Depopulation and the aging population: The relationship in Italian municipalities

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In European countries, many territories have experienced and are still experiencing a depopulation, caused by a deficit of births relative to deaths, a negative net migration, or both. At the same time, many of these territories are also facing the population aging process, caused by a decrease in births and prolonged rise in longevity. Depopulation and the population aging processes are strongly connected. The aim of this work is to study the relationship between depopulation and the aging population and the sustainability of the two phenomena. We studied these phenomena in the Italian territories in the period of 1951-2011. The study was conducted by using the census data of the Italian municipalities. The correlation coefficient between depopulation and aging population indicators was calculated in order to investigate the relationship between the two phenomena. A regression model was applied in order to understand if population aging is linked to population variation. Finally, the municipalities, which experienced continuing depopulation, are examined in depth. Our results show that a strong depopulation trend contributed to subsequent levels of population aging, but recent population aging has also contributed to ongoing depopulation, creating a vicious circle. Long-term depopulation and continuing population aging does not seem to be sustainable in the near future.




Reynaud, C., & Miccoli, S. (2018). Depopulation and the aging population: The relationship in Italian municipalities. Sustainability (Switzerland), 10(4).

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