levant
The economic geography of the Superba, with its territorial trends and its more or less evident disparities, is drawn with unprecedented precision by the data of the 2020 tax returns, referring to the 2019 tax year. They were released a few days ago and for some Italian cities, including Genoa, they also concern the various territories within the municipality. The numbers of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (Mef), prepared by XIX century, they photograph the income of the Genoese at the level of the postal codes. These are 43 areas whose borders do not exactly coincide with those of the official administrative areas into which the municipality is divided (former districts and urban units). But, with a little approximation, they come close. And they allow us to have the most current and detailed picture possible of the distribution of incomes and inequalities in the neighborhoods.
As the colored map accompanying the article shows (the highest incomes in dark blue, the lower ones in gradually lighter blue), the Mef numbers reiterate that the wealthiest areas are located in the east of the city, closer to the sea. It starts from Portoria (Cap 16128 which includes Carignano and Brignole) with an average of 32,755 euros to get to Nervi (Cap 16127) with 28,989. In the middle, in addition to the aforementioned Albaro, there are Foce, Quarto and Quinto, all neighborhoods and related post codes with average incomes over 26 thousand euros. The only exception to the primacy of the east coast is represented by Castelletto (which shares codes 16125 and 16136 with a hamlet of Oregina on one side and Centro Storico on the other): the residents of the hilly district, which hosts several families of the city bourgeoisie, in 2020 they declared to the taxman about 30 thousand euros in revenues.
The crisis bites in Valpolcevera
The snapshot that the fiscal data of 2020 takes in the West is different. In Val Polcevera and in the surrounding areas we find some of the most difficult areas. It is not a surprise, considering also that the statistics are after the collapse of the Morandi Bridge and therefore already reflect the economic consequences of the tragedy on the taxpayers of those areas. But certain disparities, when defined with the exactness of the numbers, still make an impression and lead us to question the levels of inequality that can be found within the Genoese territory. Especially when they concern areas affected by a tragedy.
In addition to Cornigliano, a part of Rivarolo (the one included in the postal code 16161) with an average of 17,430 euros and of Sampierdarena are in fact far below the city average. The latter, corresponding to the Cap 16151, has the third lowest average income in the city: 18,134 euros. Less than 20 thousand euros as well as the average declared by the residents of Bolzaneto (Cap 16162), also in this case less than half of Albaro. The taxable income tax is raised a little if you move further towards the west where on average taxpayers communicate to the tax authorities around 20 thousand euros: this is the figure of Sestri and Voltri. A little below Pra ‘(19,113 euros), while Pegli is confirmed as the wealthiest neighborhood in the western area of the city: the two CAPs that overlap the borders of the former district register about 26 thousand and 24 thousand euros, in practice the income levels of the districts overlooking the sea in the eastern part of the city.
Other areas definitely below the city average are those defined by the Zip Codes 16139 and 16144 which correspond to some areas of the Marassi and San Fruttuoso districts: 18,688 euros of average personal income tax for the former, 18,824 for the latter. The lowest levels outside the Valpolcevera. The fiscal data, as mentioned, concern the tax year 2019 and therefore do not yet take into account the economic impact of the pandemic that broke out in February 2020. It is therefore reasonable to assume that the next edition of these statistics will present a further increase in the differences between the more affluent neighborhoods and those in difficulty.
If you don’t see the graph click here