What is the population of Italy?

Have you ever wondered what is the population of Italy? Discover more about the country’s demographics and the largest cities in Italy.
what is the population of italy

What is the population of Italy today?

The estimated population of Italy at the end of 2021 (from the official Statistics Institute ISTAT) is around 59 million.

The population density is 197 inhabitants per square meter, and it varies according to the region. The urban conglomerates of Milano, Roma, and Napoli, have the highest density of inhabitants.

These data vary from day to day: if you want to know the real-time results, you can have a look at official statistics websites.

What are the largest cities of Italy?

The regions of the South (especially Basilicata, Molise, and Calabria), have a lower population because of the emigration to Northern Italy and foreign countries.

The most populated regions in the country are Lombardia, Lazio, and Campania. That’s because of different reasons, but there’s one common factor.

These regions include the largest cities in Italy: Milano, Roma, and Napoli.

Milano is the main economic and industrial Italian city, while Roma hosts most of the administrative headquarters.

Napoli and its surroundings have a very high density of population, and the city is becoming a popular destination to live and study.

Here are the 10 Italian cities with the highest number of residents according to ISTAT:

  1. Roma
  2. Milano
  3. Napoli
  4. Torino
  5. Palermo
  6. Genova
  7. Bologna
  8. Firenze
  9. Bari
  10. Catania

History of the population of Italy

Before the economic growth that happened in Italy after World War II, the country experienced a large mass emigration.

Hundred of thousands of Italians emigrated abroad from the unification of the country in 1861 to the second half of the 20th century.

Most of them went overseas, especially to North America. Many reached the United States to find fortune, but often, they had to fight for social acceptance. Others went to Argentina or Canada.

The emigration pattern changed in the second half of the century. Italians mostly chose European countries, especially Germany and Switzerland.

After World War II, however, the emigration rate lowered due to the fast economic growth that the country was experiencing. Italians refer to that flourishing period as il miracolo economico.

Birth rates and population increased as a result of the country’s economic growth.

In the second half of the 20th century, emigration was mostly internal. People went from poorer Southern Italy to the North, where the industry sector had started to expand.

There, they had the chance to find a job, have children, and create families.

Starting from the 1990s, Italy was characterized by a wave of immigration, especially from Eastern Europe and Northern Africa.

The most present nationalities are Romanian, Ukranian, Polish, Moroccan, and Albanian. It is estimated that the total population of foreign residents is about 5 million to the present day.

Italian population continued to grow until the early 2000s. In recent years, the average population of Italy has experienced a decline as a combination of different factors: economic crisis, low fertility rates, and Covid pandemic.

The life expectancy of Italian people

The expectation of life in Italy is around 84 years (one of the highest in the world); as a result, Italy has one of the highest numbers of elderly people worldwide.

Meanwhile, the fertility rate is lower and the birth rate has declined.

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According to data, young people constitute a low percentage of the Italian population, while the average age in the country is around 45 years.

Population in Italy: trends

The evolution of the population of Italy has been parallel to the country’s economic progression, and this makes sense as generally higher welfare improves birth rates, immigration, and life expectancy.

However, data from recent years are not promising: Italians have fewer kids than in the past, and there are more old people than youngsters.

Predictions for the future

According to the official Italian Statistic Institute, Italy will experience a growth in population until 2040. After that, it will start to decrease.

Migration rates will increase as well and will constitute a large contribution to population increase.

Predictions from ONU say that Italy will experience a declining population rate already from the next years.

Comparison with the world population

Currently, the world’s total population is around 7.9 billion people.

This means that Italy’s population is equivalent approximately to 0.75% of the world’s population.

Italy occupies 23rd place of the most populated countries in the world.

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