Help, in 20 years one hundred thousand residents will have disappeared. Istat’s alarming projections on the demographic decline of the Marche

Help, in 20 years one hundred thousand residents will have disappeared. Istat’s alarming projections on the demographic decline of the Marche
Help, in 20 years one hundred thousand residents will have disappeared. Istat’s alarming projections on the demographic decline of the Marche
ANCONA Take the inhabitants of Ancona (99 thousand) add those of a neighboring municipality like Agugliano (4,600) and imagine – as a pure statistical exercise – that in twenty years they will no longer be there. Then repeat the simulation at 50 years and remove from the demographic map the residents not only of the regional capital, but also those of the other main cities, from Pesaro to Fano, from Macerata to Fermo to Ascoli: 370 thousand fewer residents. This is what could happen if the demographic winter were to continue, according to the projections of the latest Istat 2024 report, which photographs the situation of the country and the regions.

The natural balance

«The long-term demographic forecasts – we read in the fourth chapter, the one dedicated to the territories – indicate a strengthening of the trend towards depopulation and aging». Over the next 20 years (1 January 2042), the resident population in Italy could reduce by approximately 3 million units (-5%), and in 50 years (1 January 2072) by over 8.6 million ( -20%). Excluding Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and the autonomous provinces of Bolzano and Trento – for which an increase is expected – elsewhere “the decrease should continue”, which for the Marche is estimated, looking at the graphs, at around 7% (almost 104 thousand residents) in a 20-year scenario and close to 25% (370 thousand) in the 50-year projection.

The natural balance

The population of the Marche (1,484,298 as of December 31st) has fallen by 4.2% in the last decade, much more than the Italian average (-1.8%) while in the previous decade it had risen by 6.6%. The decline is mainly due to the negative natural balance (difference between births and deaths), which in the decade 2012-’22 recorded -5.1% and is only partly offset by the migratory balance (+1.9%). In addition to depopulation, the Marche region has to deal with the increasingly aging population. The aging index (the percentage ratio between the population over 65 and aged 0-14 years) has risen in the last decade from 171.6 to 218.8 (+27%) and is decidedly higher than the Italian average (193 ,1).

Health services

The Istat report also measures, by comparing the situation of the territories, the presence of healthcare facilities and their accessibility. The presence of hospitals in our region (1.21 per 100 thousand inhabitants) is slightly higher than the Italian average (1.08) in a panorama where the degree of territorial diffusion of hospital facilities is rather high, with greater concentrations near metropolitan cities of Milan, Rome and Naples. In Umbria, Calabria and Sardinia the availability of hospitals per 100 thousand inhabitants is higher, above 150.
The accessibility of residents to hospital services is higher than the national average, for the Centre-North, in regions such as Liguria (with the highest share of elderly population), Veneto, Umbria, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio, Piedmont and Lombardy, in to which are added Campania and Puglia for the South. And the Marche? In our region, 70% of the population (even if concentrated in only 37% of the Municipalities) is able to reach the nearest hospital within 15 minutes, 28.5% in a maximum of half an hour, while 1 .5% takes more than 30′. We are worse off than the Italian average, especially in the first band, because the Italian figure for access within a quarter of an hour is significantly higher, around 83%.

Accessibility to museums

In the Istat report, Marche appears in the group of regions (with Puglia, Basilicata and Calabria, Umbria, Tuscany, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and the autonomous province of Trento) which show a greater share of museums intervened to facilitate physical access and support visits to people with disabilities. For all the indicators considered, museums in large urban centers have a level of accessibility almost three times higher than that of museums in small and medium-sized centres.

Accessibility to schools

The report also measures the reachability of buildings dedicated to education. In the Marche, where there are 1,716 schools, it is judged very good in 43.2% of cases (33.7 the Italian average), critical in 15.3% (26.5 Italy average) while 11.9% of the schools it can only be reached by private transport.

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