MILAN (AP) — Italian women are having dramatically fewer babies than ever during the pandemic, accentuating one of the world’s lowest birth rates, the Italian statistics agency ISTAT said Tuesday.
The month of January 2021, 10 months after Italy’s draconian lockdown, marked the lowest birth rate ever — a 13.6% decline over the same month a year earlier, translating to nearly 5,000 fewer births.
ISTAT said after significant drops also in November and December 2020 there was “little doubt about the role of the pandemic” and that the trend appeared to be lasting.
In just over a decade, births have dropped by one third in Italy, with 404,892 babies born in 2020 from 576,659 in 2008. Almost all of the decline is attributed to families with two Italian parents.