Italy recorded its highest number of deaths since World War II in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 100,000 more deaths than the average, according to statistics released on Friday.
“The demographic framework of our country has undergone a profound change because of the impact of deaths from Covid-19,” said the National Institute of Statistics (Istat) in a press release. “In 2020, the total death toll reached 746,146, the highest number since World War II, with an increase of more than 100,000 (+ 15.6%) compared to the average over the period 2015-2019” .
A city the size of Florence
According to the Italian Ministry of Health, the number of people who died from the new coronavirus stood at 74,000 as of December 31, 2020. Istat did not explain the difference between these two figures. The figure has since passed the 100,000 mark in Italy, the first European country hit hard by the pandemic thirteen months ago. According to Istat, it is the northern regions of the country that have paid the heaviest price.
At the same time, the number of births fell again (404,104 births, i.e. – 3.8% compared to 2019), confirming the demographic decline of the peninsula. Italy’s population declined by around 384,000 people in 2020 compared to 2019, “as if a city the size of Florence had disappeared.” As of December 31, 2020, the population stood at 59,257,566, down 0.6% over 12 months. “The new declining record of births (404,000) and the high number of deaths (746,000), a record never recorded since the post-war period, aggravate the natural negative dynamic characterizing our country,” concluded Istat.