Population levels are plummeting and the youth unemployment rate is one of the highest in Europe. In this situation, many couples are deciding to delay starting a family due to the lack of means. Italy, like Saturn, is devouring its children


On 4 March, Italian citizens will elect a government and, despite the fact that the political parties have referred to the severe employment problem affecting young people on several occasions, their main efforts are focusing on the votes of adults and the elderly.

It is understandable that the new generations are not over enthusiastic about these elections and only the 5-Star Movement of Grillo has catered, to a certain extent, for the concerns of many Italian citizens.  Ottavia Inglese (20), a biology student, matches this profile. “The 5-Star Movement is mainly directed at us. I am following their campaign and I also listen to the other parties but I don’t think anyone values us like they do”, says this young lady to the daily newspaper, El País.

Youth unemployment is a national drama and the rate exceeds 35% of young people. Temporary and unstable employment has become the norm and more and more couples are making the decision to delay starting a family because they do not have the necessary means.

It is not surprising, in this situation, that the population levels in Italy are plummeting. The state is finding it increasingly difficult to support the elderly, an expense that has been quantified at 16% of GDP. The current legislation is not helping either. As in other countries in Southern Europe, the generational replacement in the work market has been delayed and young people are finding it increasingly difficult to obtain work experience.  From 2013 to 2016, the average age of the workforce went from 40 to 42 years of age.

Given this situation, new generations often have to emigrate as the only option if they want to prosper and build a better future for themselves. According to various reports, qualified Italians who emigrate to Northern Europe earn between 29% and 48% more than their fellow citizens.

“We are going to pay for this and very dearly”, said Alfonso Giordano, a professor at the University Luiss in Rome and an expert on Sustainable Development and Migrations, to El Confidencial.