Is immigration the solution to population aging?

Anna Paterno


The article seeks to assess the effect, in recent years, of immigration from abroad in counteracting the increasing aging of the Italian population. It does so by comparing  the role played by immigration with that of fertility, the other demographic alternative. Firstly, this paper briefly reviews the main studies in the literature on the topic and illustrates the temporal and territorial references, the data used and the analytical tools applied. The article goes on to summarize the recent evolution of aging, reproductive behaviours, and immigration flows in Italy as a whole. Then, by means of analysis disaggregated at the provincial level, the article describes and schematizes the different patterns of behaviour characterizing the various areas of the country. Finally, by identifying the contribution made by each of the principal determinants of the variations in the mean age of the population, the article highlights the crucial influence of fertility on aging. The results show that, although immigration may sometimes be a useful solution, it is not enough to solve the problems connected with aging.

Anna Paterno, Associate Professor of Demography, Department for the Study of Mediterranean Societies, University of Bari, Via C. Battisti, n. 1, 70121-Bari, Italy. E-mail:  a.paterno@scienzepolitiche.uniba.it


Population Dynamics; Aging; Internationa migration

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ISSN: 2035-5556

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