TRIESTE Surprise: Trieste is no longer the oldest city in Italy. This is what emerges from the Istat statistics for 2020, which first confirm the fact that the general aging of the Italian population is proceeding rather quickly. The indicator is the so-called old age index, obtained from the percentage ratio between the number of inhabitants over 65 and that of children and young people up to 15. According to this particular ratio, the province with the most elderly in proportion to children is Biella , where the index is 275.8%. This means that there are nearly 276 elderly people for every 100 children. In second place in this ranking the Sardinian Oristano, while on the third step of the podium is Savona; Trieste, with its 263.8 elderly people for every 100 children, is only fourth, ahead of Ferrara and Grosseto, while the 2020 national average is 178.4%. In 2019 it was 173.1% against 131.7% in 2012, demonstrating how the aging coefficient of the Italian population is ever faster.
The cause is to be found both in the increase in life expectancy and in the decline in births. And precisely this data sees Trieste in contrast with the rest of Italy, and could explain why the regional capital is no longer considered the oldest city in Italy. Given that the reduction in the birth rate affects all areas of the country, only 11 (out of 107) are the provinces in which Istat detects an increase in births compared to the previous year: among them Trieste, but also Gorizia. The Isonzo capital is in second place on a national scale in terms of prolificacy with 1.42 children per woman, albeit far below the record-holder Italian province, Bolzano, with 1.69. The Trieste and Isonzo data allow Friuli Venezia Giulia to be placed (albeit slightly) above the national average in terms of prolificacy, with 1.26 children born for every woman in the Region (1.24 instead the national figure). The average age of childbirth, on the other hand, is in the range, which in Fvg stands at 32.2 years as in Piedmont and Liguria, in a range that, however, does not differ much between the region where the age is lower (the Sicily with 31.4) and the highest one (Basilicata with 33.1). This is a parameter that has marked regular increases for the past twenty years (30.8 in 2003 and 31.1 in 2008).
In this context, Istat reports that nowadays it is completely usual that the fertility expressed by women between 35 and 39 years exceeds that of the 25-29 range or that the over 40s are progressively approaching the levels of young women under 25.
If it is no longer the city with the highest number of seniors compared to young people, Trieste returns to the top in another particular ranking, that of centenarians. In fact, in the regional capital it is easier to reach the milestone of the century: here there are 4.58 for every 100 thousand inhabitants. The second in the standings is Isernia with 4.54, while the third is Genoa (4.27). Liguria and Friuli Venezia Giulia are also playing for the over-one-hundred-year-olds (i.e. residents over 105 years old), equal to 3.3 per 100 thousand inhabitants for the four Ligurian provinces against 3 in the Fvg. That the two regions still represent the longest-lived areas of Italy is verified by another data, namely the one where the share of families made up of only over 65s is highest: both in the deep north-east and in the north-west of Italy (in this sense also including Piedmont) over one in three families presents this composition.
Finally, life expectancy, which causes the pandemic in 2020, has been in sharp decline, falling by an average of 14 months. In our region, life expectancy at birth, with 80.1 years for males (-1.2% compared to 2019) and 85 for women (-0.9%), remains higher than the national average, which it is 79.7 for males and 84.4 for women. –