Over Half of Italian Families Childless: Report

A new report issued Tuesday has revealed that 53.4 per cent of Italian families have no children. The report said that 21.9 per cent of households have only one child and just 19 per cent have two. While mass immigration contributes to Italy’s population growth, the country’s rock-bottom fertility rate of 1.31 children born per woman has resulted in a largely childless and aging nation.

The report was compiled by the Milan-based International Center for Family Studies that identified the reason for Italians’ reluctance to procreate as “economic reasons.” 19.5 per cent of families interviewed cited the lack of money for not having more children. 8.9 per cent said it is their inability to juggle families and jobs and 0.3 per cent blamed insufficient housing space.

An examination of the effects of the global economic crisis, however, showed that only 16.4 per cent of families could be described as “below the poverty line.” But 37.2 per cent of the respondents claimed that they had trouble making it to the end of the month, with a further 22 per cent saying they sometimes had financial trouble.

The report found that the average monthly expenditure for dependent children is 35.3 per cent of the total family expenditure.

Read more: lifesitenews.com/ldn/2010/mar/10032405.html

It may be observed that their income tax rates are pretty high, making disposal income relatively lower. "Poverty" status is usually determined by pre-tax income, or at least it is in the U.S.

Tax Rates in Italy

23% 0 - 15,000

27% 15,001-28,000

38% 28,001-55,00

41% 55,001-75,000

43% 75,001 and over

Tax Rates in the U.S.

10% on the income between $0 and $16,700
15% on the income between $16,700 and $67,900;

25% on the income between $67,900 and $137,050;
28% on the income between $137,050 and $208,850;

33% on the income between $208,850 and $372,950;

35% on the income over $372,950;

Now, of course, the Italian rates are expressed in Euros, whereas the U.S. rates are expressed in dollars, and these are the "marginal" rates. Even so, the Italian rates are a LOT higher, from bottom to top. If Italians are being honest in citing lack of resources as their reason for not having children, it's not too hard to see why they don't have the resources. I haven't researched for their sales taxes, local taxes, etc., but it is certainly a fact that their fuel taxes are massively higher than ours.

[quote="Ridgerunner, post:2, topic:191990"]
It may be observed that their income tax rates are pretty high, making disposal income relatively lower. "Poverty" status is usually determined by pre-tax income, or at least it is in the U.S.

Tax Rates in Italy

23% 0 - 15,000

27% 15,001-28,000

38% 28,001-55,00

41% 55,001-75,000

43% 75,001 and over

Tax Rates in the U.S.

10% on the income between $0 and $16,700
15% on the income between $16,700 and $67,900;

25% on the income between $67,900 and $137,050;
28% on the income between $137,050 and $208,850;

33% on the income between $208,850 and $372,950;

35% on the income over $372,950;

Now, of course, the Italian rates are expressed in Euros, whereas the U.S. rates are expressed in dollars, and these are the "marginal" rates. Even so, the Italian rates are a LOT higher, from bottom to top. If Italians are being honest in citing lack of resources as their reason for not having children, it's not too hard to see why they don't have the resources. I haven't researched for their sales taxes, local taxes, etc., but it is certainly a fact that their fuel taxes are massively higher than ours.

[/quote]

Or, on the other hand, if they paid less in taxes, disposable income would rise, housing prices would be bid up, rents and housing loan charges would take the place of the taxes and they'd be back where they started.

I'm not against lower taxes but lowering taxes isn't a magical solution to all life's ills.

[quote="Kaninchen, post:3, topic:191990"]
Or, on the other hand, if they paid less in taxes, disposable income would rise, housing prices would be bid up, rents and housing loan charges would take the place of the taxes and they'd be back where they started.

I'm not against lower taxes but lowering taxes isn't a magical solution to all life's ills.

[/quote]

I didn't say lowering taxes solves all of life's ills, but since high taxes are one of life's more serious economic ills, they no doubt influence economic decisions.

It's possible that improvement in Italians' disposable income might cause inflationary pressures, but it's hard for me to believe that, in the long run at least, the values of Italian housing have much of a run up in their future, given that the number of Italians (by some estimates anyway) is likely to halve by 2030.

[quote="Ridgerunner, post:4, topic:191990"]
I didn't say lowering taxes solves all of life's ills, but since high taxes are one of life's more serious economic ills, they no doubt influence economic decisions.

It's possible that improvement in Italians' disposable income might cause inflationary pressures, but it's hard for me to believe that, in the long run at least, the values of Italian housing have much of a run up in their future, given that the number of Italians (by some estimates anyway) is likely to halve by 2030.

[/quote]

It's part of the middle-aged cynicism engendered by being a radical young Tory in Thatcher's era and experience of 'what happened next was . . . . housing costs!' Nightmare taxes were replaced by nightmare mortgages.

Eventually, the pressure on housing costs should diminish - in theory.

I think it’s more than theory. Look at Detroit.

[quote="Ridgerunner, post:6, topic:191990"]
I think it's more than theory. Look at Detroit.

[/quote]

You have to factor in other issues - for example desire to upgrade in terms of space could well, in the case of Italy, have a profound affect. Another is Northern Europeans drifting South for retirement - you can visit many Italian villages, particularly within a few kilometers from the coast, and find them full of Germans, Brits etc.

It's all economics but there are an awful lot of economic actions and actors at play.

It is the lawlessness and crime that make Detroit unlivable. It never really recovered from the riots in 1965 of so.

That being said, it is all about supply and demand for sure. The more people who can afford a home, the price goes up until the demand goes down.
when it comes to having children though,focusing on economics misses the point. If the desire and value to have a child is not overwhelming, the economic reasons will never be sufficient in a modern society.

The government is going to take of your old age anyways. Children are economic drains on personal income. If you don’t really really want children in the first place, or believe that having children is a moral obligation at least, you won’t have them.

Economics are not determinative. Values are.

[quote="Darryl1958, post:8, topic:191990"]
It is the lawlessness and crime that make Detroit unlivable. It never really recovered from the riots in 1965 of so.

That being said, it is all about supply and demand for sure. The more people who can afford a home, the price goes up until the demand goes down.
when it comes to having children though,focusing on economics misses the point. If the desire and value to have a child is not overwhelming, the economic reasons will never be sufficient in a modern society.

The government is going to take of your old age anyways. Children are economic drains on personal income. If you don't really really want children in the first place, or believe that having children is a moral obligation at least, you won't have them.

Economics are not determinative. Values are.

[/quote]

I am sure values are a significant factor. But being impoverished by the government is as well.

I lived in Italy for two years. It is shocking how far the populace is from true Catholicism. Very few actually attend Mass regularly although most would describe themselves as Catholic. We met few Italians who were interested in having children, and most of the ones our age (thirties) were like large adolescents: all they wanted were more material goods. They were fascinated by our family of four children. And then would claim that there was no way they could afford children, although they lived with Mom/Dad/Grandma/Grandpa in the big family home with a country cottage out in Tuscany and no bills except for their expensive Italian sports cars.
Europe’s secularism and socialism is to blame for this.

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