In 2014, 502,596 births were registered in the Resident Population Register. There were 12,000 fewer births than in 2013. The figures confirm the downward trend that began in recent years: the number of births decreased substantially since 2008 (-74,000 births).
The recent decline in births mainly resulted from the reduction in the number of children born to Italian parents that fell for the first time below 400,000. The figure shows that in 2014 there were 398,540 births to Italian partners, 82 thousand fewer in six years. These decrease can be attributed both to the fall in the number of women in childbearing years and to their low level of fertility.
In 2014 births to married parents fell further, reaching 363,916, appoximately 100,000 fewer in six years. Conversely, births outside marriage increased sligtly and reached 138,000 births in 2014. As a result the relative weight of births to unmarried couples increased and reached 27.6% of all births. In particular, in the Centre-North area more than 30% of babies were born to unmarried couples.
Compared to the previous year, the number of births to at least one foreign parent remained relatively stable. In 2014 they were 104,000, accounting for 20.7% of all births at national level. Births to at least one foreign parent were 29% in the North area, compared to 8% only in the South and Islands areas. A slight decrease was observed both in the number of births to foreign parents (which totalled 75,067, that is 5,000 fewer than in 2013) and in their proportion on all births (14.9% in 2014).
In 2014, nearly 8% of all live births were to mothers aged 40 and over, while 10.7% of births had mothers aged under 25. Childbearing postponement is more pronounced among Italian mothers: the proportion of births to Italian women aged 40 and over exceeded the one of those aged under 25 (8.9 vs. 8.5%).
Fertility decline, which started in 2010, is still underway. In 2014 the average number of children per woman fell to 1.37, compared with 1.46 in 2010. Total fertility rate was 1.29 children for Italian women and 1.97 for foreign ones. The latter figure represents a significant decrease compared to six years before, a period in which the average number of children for foreign women was 2.65.
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