Drawing on the mortality figures for 2003, ISTAT has issued a report which will cause the directors of INPS, Italys state pension organization, many a sleepless night, with the Italian male enjoying an average life span of 77.2 years and the female 82.8.

Within the EU, Swedish males just beat the Italians, while French and Spanish women just beat their Italian counterparts. Overall, however, the Italians beat everyone in Europe.

The Italian region whose inhabitants live longest is the Marche, where men average 78.2 years and women 83.9, while at the other end of the table is Campania (men 75.7 and women 81.4).