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Italy's population hit by record low birth rate and highest death toll since world war two

Italy's gap between births and deaths in 2020 widest since 1918 during the Spanish flu epidemic.

Italy's population fell by almost 384,000 last year, following record low births and the highest number of deaths since world war two, according to new data released by national statistics agency ISTAT.

The population trend, in decline since 2015, has been amplified by the effects of the covid-19 pandemic said ISTAT, likening the drop to the equivalent of a city the size of Florence vanishing from the map.

ISTAT said 746,146 deaths were registered in 2020, almost 112,000 more than 2019, an increase of 17.6 per cent compared to the previous year, reports news agency ANSA.

There were 404,104 babies born in Italy 2020 - down by almost 16,000 compared to the year before - in the lowest birth rate since records began in 1861.

On 31 December 2020 Italy's resident population in Italy amounted to 59,257,566 people, according to ISTAT, equating to a drop of 0.6 per cent over 12 months.

Italy’s population had risen virtually every year since world war one, hitting a peak of 60.8 million in 2015, but it has since been in decline, reports Reuters.

The number of marriages celebrated in Italy in 2020 also collapsed by almost half, with 96,687 weddings taking place: 47.5 per cent less than in 2019.

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