Italy’s birth rate has fallen to its lowest level since the foundation of the modern state in 1861, prompting fresh alarm in a society that has been steadily ageing for decades.
The number of births per 1,000 people has fallen to just 8.4 per cent, down from 38.3 per cent when Italy’s territories and kingdoms were unified a century and a half ago.
In Britain and the United States, the figures are 12 per cent and 13 per cent respectively.
Last year 509,000 babies were born in Italy, 5,000 fewer than in 2013.
The mortality rate also declined last year, stretching life expectancy for Italian women to 85 years, while the average man will live to 80.
Beatrice Lorenzin, the minister of health, said: “We are at the threshold where people who die are not being replaced by newborns. That means we are a dying country.”
Full article: Italy is a dying country as babies no longer replace people who die, says health minister (The Telegraph)