In a short article published in April on the current demographic situation in Italy we pointed out that Liguria and Friuli Venezia Giulia were the oldest regions in Italy. Now the release by Istat of The demographic future of the country shows projections to 2065, highlighting a clearly different situation from the current one (data at 1 January). All southern regions rank at the top for the highest old-age index, Molise first of all, followed at short distance by Sardegna and Basilicata. Among the central-northern regions, only Umbria differs from the others with 314 people over 65 years for every 100 young people aged between 0 and 14.
In 2065 Val d'Aosta, Trento and Bolzano will be the regions with the lowest old-age index. But this is not surprising if we consider that Bolzano and Trento will be the only regions in Italy to see the population aged less than 14 years increasing until 2065. In the same period Liguria, now the region with the highest aging index, will be the only one where the population over 65 years will decrease and this explains the difference in the index compared to rest of Italy at the end of the forecast horizon.
If the average age is projected to grow (from almost 45 years in 2017 to over 50 in 2065 in Italy), all the southern regions will see the largest increases, particularly strong in Campania and Basilicata.
According to the median scenario, the Italian population is set to fall from 60.6 to 54.1 million people; the population will decrease in most regions, with the only exceptions of Lombardia (from 10 to 10.4 million), Bolzano and Trento (from 0.5 to 0.6 million) and Lazio. Emilia Romagna will record a very slight decline, which will be significantly stronger in all the regions of Southern Italy, in particular in Sardegna and Basilicata (CAGR 0.7%). This implies, again according to the median scenario, a decrease of over 5 million people in the South Italy, while in the other macroregions the demographic decline would range between 450 thousand and 550 thousand people.
According to Istat, the demographic dynamics in the territorial breakdowns shows a strong uncertainty and this implies an empirical probability of population increase in the North West of 38% compared to 30% in the North East and 32% in the Central regions (9 % in Italy). At the same time Istat shows us that under any hypothesis the South Italy could not follow a path of demographic growth, thus condemning it to a negative demographic balance.