Fall in birth rate hits Italy’s population growth

Italy’s population grew by just 30,000 last year due to a drop in the number of births as well as thousands of people fleeing the country in search of work, the national statistics agency reported on Monday.

Fall in birth rate hits Italy's population growth
There were 514,308 births in Italy last year. Newborn photo: Shutt

There were 514,308 births in Italy last year compared to 600,744 deaths – the highest difference between the two ever recorded, Istat said. The birth rate has fallen 3.7 percent since 2012, continuing a trend that started in 2009. The decline is worse in the north-east and the islands.

The country’s population now stands at 60,782,688, with 4.9 million being foreigners with Italian citizenship.

In 2013, foreign births declined for the first time – by -2.1 percent – compared to 2012, representing 15 percent of total births.

In late May, Istat said the economic crisis has eased the inflow of immigrants: 321,000 people arrived in 2012, 27.7 percent less than in 2007. Meanwhile, 38,000 foreigners left Italy in 2012, 17.9 percent more than in the previous year.

Italy also has one of the oldest populations in the world, with 151.4 people over the aged of 65 for every 100 young people under 15. Italy has the second-oldest population in Europe, behind Germany with 158 seniors for every 100 young people. Life expectancy is 79.6 years for men and 84.4 for women.

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