Rome, Sep 29 (IANS): Italy's total population is expected to continue to decline, especially in the second half of the century, even though the number of families in the country is on the rise, the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) said.
Models showed that the country's population was declining from 59.0 million residents at the start of 2022 (the most recent point in time covered by the new data) to 58.1 million in 2030, 54.4 million in 2050, and just 45.8 million in 2080, reports Xinhua news agency.
This kind of demographic shift negatively impacts the economy. ISTAT said that the ratio of working age individuals -- those between the ages of 15 and 64 compared to those classified as non-working age (below 14 or above 65) -- will shift from three workers for every two non-workers to around an even split in 2050.
One silver lining is that the number of families is on the rise after a period of decline.
But the size of families is expected to continue to decline: within two years, only one family in four will have children, ISTAT estimated.
Overall, the average family size will be 2.13 people in 2042, compared to 2.32 people last year.
A total of 9.8 million people are forecast to be living on their own in Italy by 2042, up from 8.4 million last year despite the expected overall decline in population.
The overall trend is impacting the entire country, though ISTAT said the declines are more rapid in the southern regions.