Demographic collapse, what impact has the pandemic had in Italy?

13-07-2021 | News

With the publication of the Istat 2021 annual report, Italy is once again confronted with one of its most important problems, which has an impact not only on society, but also on the economy and the recovery. The demographic picture in 2020 registered a new all-time low of births from the Unification of Italy and a maximum of deaths since the second postwar period: looking at the data, this decline means that the births of the resident population were 404,104, "a decrease of 3.8 per cent compared to 2019 and almost 30 percent compared to 2008, the most recent year of relative maximum births ”. A few months ago the Prime Minister, Mario Dragons, had commented on the national birth rate scenario with these words: «An Italy without children is an Italy that does not believe and does not plan. It is an Italy slowly destined to age and disappear ».

Birth rate: the trend since 2008

However, it would be wrong to attribute to pandemic a decisive effect on the collapse of births in our country. In fact, as the 2021 Annual Report of theIstat “The drop in births recorded in 2020 was only partially affected by the pandemic. The first ten months of the year show a decrease of 2.7 percent, in line with the pace that characterized the period from 2009 to 2019 (-2.8 percent on an annual average) ". In fact, the demographic question photographs a trend in place for at least ten years and which can be partly attributed to the consequences of economic crisis of 2008.

The role of women

The birth rate theme is directly linked to role of women in society. Always the premier Dragons he had said that “the awareness of the importance of having children is a product of the improvement of the woman's condition, and not antithetical to her emancipation. The state must therefore accompany this new awareness. Continue to invest in improving the conditions of women. And to make society, women and men, able to have children ».

Istat then also underlined the relationship between birth rate and new marriages. The collapse of the latter (almost -50% compared to 2019) - also due to restrictions and ai lockdown last year - fits into a trend that has been going on for years. So far the data confirm "the belief that the crisis has amplified the effects of the structural demographic malaise that for decades has increasingly pushed young people to delay the stages of the transition to adult life, due to the difficulties they encounter in carrying out their projects". All of this has a direct consequence on birth rate.

The projections and the hypothesis about the future are not easy to do, but theIstat published in his report an analysis on effects of the pandemic in the short and medium term on the new born. "In the period 2021-2023 - reads the document - the decline in marriages observed in 2020 could lead to about 36,000 and 500 births compared to the more than 70,000 hypothesized in the absence of a pandemic, with a deficit of almost 34,000 units".

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