Mon 27 December 2021:
Pope Francis bemoaned Italy’s severely dropping birth rate, saying it poses a threat to the country’s future. During his weekly address in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis said “The demographic winter is a real worry, at least here in Italy. It seems that a lot of people have lost the wish to have children. Lots of couples prefer to remain childless or to have one child only. It’s a tragedy which runs counter to our families, our country and our future.”
Birth rates have declined by one-third in a little more than a decade, with 404,892 babies born in 2020, down from 576,659 in 2008.
According to a recent poll conducted by the Italian statistics agency ISTAT, Italy’s birth rate has reached a new low for the first time in 160 years.
The lowest birth rate ever recorded was in January 2021, with a 13.6% decrease from January 2020. The birth rate is now thought to be the lowest since records began in 1861.
The city of Bolzano had the largest number of births, while the island of Sardinia had the lowest. In addition, the average age at which Italian women had their first child climbed in 2020. At 31.4, it was three years older than in 1995.
Not only Italy, but also Spain and France, reported a drop in birth rates between December 2020 and January 2021.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
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