| 25 July 2024, Thursday |

More than a third of Italy’s population will be over 65 in 2050

More than a third of Italy’s population will be over 65 by 2050, up from roughly a quarter last year, according to the country’s statistics office ISTAT, adding to indications of a significant demographic catastrophe.

According to ISTAT, the ratio of persons of working age (15-64) to those who are too young or too elderly to work (0-14 or 65 and over) “will decrease from about three to two in 2022 to about one to one in 2050.”

A shrinking and ageing population is a major worry for the euro zone’s third-largest country, leading to falling economic productivity and higher welfare costs in a country with the highest pension bill in the 38-nation Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

According to ISTAT, Italy’s population is set to decline to 54.4 million people by 2050 from 59 million in 2022, when births dropped to a new historic low of under 400,000.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s government has made it a priority to tackle the issue since taking power last year, pledging to provide more support to families who want to have children.

Meloni also said this month she does not believe that immigration can be a solution to the demographic crisis affecting Italy and the rest of Europe.

Italy’s school population will shrink by one million in the coming decade because of plunging birth rates and continuing brain drain, Education Minister Giuseppe Valditara said in May, calling it an “alarming” scenario.

  • Reuters