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.
Italian Population Growth
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 Population Projections
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.