Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Over Half of Italian Families Childless: Report

A new report issued on March 23 has revealed that 53.4 per cent of Italian families have no children. The report said that 21.9 per cent of households have only one child and just 19 per cent have two. According to the statistics in the report, a massive 57.8 per cent of childless households merely said they had no children out of “personal choice.”

The report was compiled by the Milan-based International Center for Family Studies that identified the reason for Italians’ reluctance to procreate as “economic reasons.” 19.5 per cent of families interviewed cited the lack of money for not having more children. 8.9 per cent said it is their inability to juggle families and jobs and 0.3 per cent blamed insufficient housing space. Other reasons families give for their decision to have no children include uncertainty about the future, the precariousness of their job situations, and lack of available childcare.

Various suggestions are being made to deal with what is being regarded as a “national crisis”. The key culprit for this situation has been identified as the the global “Sexual Revolution” in the 1970s, with its introduction of artificial contraceptives and, later, legalized and state-funded abortion.

Since joining the Euro, the personal wealth of Italians has grown, while the birth rate continues to fall and life expectancy increases. The overall average life expectancy in Italy is 80.2 years. The result, as with most western countries, has been a demographic shift towards an aging population with few young people entering the work force to support them.

Families in Italy continue to be tight-knit, with many children living with parents well into adulthood. Fewer Italians are getting married and those who do are waiting until later in life. As of 2009, the median age for women in Italy was 44.8 years, the age at which conception is less likely.
Government efforts to stop the decline, mostly in the form of offers of cash for children, have largely failed. In 2003, Roberto Maroni, labor and welfare minister in Silvio Berlusconi's administration, offered 1000 Euros to every woman who had a second child. The bonus was paid to only 190,000 women. (

No comments: