Italy hit with record low birth-rate

Birth rate have reduced and hit record low in 2018. Italy’s statistics office ISTAT said on Wednesday that the number of babies born in Italy hit a new record low in 2018. The national statistics office said that the country’s population had shrank and the average age had risen.

Italy is facing a demographic crisis. Economists are saying that one of the main reason for the country’s stagnant economy is the shrinking population, thus aging workforce. Things are not looking good as number of births had reduced in 2018. ISTAT said that there were 440,000 births last year. This dropped by some 18,000. It is the lowest level since 1861, when unification of Italy took place.

They reported that the total deaths amounted to 633,000. The population of the country fell four straight years as the population reached to 60.36 million, which is a drop of 124,000. Since 2014, Italy has lost about 400,000 residents. This amount is equivalent to the seventh largest of the country, Bologna.

An anti-austerity government had taken office last year. That government had tried to boost the population of the country as they boosted welfare spending and vowed to cut taxes in a bid to improve families’ stagnant incomes. The government says that poor family incomes is one of the main reason people are reluctant to have more babies. Matteo Salvini, interior minister and leader of the right-wing League commented on the ISTAT’s report. He said that the country is a terrible state. He added, “This is the real crisis, not the bond yield spreads or the economic crisis.”

People coming into the country has also dropped as new residents coming from abroad decreased by 3.2%. Italians are moving abroad by 1.9% year-on-year. Bolzana was the only province of the country whose birth rate exceeded the death rate last year.

Senior writer at the Chicago Morning Star

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