Portrait of the Regions - ITALY - BASILICATA - Population

Portrait of the Regions - ITALY - BASILICATA - Population

BASILICATA - Population

Emigration continues

Although Basilicata has never had a large population, there have nevertheless been quite considerable fluctuations in the demographic pattern of the region. In 1881 there were 539 258 inhabitants but by 1911 the population had decreased by 11% to 485 911, mainly as a result of emigration overseas. There was a slow increase in the population until the Second World War, after which there was a resurgence of emigration to other countries in Europe, which continued until 1971 and the start of another period of steady increase until 1993 (611.000 inhabitants). In the last years, instead, the population decreased as a result of migration and reduction in the birth rate.

In 2002 there were 596.821 inhabitants, 1% less compared to 1993.

The population density is very low compared to that of Italy as a whole: 61 inhabitants per km2 compared to 192 in 2001. There is not a great difference between the population densities in the provinces of Matera and Potenza.

The birth rate in Basilicata has fallen considerably in the last two decades. In 1980 it was equal to 14.1 per thousand, well above the figure of 11.7 for Italy as a whole. In 2001 it had fallen to 9 per thousand, just below the national average.

The death rate has remained just about stable in the same time period. In 2001 it was equal to 9 per thousand, half a point lower than the national average.

The age structure of the population has changed considerably in Basilicata, as it has in the rest of Italy, during the last decade, with a shift towards the older age groups. In 2001, the share of population below 25 years of age (29.3%) is however higher than the national average (25.8%), whereas the share of those above 65 (18.1%) is in line with the national average.

More births than deaths have been registered each year since 2000. The population development is influenced mainly by the migratory balance, which is negative - the number of people leaving the region is higher than the number of those who are entering it.

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Text finalised in March 2004