Natalità e fecondità

Birth and fertility of the resident population

In 2016, 473,438 births were registered in the Resident Population Register, that is almost 12,000 fewer births than in 2015. The figures confirmed the downward trend that began in recent years: the number of births decreased substantially since 2008 by more than 100 thousand births.

The recent decline in births resulted mainly from the reduction in the number of children born to Italian parents. The figure shows that in 2016 there were 373,075 births to Italian partners, 107 thousand fewer in eight years. The decrease can be due both to the fall in the number of women in childbearing years and to their low level of fertility.

The decrease of the birth rate is characterized by a stronger reduction of births of the first order, from 283,922 in 2008 to 227,412 in 2016 (-20% compared with -16% of higher order births).

The decline in births since 2008 is due to the decline in the number of births in the marriage: in 2016 they were only 331,681 (over 132,000 fewer in only 8 years). This major decline is partly due to the recent sharp drop in weddings, which hit the minimum in 2014, when only 189,765 weddings were celebrated (57,000 less than in 2008).

Fertility decline, which started in 2010, was still underway. In 2016 the average number of children per woman fell to 1.34, compared with 1.46 in 2010. Total fertility rate was 1.26 children for Italian women and 1.97 for the foreign ones. The latter figure represented a significant decrease compared to seven year before, when the average number of children for foreign women was 2.65.

The change in women's age structure is responsible for almost three-quarters of the observed birth difference between 2008 and 2016. The remaining share depends on the decrease of the propension to have children.

The reduction in the average number of first children per woman between 2010 and 2016 is responsible for 57% of the overall drop in fertility of Italian women and 70% of that of foreign women.

The name counter

How many children born and registered at the Italian Registry Office in a year have the same name? Istat’s name counter will help you find an answer to these questions.

birth and fertility, births, childbirth, fertility, foreign mothers, foreigners, mothers, parents, population register, resident population, statistics report
Population and households
document typology:
Press release
Reference period
Year 2016
Date of publication
28 November 2017
Full text
(pdf 458 KB)

Statistics on demographic structure and dynamics

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