Articolo (working paper): Presence and mobility of the population during Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown in Italy (Beria, Lunkar)

With the help of the data provided by the Facebook Data for Good program, we were able to describe in detail some key trends of the mobility before and during the COVID-19 lockdown in Italy. The aspects considered were:

  1. how much people stayed home during lockdown,
  2. what happened in the days between announcement of lockdown and its actual implementation. In particular, if and to what extent there was an “exodus” of people from North to South as described by media
  3. how population changed during lockdown.

Beria P., Lunkar V. (2020). Presence and mobility of the population during Covid-19 outbreak and lockdown in Italy. MPRA workin paper. https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/100896
MPRA working papers

The paper analyses million of information about FB users with geolocalisation active (about 3.5 million people) and describes the first three months of outbreak.
Here the main conclusions:

  1. Despite the media narration of people ignoring the lockdown, data clearly show since March (the lockdown was declared on March 11th) the share of people moving and the range of movement fell dramatically to a nearly physiological level (supplies, health workers, necessary trips).
  2. The movement of population just before the lockdown, especially from the northern provinces, the most hit, and central and southern Italy happened very marginally. Few thousands of people crossed the country to avoid remaining locked. Some non-local trips remained, but they are substantially confined to neighbouring provinces. Long-distance trips remain nearly always below the measurement thresholds.
  3. Concerning location, we observe a fall of population in largest cities, starting from the North, but soon occurred also elsewhere. People did not relocate (except few, of course) in marginal areas, but basically concentrated in the rest of urbanised areas.

The working paper is freely available through the following link:
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/100896