Pope FrancisUrgesItalians to Have More Children Amid Demographic Crisis

Pope Francis addressed Italy's record low birth rate, warning of a demographic crisis that threatens the country's future. He called for long-term policies to support families and encourage childbirth, citing the need for at least 500,000 births annually by 2033.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Pope FrancisUrgesItalians to Have More Children Amid Demographic Crisis

Pope FrancisUrgesItalians to Have More Children Amid Demographic Crisis

On Friday, Pope Francis addressed Italy's record low birth rate at an annual gathering of pro-family groups in Rome, warning that the country's future is threatened by the demographic crisis. The Pope emphasized the importance of long-term policies to support families and encourage couples to have children.

Why this matters: The demographic crisis in Italy has far-reaching implications for the country's economy, social security, and healthcare systems. If left unaddressed, it could lead to a shortage of workers, increased burden on the elderly, and a decline in the overall quality of life.

Italy's birth rate has been steadily declining for about 15 years, reaching a historic low of 379,000 babies born in 2023. Demographers warn that the country needs to reach at least 500,000 births annually by 2033 to prevent its economy from collapsing under the weight of its aging population.

In his speech, Pope Francis stressed, "The number of births is the first indicator of the hope of a people. Without children and young people, a country loses its desire for the future." He attributed the low birth rates to "selfishness, consumerism, and individualism," which he said make people "sated, lonely, and unhappy."

The Pope called for long-term political strategies and policies to encourage couples to have children, including an end to precarious work contracts, impediments to buying homes, and viable alternatives so women don't have to choose between motherhood and careers.

Francis is expected to continue emphasizing his demographic call during the upcoming 2025 Holy Year, which has hope as its main theme. In the official Jubilee decree, he called for a new social covenant among Christians to encourage couples to be open to having children.

The Pope's address at the Rome conference underscores the gravity of Italy's demographic crisis and the urgent need for effective measures to support families and promote a culture of life. As the country grapples with the consequences of its aging population, Pope Francis' call for long-term strategies and policies to encourage childbirth serves as a timely reminder of the importance of investing in thefuturegenerations.