THE TUSCANS: HOW MANY, WHERE
Tuscany has approximately more than 3.7 million inhabitants, that is, 6.2% of the population of Italy. This does not make us on the whole a densely populated region: there are around 162 inhabitants per square kilometre compared to a national average of 189. This fact is due to the combination of zones of high density (the metropolitan area of Florence in particular) and vast areas with few inhabitants (southern Tuscany), going from 87 inhabitants/km² in the mountain areas (25.1% of the total surface area) to 152 in the hill areas (66.5%), and 361 inhabitants/kmq in the flat areas of the region (8.4%).
Among the 248 European “regions” (some nations are also classified as NUTS2, or rather regions, by Eurostat), it holds 31st position, accounting for 0.79% of the population of the 25-member state Europe.
The municipalities in our region are small in size. Out of 287, a total of 236 have 15,000 inhabitants at the most, and 140 of these have less than 5,000 inhabitants. 51% of residents live in municipalities of less than 30,000 inhabitants. The trends over the last decade have shown a migratory flow from the large urban areas to the smaller surrounding municipalities.
AN ELDERLY POPULATION
A feature peculiar to the population of Tuscany and Italy is that it is ageing. Tuscany has a relatively older population than the rest of Italy; it is the oldest region after Liguria. The tuscany average age is 45 (the same as in Friuli Venezia Giulia, second only to 47 in Liguria) while the national average is 44.
The amount of people of working age (15 to 64) is 65.2%, against an Italian average of 66.6%. The largest part of this segment consists of people aged 50 to 64 (30%), compared to 28% in the whole of Italy. The old age index (the ratio of the over-65s compared to children aged 0 to 14) is 190%, while the national average is 136%. The high number of elderly people is a typical feature of Italy. 13 out of 20 regions number among the top 40 European regions for the old age index. Only Sicily, Puglia and Campania are at levels lower than the EU average of 25.
From the Census of 1951 than in 2001, the fertility rate in the region has been drastically reduced:
The last part of the 1990s and the early 2000s have nevertheless seen a recovery in the birth and fertility rate.
In 1996 Tuscany had dipped to an average number of children per woman of 1 (the lowest ever average in the world). However, it is not yet clear whether there really has been an about-turn.
In the ten years between the population censures of 1991 and 2001, our region lost 32,000 inhabitants, that is, the population fell by 1%. Even though the loss was not great due to the age of those involved, it reveals how fast the ageing process has become. 180,000 children and young people under 25 have been lost, and 96,000 people aged over 65 have been gained. The old age index has gone from 158% to 192%, and today we have almost 2 old people per child. The population of working age has fallen by 101,000 (-4%) and has aged, as the number of young people aged 15-24 has fallen by 153,000 (-6%).
Of course, migratory flows are very important in the demographic trends of our region. In these last 15 years the net number of migrants was around 12,000 people per year, which would have led to an increase in the population of around 4% had the natural growth not been negative.
The resident foreign population has grown in importance greatly, increasing their level fourfold in these last fifteen years.
Their effect on the total population has reached 3.5% of the total population.
If we are to consider stay permits, the estimated number of foreign people legally in the region is 172,000, that is, 4.9% of the resident population, slightly higher than the Italian average, and almost equal to the European average.