Based on current projections, Italy has already seen its population’s peak of 60.67 million people in 2017. Italy has begun a population decline that is expected to shrink the population to 40.18 million by the end of the century.
Italy has a death rate that exceeds its birth rate and negative net migration. Italy’s birth rate is the lowest it has ever been since the unification of Italy and many young people are leaving the country to find job opportunities in other countries. Italy’s birth rate is 1.32 births per woman.
Italy’s population is currently decreasing at a rate of 0.15%, making it the fastest shrinking country in the world.
The most recent Census was taken in 2011, and showed the population at 59,433,744. This figure is pretty close to the UN estimates, but there are disparities when it comes to population projections. The census projects continued growth for several decades, whereas the UN estimates that Italy will decline from 2016 on.
Italy's population is expected to decline throughout the 21st century with a death rate now greatly exceeding the birth rate. Latest indicators show 1,673 deaths per day, compared to just 1,353 births per day. Despite a positive net migration of 289 per day, the overall trend is now negative. Currently, Italy's foreign residents are outpacing the country's population growth with a foreign population that grew by 7.4% in 2012, compared to a population growth of just 0.5%.
Italy is a rapidly aging country, and in 2014 a full 22% of its population was 65 or older, with just 13.5% under the age of 15.
|Italy Population (as of 8/24/2023)||58,845,692|
|Last UN Estimate (July 1, 2023)||58,870,762|
|Births per Day||1,112|
|Deaths per Day||1,737|
|Migrations per Day||160|
|Net Change per Day||-464|
|Population Change Since Jan. 1||-109,040|
Net decrease of 1 person every 3.1 minutes
Population estimates based on interpolation of data from World Population Prospects
|One birth every 1.3 minutes|
|One death every 50 seconds|
|One immigrant every 9 minutes|
|Net loss of one person every 3.1 minutes|
Italy's population density is very uneven and the Po Valley is the most densely populated with almost half of the country's population. Other densely packed areas include the metropolitan areas of Naples and Rome. The Basilicata plateaus, the Alps and Apennines highlands, and the island of Sardinia have a very sparse population. The total surface area comes to 301,340 square kilometers within the boundaries, including 7,600 kilometers of coastline. In combination with the total population, the density comes to approximately 197 people per square kilometer overall.
The three largest cities in Italy include Rome (2.8 million), Milan (1.3 million) and Naples (1 million), although Naples has experienced a population drop below 1 million in the last decade. Rome is Italy's capital and home to 2.8 million people in 1,285 square kilometers (496 square miles), which makes it the 4th most populous city in the European Union within city limits. Its urban area is home to up to 3.8 million, and the Rome metropolitan area has a population of 4.2 million.
Rome has a rich history that spans over 2,500 years since it was founded in 753 BC. It's one of the oldest continuously occupied cities on the continent and is often referred to as "the Eternal City."
Milan, the fashion capital of the world, was first settled by Celts circa 400 BC, although it was eventually conquered by the Romans and became the capital of the Western Roman Empire. The city proper is home to 1.3 million people, but the urban area has a population of 5.2 million and is the 5th largest in the EU and the largest in the country. The Milan metropolitan region has a population of 8 million.
There are people over age 18 in Italy.
The official Census figures are more optimistic, estimating the population at 61,838,227 in 2016. Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is located in Southern Europe and bordered by France, Slovenia, Austria and Switzerland along the Alps. This famously boot-shaped country is the 4th most populous country in Europe (after France, the United Kingdom, and Germany).
There are also close to 1 million Romanian citizens officially registered in Italy, followed by Moroccans and Albanians with a population of half a million each.
The largest ethnic group in Italy is the Native Italian, comprising 96% of the population.
The official language is Italian, while there are a variety of areas that use primarily German, French, and Slovene.
The median age of Italy is currently at 45.5 years of age, with a total life expectancy of 82 years.
Unsurprisingly, the dominant religion in Italy is Roman Catholicism, with the Vatican City in the heart of Rome. People identifying as some form of Christian make up in excess of 80% of the population. Islam is the second most practiced religion in Italy, although the numbers don't come close to Christianity.
Italy's economy is largely industrial, although this means something different in the north versus the south. Northern Italy contains mostly private companies, whereas the south is more agricultural and welfare dependent. There is also a substantial underground economy in Italy which is estimated to account for as much as 15% of their GDP.
After the country abolished its monarchy in 1946, it became a democratic republic and has remained as such ever since.
Italy experienced mass emigration from the end of the 19th century through the 1960s with nearly 750,000 Italians emigrating per year from 1898 to 1914. It's thought that this is the largest mass migration in contemporary times and led to a diaspora of 25 million Italians. Today, over 5 million Italian-born people live abroad.
By the late 1970s, however, Italy began to attract a great deal of foreign immigrants. It's estimated there are over 5 million foreign residents in Italy today, which accounts for 7.5% of the total population. This includes about 500,000 children born in Italy to foreign nationals.
Official figures for Italy's population exclude illegal immigrants, as their numbers are hard to determine. Estimates place their numbers at 670,000 today, many of which are from Eastern Europe and North Africa. The number of illegal immigrants entering the country has increased by 43% in 2016, according to best estimates.