In Italy there is a clear-cut problem of aging of the population. This problem has a whole series of consequences, in terms of prospects for prosperity, in terms of financial sustainability, in terms of relations with other nations, in Europe and in the world.
The problem of the problems: the demographic decline
By now, about 700,000 people die a year in Italy and fewer than 400,000 are born. Italy loses 300,000 inhabitants every year.
The average age is 45, while in 1947 at the time of the Marshall Plan, it was 30. 50% of Italians, in 2020, do not have a qualification above the middle school certificate.
It is not just a question of lengthening life expectancy. It is a question of low birth rates. The low birth rate has characterized Italian municipalities for decades, and in particular since the end of the 'Baby Boom', that is, from 1962 onwards. For a Mayor of a village in an Inner Area of Southern Italy, this is the Problem of Problems. Countering the demographic depletion is the most difficult challenge.
Italy, like every other nation in the world, has been hit by the Covid-19 epidemic. However, from a numerical and systemic point of view, the larger phenomenon of demographic decline is far more significant than the epidemic. In other words, Italy suffers much more from the demographic phenomenon than from Covid, however significant the epidemic is.
The dominant discourse in the mainstream media seems to miss the relevance of the problem. There is a National Strategy for Internal Areas; there are policies for the South of Italy. Still, such policies appear to have no effect. Whoever protests against this or that politician, against this public administrator, usually barks at the moon. The terms of the problem are not stated clearly enough. The next generation is currently under a threat: that of having to take care of an elderly and fragile Italy. In Europe, from France to Hungary, people try to do something to encourage births, or to support families.
The Presidency of the Council, in Italy, has taken some measures.
In twenty years, in Italy the under-five age group could make up only 1% of the population. It seems that there is a resignation to "take leave of history"
The territorial fabric
Basilicata is a territory with a negative demographic balance: for each year, the new born are fewer than the deceased. These territories are also subject to a significant and endemic phenomenon of emigration.
This data tells us that there is a distribution of urban centers and a specific form of territorial organization. This organizational form must be respected, supported, and nurtured, not attacked. To have economy of scale in services, you need to network. We need to use strengths, and mitigate the disadvantages of weaknesses.
All of these municipalities have similar problems. Concrete solutions are needed to the now rampant phenomenon of depopulation, which brings with it various consequences that are difficult to face. Whoever has the responsibility of governing these communities does so knowing that in the next 10 years a fundamental game will be played:
Find a way to counter the seemingly unstoppable force that is leading Basilicata to be one of the regions in Europe with the highest depopulation rate.
The indicators and the problem
Alongside the problem of poverty of opportunity, there is the cultural approach of women and men to parenting. Policies seem to be moving towards family breakdown and support for individualism.
In these territories we do not understand the importance of innovation, internationalization, individual and family initiative, merit, social and constructive aggregation of young people, the strength of the system and the network.
An integrated strategy with roots in the territory
Castelluccio Inferiore is a center of the southern Lucanian Apennines, included in the Pollino national park. The municipality of Castelluccio Inferiore has adopted a Strategy.
Countering the demographic emptying of the villages and the motivational decline
The specific data of Castelluccio Inferiore
Resident population in the municipality of Castelluccio Inferiore at 31.12.2020: 1974. Of which:
Between 18 and 65 years: 1217 Over 65 years: 504
Born in 2020: 14
Died in 2020: 26
Immigrants from 2015 to 2020: 492
Emigrants from 2015 to 2020: 219 (roughly 35 per year) Total number of AIRE members: 265
The annual taxable income in the municipal area amounts to 23 million euros (2018 data).
The annual per capita taxable income is therefore between 11,000 and 12,000 euros. It is therefore lower than the national average.
By now, about 700,000 people die a year in Italy and fewer than 400,000 are born. Italy loses 300,000 lives every year. In Castelluccio 26 die and 14 are born. The proportions are the same. That of Castelluccio is an emblematic case.
The two levers: reduce costs and increase income
The first theme is that of the problem of poverty of opportunity. We will work on this issue. We aim to increase household income, not reduce it. We aim to attract young people with high potential, and by doing this we are competing with other territories in the world, for example in Europe the Randstad or Bavaria, and in the USA Silicon Valley.
Stopping the bleeding, the exodus, is the first step.
To bring back families who have moved away, the second.
Attracting quality young people is the third.
Rather, we will intervene on the factors that contribute to the decision to give birth to children, and to look after them, at an appropriate age, therefore on the incentives and impediments.
We will also intervene on the factors that contribute to the decision to go and live in Castelluccio, instead of another territory. This is a competitive dimension.
1. Increase traditional job opportunities
2. Attracting high-income knowledge workers.
Given the territorial and landscape context of Castelluccio Inferiore, there are 2 types of activities: labor intensive and knowledge intensive.
Home, school, transport, health, cultural and social life: the new welfare.
It should be possible to lighten the burden on families for each child. In line with the average taxable amount of 12,000 euros per year, every minor should ideally be able to enjoy a commensurate budget, of the order of 12,000 euros per year. To 253 minors, this would therefore correspond to 3 million euros. We do not work on this hypothesis, which would be unrealistic and beneficial.
An investment of 350,000 euros should be able to allow a reduction in costs for families ten times greater, and possibly lasting.
This is possible only by creating an economy of scale, a systemization, an increase in productivity, a growth in professionalism and a form of self-sufficiency.
It is about investing in training and business creation.
If you want to establish a Shared Agenda with us, do not hesitate