Contrary to the logical perception that people have of Italy as having large families, and a very ‘full’ population in general, Italy in fact has one of the lowest ‘average number of children’ per woman in Europe. Italy’s situation is quite unique in the sense that as many countries are worrying about very high birth rates, and low death rates which are leading to an increase in population, Italy is worrying about very low birth rates, which is leading to quite a low 0-19 population cohort and a un proportional 20-64 (middle aged) cohort. The 20-64 cohort is far to large in comparison to the 0-19 cohort meaning that there is now enough amount of children being born to support the generation above them in the future. Several other countries in Europe are in the same situation as Italy, such as Germany.
As the population ages, there are certain structural changes in society which will take place, for example, as populations age there will be pressure to reduce the workforce in teaching or to keep the workforce and reduce class sizes. At the same time, there will be an increase in demand for services for the elderly.
This change in population has come about since the 1960’s when people began to be able to take more control of their own fertility, also the fact that Italians tend to live with their parents since house prices have increased, and there are fewer well-paid, but low skilled jobs than before, which over all makes it far more convenient to stay at home for longer that usual.
In order to combat this problem, there are a number of different policies which can be introduced. For example, the government could create incentives to get young people to go to university and subsequently get higher paid jobs, which would allow them to leave home and start up a family a lot easier. To do this the government could introduce a grant system and allowances for young families so that the financial side of things does not deter people from having children. Another tactic the government could use to increase the amount of skilled workers in Italy is to select only certain immigrants which have valuable skills which are needed. The government would have to allow access to citizenship for migrants to make Italy an attractive country to move to.
As Italy is stuck very deeply in recession at the moment, it makes these policies very hard to be implemented as unemployment rates soar even higher. Another alternative that the government could use are to lower tuition fees so as to make further education even more accessible.
In conclusion, I believe that It is essential that the government implement and develop policies to combat Italy’s ageing population, however I believe that in direct measures such as reducing tuition fees, can eventually lead to a stabilisation of the population (along with a host of other policies.)