Population shrinks again, hits an all-time low in 2019
September 18, 2020
Europe

Population shrinks again, hits an all-time low in 2019

ROME (ITALY) – The number of babies born in Italy hit a new record low in 2019, the population came down and more Italians shifted abroad, according to national statistics office ISTAT on Monday.

Italy’s demographic crisis, with a wavering population and ageing workforce, is one of the main reasons for its chronically stagnant economy. According to economists, the situation is getting worse.

Births dropped by some 19,000 to 420,000 last year, the lowest since Italy unified in 1861, ISTAT said, while deaths totalled 634,000.

Bolzano, on the northern border with Austria, was the only Italian province where births exceeded deaths in 2019. The death rate was the highest in the northwestern coastal region of Liguria.

Italy’s economy has not shown any sign of growth in the last 20 years. Stagnant wages and poor job prospects are widely blamed for Italians’ unwillingness to have babies and the exodus abroad of its young people.

The minister for families, Elena Bonetti, called the latest ISTAT data “shocking” and added that it showed “the terribly high cost that young generations have had to pay in terms of hope for the future and personal fulfilment.”

The number of Italians moving abroad rose 8.1% year-on-year, in 2019, while immigrant arrivals declined by 8.6%.

Foreigners made for 8.8% of the resident population at the end of last year, which meant that Italians amounted to 54.9 million.

(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field.

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