(ANSA) - Rome, December 19 - Italy has the second-oldest population in Europe after Germany, national statistical agency Istat said Thursday. "The country's high rate of survival, combined with a decline in fertility, makes Italy one of the oldest countries in the world," Istat said in its annual statistical review. According to its age index, Italy ranks second in Europe with a measure of 148.6 people over 65 for every 100 young people, aged 14 and younger. Germany has the oldest population of 155.8 seniors for every 100 youngsters, the agency said. The average Italian life expectancy is 79.4 years for men and 84.4 years for women.