With 61 million residents, Italy is the fourth most populous country in the European Union after Germany, France and the United Kingdom. The population density is among the highest in the continent, even if the distribution on the territory is concentrated in some metropolitan areas. Over the last few years, the population has increased slightly, mainly due to high immigration. The fertility rate is 1.4 children per woman, lower than the European average (equal to about 1.5). Furthermore, disaggregating the data for Italian women only, this value drops to 1.33, while for foreign women it is 2.05. Parallel to the low demographic growth there is an increase in the average life span of Italians: if in 2002 life expectancy at birth was 77.1 years for men and 83 for women, currently this value has grown to 79.9 and 84.8 years respectively. The result of these two factors is the relative aging of the population.
The migratory flows they record a positive trend and the effect of immigration on population growth is twofold: in addition to bringing the migratory balance to the net, it also positively affects the natural balance (ie the difference between births and deaths). A more in-depth observation of migratory flows shows the overtaking, starting from 2008, of migrants from non-EU countries compared to those from the European Union. This figure is partly due to the massive regularization of immigrants who have already been present in Italy for some time (mostly domestic workers and carers), but also to the slowdown in entries from Central and Eastern European countries. Most of the foreign population resides in the central-northern regions, in particular in Lombardy, Lazio, Veneto and Emilia-Romagna. The increase in non-Italian residents has generated the perception of greater insecurity in public opinion. Indeed, the data relating to crime confirm at least in part the correlation between immigration and the increase in the number of crimes committed, despite a significant decrease in homicides. In particular, the share of non-Italian prisoners grows year after year in a more than proportional way with respect to the growth of the immigrant population. The Italian population differs from most other European countries due to a consistent disparity in income dynamics and an uneven territorial distribution. Based on the findings The Italian population differs from most other European countries due to a consistent disparity in income dynamics and an uneven territorial distribution. Based on the findings The Italian population differs from most other European countries due to a consistent disparity in income dynamics and an uneven territorial distribution. Based on the findings in 2015, about 28% of people residing in Italy are at risk of poverty or social exclusion and more than 10% are in conditions of deprivation. In comparative terms, Italy is also one of the European countries in which the proportion of situations with relative low income is higher: 20% of households have an income that is 60% lower than the median value. This disparity is reflected on a territorial basis in the differences between the northern and southern regions: while in Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont and Tuscany the average family income is 10-15% higher than the national average, in Calabria, Sicily, Basilicata, Campania, Molise and Puglia this is 20-30% lower. Overall, the income of families residing in Southern Italy is equal to 75% of those in the North.Eu. Compared to its counterparts, however, the efficiency of transfers is lower: by measuring the ratio between the percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) destined for social spending (excluding pensions) and the reduction in the population with insufficient incomes, a result of less than 20 is observed in Italy. % and among the worst in Europe together with Greece and Spain (conversely, with the same public expenditure, the Scandinavian countries reach a result close to 70%). However, the Italian welfare system guarantees a variety of services, which place the country in the average of the most advanced countries.
As regards, for example, the national health service, the density of medical personnel in relation to the population (3.76 doctors and 3.4 hospital beds per 1000 residents) and the percentage of total expenditure compared to GDP (7, 1%) are slightly above the European average. Finally, it is necessary to point out an endemic evil that weighs on Italian society: Italy is in fact a meeting ground between a series of criminal organizations mafia-like, whose reach transcends national borders. In addition to indigenous forms such as the Camorra, the ‘Ndrangheta, Cosa Nostra and the Sacra Corona Unita, similar forms of criminal association of Russian, Chinese, Albanian and Nigerian origin have been established for years. Together, these organizations carry out a range of highly profitable illicit activities, from arms trafficking to prostitution rackets to drug dealing.