Italy has second oldest population in Europe
Italy has the second oldest population in the European Union (EU) countries, with one in six citizens aged over 65, according to an Italian National Statistics ' Office (Istat) report on the county's state released on Friday, Xinhua reported.
The Italian population is getting older on a yearly basis. As many other European countries, Italy is suffering from low birth- rate, while people's life expectancy tends to increase.
Italian couples get married very late (if at all), have fewer children than in the past, and the number of divorces is on the rise.
The traditional Italian family is thus undergoing a period of deep crisis. The data presented by Istat are alarming in that it depicts a gloomy social reality.
The outlook of a growing number of elders and a shrinking youth has worsened following the economic turmoil, which has cut back on families' purchasing power and boosted the unemployment rate, Istat said.
Those who are over 80 represent 5.6 percent of the entire population and the ratio between the over-65 and the under-15 has increased to 1.43:1.
Italy has thus one of the oldest populations in the European Union, merely balanced by the influx of young immigrants.
Istat, which annually publishes its snapshot of the country, said Italy is the second country in Europe with the highest percentage of old people, with Germany taking the first place.
Meanwhile, the overall population is rising, but the increase was due to the arrivals of new immigrants. At the end of 2008, according to Istat, the Italian resident population reached more than 60 million people, of whom 434,245 were immigrants.