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Experimental statistic

Municipal demographic projections - January 1st, 2020-2030

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Demographic projections aim to study the possible future of a population in terms of total size and structural components. This kind of product is used by policy-makers both as a knowledge tool for assessing trends in population ageing, and as a source for developing further forecasting models. The possible uses of projections are in fact manifold and vary from health planning to social security, from the study of urban planning needs to the energy-environmental ones, from the organization of school facilities to the transport network.

With the “Demographic projections” project, included in the National Statistical Program (Psn code IST-01448), Istat has been responding to this kind of needs for over thirty years, with a frequency that used to be periodic in the past (every three-five years). Since 2017 the frequency of release has become annual, and the model has been transformed from the original deterministic approach into a probabilistic one.

The interest in the territorial dimension has always characterized the activity in the sector of demographic projections, because the possibility of producing detailed territorial information is essential for analyzing and understanding the national demography itself. However, the regional level of detail is often insufficient because the planning of a territory increasingly needs micro-founded information. Driven by this growing interest, therefore, Istat has developed a new and, for the moment, experimental product in this field: the municipal demographic projections by age and sex, up to 1.1.2030, with 1 January 2020 as the reference period.

The outcome is made available in three ways:

  • population by sex and five-year age groups
  • components of the demographic balance sheet
  • main demographic indicators

Data can be downloaded directly from the institutional website for all provinces, capital municipalities and non-capital municipalities, with over 30 thousand inhabitants. Data for all other Municipalities and for any kind of supra-municipal aggregation can also be made available to users upon request (via email or via contact center).

The municipalities considered in the study are 7,903, i.e. those existing as of 1 January 2020. The evolutionary assumptions regarding fertility, survival and migration in the various municipalities were derived from the regional projections, according to a top-down redistribution approach. The final results of the municipal projections, therefore, coincide with the regional ones.

Although the link between the regional and municipal forecasting model ensures not only consistency of results, but also a global reference framework for the demographic evolution of all municipalities, data of this study, especially in the long term, should be treated with extreme caution. Projections, in fact, become more uncertain as one moves away from the starting point, especially in small geographic realities such as those considered here. It should also be emphasized that projections represent a what-if exercise; they are elaborations in which the calculations made show a particular evolution of the population which is the result of the specific assumptions about the demographic behaviour. The results produced for the first projection year also comply with this principle, and in fact represent an anticipation of the demographic balance and census data. The final validation operations of both the demographic balance and the resident population of each Municipality, in fact, can give rise to differences between the validated data and the one initially expected to be more reliable.

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Reference period: January 1st, 2020-2030

Date of Issue: 29 November 2021

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Please email to: statistiche-sperimentali@istat.it