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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - Italy is forecasting a demographic plunge as the country grapples with an aging population.
The Italian Statistics Bureau (ISTAT) reported May 3 that Italy's population is estimated to shrink 10 percent from 60.6 million in 2017 to 54.1 million in 2065. The decrease would be 6.5 million residents in almost 50 years.
This comes as life expectancy is expected to increase by five years for both men and women, reaching 86.1 years for males and 90.2 years for females (80.6 and 85 years in 2016).
But the fertility rate
in Italy stands at 1.34 children per woman, compared to 1.46 in 2010. Last year, there were 464,000 babies born in the country, which is a decrease of 9,000 from 2016.
Italy is ranked 212 out of 223
countries for live births per 1,000 people, standing at 8.6, which is dependent on the fertility rate of the country and the age structure of the population.
In the past 10 years, births have dropped 100,000. The declining birth rate has left Italy with a major aging population over 45-years-old. About 60 percent of them are 40 or older and nearly 23 percent are over 65, compared to 27 percent between 15-39 and 13 percent 14 or younger.
On the other hand, deaths have increased
in 2017, with 183,000 more people passing away than being born in Italy. The birth rate, which is estimated to fall 300,000–400,000 in the short and long-term, is unable to compensate for deaths.
Reasons for the decline range from high youth unemployment and young people still living with their parents to working women facing the costs of losing jobs and paying expensive childcare prices.
But since the legalization of abortion in Italy in 1978, there have been more than 6 million unborn babies
This is along with the contraceptive mentality in Italy in the last 48 years since 1970 when the first birth control clinics were opened.
July 25, 2018, will be the 50th anniversary of Humanae Vitae,
Bl. Pope Paul VI's encyclical reaffirming the Church's ban on artificial birth control.
The Holy Father emphasized the "unitive significance and the procreative significance" that are "both inherent to the marriage act," noting that if both are "preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood."
But "excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation — whether as an end or as a means," continued Pope Paul VI.
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