Italy Has Second-Oldest Population in Europe

Sun, 12/22/2013 - 04:00

Italy ranks second in Europe for the oldest population, Istat revealed last week in its annual statistical report.

The Italian National Statistical Institute stated, "The country's high rate of survival, combined with a decline in fertility, makes Italy one of the oldest countries in the world."

The average Italian life expectancy is 79.4 years for men and 84.4 years for women.

Deaths were more numerous than births again, with a rising gap, Istat said, specifying the increase in total population is only due to an increment in immigrant population.  

The trend of women having fewer children and at a later age continues. Italy ranks fifth in Europe for the lowest fertility rate, with an average of 1.40 child per woman. Italian women also rank among Europe's oldest first-time mothers, giving birth for the first time at an average age of 31.4.

For every 1,000 new marriages in Italy, 500 end in separation (of these, 312 are legal separations and 182 divorces). 90% of separated couples share custody of their children.

The number of weddings rose after years of decline, remaining however among the lowest in Europe, 3.5 people per 1,000. 58.8% of marriages are held in a church. The percentage rises to three out of four in southern Italy.

At the end of 2012, there were 59.7 million residents in Italy.