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Bambino Boom: 2 Kids in 13 years

Jan
29
2008

Alfiano Vecchio is not what you’d call a flourishing little town. There is no cafe, no stores, not even a bakery, just a church, a few houses, a couple of farms and an abandoned mill. Most of the former residents have had to de-camp to nearby Cremona, just thirty six people call it their home now.
This shrunken hamlet made the news recently because the first child was born there in about half a generation, a girl called Demetra (after the fertility goddess), which will be followed by a baby boy in March. (An interesting demographic footnote: the girl’s name was chosen by her 22-year-old sister, the new mother is 45).
Stories of mini-bambino booms in tiny towns are infrequent heart-warmers in Italian news; since just about every family has an emigrant branch (from small town to bigger town, from South to North, from Italy to some other country) it’s nice to know someone does stay in these near “ghost towns” and can bring up their children there. (It also contributes to non-threatening headlines when we’re in intra-government limbo.)
Another reason to take note of the “fiocco rosa” (the celebratory bows, this one would be pink, that proud parents here hang on doors to announce a baby’s arrival): Italy has one of the world’s lowest birth rates and is currently the ‘oldest’ country in the world, with the highest number of inhabitants over 65.
Remote mountain towns and villages have been particularly penalized due to high emigration rates. Some figures showed a slight up tick in birth rates, for the first time in almost a decade births outnumbered deaths in the Bel Paese.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 7:40 AM | Permalink

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