Empty cradles in Italy, 5 million fewer in 2050

The global population reaches an unprecedented record and sets ‘a milestone in human development’, reaching 8 billion people, but Italy continues to travel against the trend. In 2050, in fact, there could be five million less Italians, with annual births that could drop – still in 2050 – to 298,000 units. This is the picture that emerges if the trend is not reversed, according to the latest data published by Istat, while the age at which one becomes a mother for the first time continues to rise. And in the meantime, the plan that the government could initiate to deal with the crisis of empty cradles is beginning to be outlined. In an interview with Sole 24 Ore Eugenia Roccella, Minister for the Family, Birth Rate and Equal Opportunities announces her intention to promote a sort of Strategic Plan for the Birth Rate. The next stage, in the budget law, “will be the revision of the family allowance”.
“I will work to make the support proportional to the number of children,” he specified.
With this trend, by 2050 only slightly more than one in two people would be of working age, with 52% of people between 20-66 years of age expected to provide both care and training for people under twenty (16 %), and to the production of adequate resources for the maintenance and assistance of pensioners (32%). The current 399,000 births, according to Istat, are the lowest birth rate ever and it is “a dramatic situation”.
In 2050, therefore, Italy could have 5 million fewer inhabitants, of which 2 million fewer young people. People aged 90, who are 800,000 today, will more than double, 1,700,000. Today there are 100,000 people over 100, in 2050 they will be 80,000. Furthermore, if the fertility rate were to remain 1.2 children per woman, the country would have 250,000 births over the space of four to five decades.
In Italy, moreover, we become mothers later and later.
According to data from the Ministry of Health, Italians give birth after the age of 30, on average at 33, and the excessive use of caesarean sections continues even if there are signs of a slowdown. The birth rate varies from 5.2 births per thousand women of childbearing age in Sardinia to 9.7 in the Autonomous Province of Bolzano compared to a national average of 6.8. The regions of the Center all have a birth rate with values ​​lower than the national average. In the southern regions, the highest birth rates are those of Campania, Calabria and Sicily which have values ​​above the national average. Fertility is slightly decreasing compared to previous years: in 2021 the average number of children per woman is 1.25 (compared to 1.46 in 2010). The infant mortality rate, which measures mortality in the first year of life, in 2018 was 2.88 children for every thousand live births. In the last 10 years this rate has continued to decrease throughout Italy, although in more recent years there has been a slowdown in this trend.
There are also significant regional differences. The neonatal mortality rate represents mortality within the first month of life and contributes over 70% of infant mortality.