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Births in Italy hit record low in 2021, population shrinks

HBS Reporting

Births in Italy hit record low in 2021, population shrinks

Births in Italy hit record low in 2021, population shrinks

ROME, March 14 (Reuters) – Births in Italy dropped below 400,000 for the first time ever in 2021, statistics institute ISTAT said on Monday, while the overall population fell by more than 250,000 as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to weigh.ISTAT said 709,035 people died in Italy in 2021, some 30,000 fewer than in 2020, but still 9.8% above the average of the 2015-2019 period.Deaths attributed to COVID-19 in 2021 accounted for some 59,000 compared with more than 77,000 the year before, when COVID vaccines were not yet available. A total 156,868 deaths linked to COVID-19 have been registered so far in Italy – the eighth highest tally in the world.Demographics experts say the pandemic has hastened a decline in Italy’s birthrate, with 399,431 births registered in 2021 against 404,892 in 2020 – the 13th consecutive yearly fall and the lowest number since the unification of Italy in 1861.The total population fell by 253,091, taking into account births, deaths and migration flows, to 58.98 million in 2021, ISTAT said.Pope Francis last year bemoaned Italy’s plunging birthrate, warning that the decline was a “demographic winter” that represented a threat to the future of the country.

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