Births in Italy plunging amid COVID says ISTAT

Stats agency expects fewer than 400,000 newborns in 2021

(ANSA) - ROME, 24 NOV - Italy's already low birth rate is set to plunge further amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the head of national statistics agency ISTAT told a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday.
    "It is legitimate to hypothesize that the climate of fear and uncertainty and the growing difficulties of a material nature (linked to employment and income) generated by recent events will have a negative impact on Italian couple's fertility decisions," ISTAT President Gian Carlo Blangiardo told a joint session of the House's and Senate's budget committees.
    "The level of 420,000 births registered in Italy in 2019, the lowest in over 150 years of national unity, could fall to around 408,000 this year, with December affected by a drop in conceptions in March, according to an ISTAT scenario based on the most recent trends.
    "This could then fall further to 393,000 (births) in 2021".


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