Italy - Demographics


Italy has 60,626,442 inhabitants according to 1 January 2011 municipal records (Anagrafe). Its population density, at 201/km² (520/sq. mile), is higher than that of most Western European countries. However the distribution of the population is widely uneven. The most densely populated areas are the Po Valley (that accounts for almost a half of the national population) and the metropolitan areas of Rome and Naples, while vast regions such as the Alps and Apennines highlands, the plateaus of Basilicata and the island of Sardinia are very sparsely populated.

The population of Italy almost doubled during the 20th century, but the pattern of growth was extremely uneven due to large-scale internal migration from the rural South to the industrial cities of the North, a phenomenon which happened as a consequence of the Italian economic miracle of the 1950–1960s. In addition, after centuries of net emigration, from the 1980s Italy has experienced large-scale immigration for the first time in modern history. According to the Italian government, there were 4,570,317 foreign residents in Italy as of January 2011.

High fertility and birth rates persisted until the 1970s, after which they start to dramatically decline, leading to rapid population aging. At the end of the 2000s (decade), one in five Italians was over 65 years old. However, thanks mainly to the massive immigration of the last two decades, in recent years Italy experienced a significant growth in birth rates. The total fertility rate has also climbed from an all-time low of 1.18 children per woman in 1995 to 1.41 in 2008. The TFR is expected to reach 1.6 - 1.8 in 2030.

Largest cities or towns of Italy
ISTAT estimates for 31 December 2010
Rank City name Region Pop. Rank City name Region Pop.



1 Rome Lazio 2,761,477 11 Venice Veneto 270,884


2 Milan Lombardy 1,324,110 12 Verona Veneto 263,964
3 Naples Campania 963,357 13 Messina Sicily 242,503
4 Turin Piedmont 907,563 14 Padua Veneto 214,198
5 Palermo Sicily 655,875 15 Trieste Friuli-Venezia Giulia 205,535
6 Genoa Liguria 607,906 16 Brescia Lombardy 193,879
7 Bologna Emilia-Romagna 380,181 17 Taranto Apulia 191,810
8 Florence Tuscany 371,282 18 Prato Tuscany 188,011
9 Bari Apulia 320,475 19 Parma Emilia-Romagna 186,690
10 Catania Sicily 293,458 20 Reggio Calabria Calabria 186,547

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