Italy’s Record Low Birth Rate Triggers Concerns of Economic Fallout

Italy is grappling with the ramifications of a record low birth rate that could crash the country’s social security system, as a large number of old people will soon rely on pensions. Pope Francis and Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni are encouraging couples to have more children and reverse the demographic winter. Meanwhile, low salaries, lack of affordable child care options, and a tradition of women bearing the burden of caring for elderly parents are keeping women from having children.

Italy’s Low Birth Rate and Its Impact on the Economy

Italy’s demographic trend of low birth rate and ageing population has alarmed the country’s leaders, with experts warning of an imminent economic fallout. Last year, Italy recorded the lowest number of live births, 392,598, but higher deaths, 713,499, resulting in a rapid decline in the working population. The looming demographic winter is forcing the government to take concrete measures to encourage at least 500,000 births per year by 2033 to prevent the social security system’s collapse.

Pope Francis and Giorgia Meloni
Pope Francis and Giorgia Meloni

Pope Francis and Italy’s Premier Urge Couples to Have Children

Pope Francis and Giorgia Meloni are addressing the low birth rate issue and calling on couples to have more children. Speaking at an annual gathering of pro-family organizations, the Pope criticized the “selfish, egotistical” choices that have led to the record low birth rate and urged policymakers to address the looming demographic winter. Meloni, who came to power on a pro-family campaign, proposed measures to support families and encourage more childbirth, including offering tax breaks, increasing parental leave, and strengthening family bonds.

Challenges Encountered by Italian Women

Several studies have pointed out various factors responsible for discouraging Italian women from having children, including lack of affordable child care facilities, low salaries, and precarious work contracts. It is also a cultural tradition for women to take care of older parents, thus placing a double burden on working mothers. The pandemic has worsened the situation, forcing working mothers to juggle between work and child-rearing, leading to a sharp decline in childbirth.

Meloni’s Anti-Surrogacy Stance and Respect for Human Dignity

Meloni’s government has proposed measures to encourage childbirth without resorting to surrogacy. She highlighted broader political points surrounding the demographic debate in Italy- crackdown on migrants and aversion to registering children of same-sex couples in her speech at the annual family association congress. While calling for respect for human dignity, Meloni emphasized that motherhood is not for sale, wombs are not for rent, and children are not products one can purchase. According to her, each of us has a unique and unrepeatable genetic code, and that should be respected and honored.


Bhuvi is a passionate blogger, working on many news websites as a freelance writer. She covers sports news in TRENDING NEWS.

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