|Type of paper:
|Statistics Government Population Lifespan development
Italy is among the few nations undergoing a demographic recession. There has been a significant drop in the working-age population, which has sent shock waves through the country's administration. It is, however, not the first time that Italy has found itself in such circumstances remembering World War I when the same was experienced. The circumstances surrounding the current recess are, however, different with most blaming tough economic times, misuse of birth control methods as well as the immigration rules introduced by the state (Phelan, 2019).
This graph shows that Italy is on a downward trajectory when it comes to population growth (Macro-trends, 2020). The birth rate in the nation is abnormally low. Experts project that by 2050, individuals aged above 60 years will comprise more than half of the population. This will come at a cost to the economy, increased cost of health care, and lack of individuals to work in public institutions as civil servants.
Research also shows that the aging population has a higher life expectancy while in that state. Most of them still choose to remain active up to their 70s and 80s.
|Period Life expectancy in years
|Period Life expectancy in years
1980-1985 74.9 The table above shows that life expectancy has been increasing over the past 50 years. As of the beginning of 2019, individuals aged above 90 years stood at 814000. This makes Italy only second to Japan when it comes to the issue of an aging population. For every 165 individuals aged above 65, there are 100 under fifteen. This is a typical representation of a society with a dim future.
The main reason for declining fertility and birthrate is the lack of childcare options. It's not that the women in Italy do not want to have children. They want to have two or more children, but their economy doesn't work in favor of mothers, so for them, it will always be about money. The birth rate is getting low, and if they are not ready to have babies, the aging population will be high over time. Many Italians can't afford to raise a child if they are not financially stable. Childcare options are limited. Babysitters are not readily available to take care of the children when the parents are at work. 20 %of grandparents provide daily care for their grandchildren.
Harsh economic times
Young Italians prefer economic survival over children. It's difficult for them to find a permanent job that can help them accumulate resources that are necessary for marriage. Youth unemployment is at 33 % in Italy, forcing the average-aged to move abroad to work. Most of the younger generation in Italy is on temporary contracts, which makes it hard for them to move ahead. Working women in Italy have a fear of losing their job within the year of giving birth, and the risk increases with each child. Italy doesn't have schemes that are comprehensive for children's benefits.
Regulations against immigration
Migrants tend to be concentrated in the working ages. Migration can be used as a policy response to population aging. Italians believe that they will disappear if more immigrants are allowed to stay in Italy. This fear drives immigrants away. This contributes to quite an old population since most of the immigrants are average-aged. Immigration leads to intermarriages, which may increase the population by increasing the birthrate in the country. Immigration would need to occur and be sustained at higher levels for the population age structure to change. When immigration is sustained, the results will be long-term trends in fertility.
The issue of equality is not considered in Italy. The aged population benefits from better healthcare than the rest of the population. The revenue contributors have nothing to gain since they pay for the healthcare of a rapidly growing elderly population. This increases the life expectancy and longevity of the aged population (Schwartz, 2018). Italy pays a lot of attention to the aged population and forgets about the mortality rate of the younger population. Generally, children have a high mortality rate since they are exposed to many risks. The younger population in Italy requires a lot of attention, considering that the birth rates are relatively low. Fertility is the most powerful determinant in population growth. The revenue contributors, who are the average aged population, should be given an equal share of healthcare as the aged population. The contributors can change the age distribution of a population under a favorable environment.
Health care crisis
Healthcare is one of the areas likely to be hit hardest by this crisis. First, the aging population requires care, while fewer Italians are willing to work in the country due to harsh economic times. Ironically, over half of the caregivers in Italy are from foreign countries. Unfortunately, getting to Italy is never easy due to the tough immigration rules placed by those in authority. Between late 2018 and early 2019 alone, Italy rejected 24800 asylum applications showing the unwillingness of those in authority to solve the crisis. If the problem is not handled differently, it will lead to a problem in healthcare as there will be more people in need of care, yet the providers are minimal.
Additionally, the cost of health care will keep on rising. As the laws of business dictate, whenever there is a decline in production and service delivery, the prices rise. Unfortunately, it is declining at a period when demand is expected to be high. This circumstance will eventually lead to a general rise in the cost of healthcare. Even the insurers will run out of business since they will not be in a position to cater to the increasing demand in a failed economy.
Increased pension spending
After the Euro-zone sovereign crisis, Italy, together with a host of other European countries, developed measures to overhaul the pension system. It has, however, not turned out to be the best thing for Italy, especially with the increasing population of the aged. In 2015 alone, pension spending in Italy was 16.5 percent of the GDP (Chiacchio & Tagliapietra, 2018). This represents a huge figure keeping in mind the GDP of the time. Experts warn that if the system continues to work as it is, there will be an economic meltdown in this part of the world.
The graph below shows that dependency rates are likely to increase with time (Mazzola et al., 2016). Although there are differences in areas to be affected, it generally shows that the problem in Italy can no longer be hidden. If things go as they are, Italy will be a good example of a country experiencing an economic meltdown. The expected increase in dependency means that the country will have to spend more on age. It is projected that by 2070, there will be roughly 60 pensioners for every 100 workers. What makes it even more alarming is that there is no working generation to make these contributions.
In the future, it is projected that the government will have to raise the tax rate to raise money for the pension. This will generally make Italy an inhabitable nation for both civil servants and business individuals. With such conditions, no one will be willing to set up businesses in Italy only to be slapped with heavy taxes. At the same time, even the working will be expected to make huge contributions to cater to these pensions. This means that there will be less cash for meaningful investments, which will eventually lead to a weak economy. A combination of increased government spending, higher taxation, and a higher dependency ratio are some of the problems that will eventually affect Italy in the wake of an aging population.
Chiacchio, F., & Tagliapietra, S. (2018, April 25). Italy's pension spending: Implications of an aging population. https://www.bruegel.org/2018/04/italys-pension-spending-implications-of-an-ageing-population/
Macro-trends. (2020). Italy's population growth rate 1950-2020. https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/ITA/italy/population-growth-rate
Mazzola, P., Rimoldi, S. M. L., Rossi, P., Noale, M., Rea, F., Facchini, C., ... & Annoni, G. (2016). Aging in Italy: the need for new welfare strategies in an old country. The Gerontologist, 56(3), 383-390. Retrieved from https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article/56/3/383/2605648
Phelan, J. (2019, June 20). Italy is in a 'demographic recession' not seen since World War One. The Local. https://www.thelocal.it/20190620/italy-is-in-a-demographic-recession-not-seen-since-world-war-one
Schwartz, E. (2018, June 4). Italy's Aging Population, Government Spending, and Dependency Ratios. Retrieved from https://econlife.com/2018/06/italys-aging-population
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