Oversupply of Architects in Italy

Results from a survey of members of the Architects’ Council of Europe. Image by the NY Times. 

Italy has one of the world’s proudest architectural heritages. But perhaps this rich tradition inspired too many architects for one country to support.

Monditalia – one of the three exhibitions prepared for 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale – tweeted out a graphic showing the number of architects, per inhabitant, in 36 countries around the world. According to this, for every 414 Italians, one is an architect. This high percentage was confirmed also by a report from the Architects’ Council of Europe, which shows that 27% of all the architects on the continent are licensed in Italy – that amounts to 153,000 architects, which is 50,000 more than there are in the U.S.

Although if probably a “golden ratio” of architects to inhabitants does not exist, such a high concentration of architects means stiff competition for a limited number of jobs and often the need to emigrate abroad.