Italy is likely to see a significant decline in the number of babies born in the period following the coronavirus pandemic, the country’s national statistics institute has said.
In its 2020 annual report, Istat predicts that the uncertainty and fear caused by Covid-19 may result in 10,000 fewer births in Italy in the rest of 2020 and in 2021.
The report adds that if unemployment rises by as much as expected, the number of births may drop even further to just around 396,000 in 2021 – a decrease of nearly 24,000 from 2019.
The figures for 2019 also represent a historic low, with 420,170 births – a fall of 4.5 per cent from the previous year.
“Italy is a country with permanent low fertility,” the report notes.
Istat also recorded how Italians spent their time during lockdown. Forty-three per cent said they prayed at least once a week, while 22 per cent prayed every day. Forty-eight per cent said they did not pray at all.
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