According to the latest data, the inhabitants in Sicily would have dropped drastically, also recording a constant aging process of the population on the island.
According to the latest statistical calculations, the number of inhabitants in Sicily has dropped drastically in recent years. This is demonstrated by the Permanent Census of the population in Sicily, which takes as a reference the data collected up to 31 December 2019 and which demonstrates how Sicilian citizens are in sharp decline, as well as being characterized by progressive aging.
Fewer inhabitants in Sicily: the details of the provinces
The population surveyed in Sicily as of 31 December 2019 amounted to 4,875,290 units, with a reduction of 33,258 inhabitants (-6.8 per thousand) compared to the previous year and of 127,614 inhabitants (-3.2 per thousand on average each year) compared to the 2011 Census. The data also show a loss of capacity for growth. Over the past 10 years, the negative balance of the natural balance has progressively increased, the migratory balance, positive until 2014, has been showing increasingly consistent negative values since 2015. These phenomena determine a reduction in the population.
Compared to 2011, the number of residents decreased in all the provinces, with the exception of Ragusa. The reduction is greater in Enna, while almost half of the residents live in the provinces of Palermo and Catania, where the population density is more or less stable over eight years with higher values in the Catania area (244 inhabitants per km2 in Palermo and 300 inhabitants per km2 in Catania).
On the other hand, foreign residents are increasing. In the period 2011-2019 the population of foreign citizenship increased by 5.4% on average every year. The growth concerns all the provinces, with peaks in Trapani (+ 9.1%) and Ragusa (+ 7.3%).
An increasingly older population
The average age is 43.9 years against 45.2 in Italy. The comparison with the data of the 2011 Census highlights a progressive aging of the population, at rates higher than the national average. All age groups under 45 see their relative weight decrease compared to 2011. The youngest municipality is Camporotondo Etneo, in the province of Catania, with an average age of 36.9 years; the oldest is Limina, in the province of Messina, where the average age is 52.3 years.
The average age of foreigners is 10 years lower than that of Italians (34.1 years compared to 44.3 in 2019), although, between 2011 and 2019, the foreign population was also subjected to a process of aging, with an increase in the population of over 50 years, especially in the age group 60-69 years.
More educated Sicilians, but employment decreases
31.5% of the population has a secondary school diploma or a professional qualification, 17.0% a primary school certificate and 33.5% a middle school certificate. People with a tertiary and higher qualification are 12.0%. Compared to 2011, the presence of illiterates has almost halved and the number of people without a qualification has decreased (from 6.8% to 5.0%). People with a university degree and above increased from 9.8% to 12%.
In the face of greater education, however, Sicilians in possession of a professional occupation are decreasing. In fact, the number of employees is falling: in 2019 they are just under 1.5 million, almost 16 thousand less than in the previous census. The activity rate is 47.0%, just over five percentage points below the value of Italy; employed persons represent 34.9% of the population aged 15 and more against 45.6% of the national average. The unemployment rate is significantly higher (25.7% Sicily and 13.1% Italy). The labor market has a strong gender imbalance. The male employment rate is 45.3%, twenty points higher than the female one.