There are still some who believe that the world has an over-population problem despite all the evidence contrary.
Births in Italy in December plunged by 21.6%, according to figures from a sample of 15 Italian cities.
Marriages fell by more than half in the first 10 months of last year, which statistics agency ISTAT chief Gian Carlo Blangiardo called “a further factor in a probable decline in births in the immediate future”.
Demographics experts have been predicting a baby bust across Europe for 2021.
A survey conducted in five European countries during the March and April lockdown showed many people calling off plans to have kids. Germans and French were more likely to say they were delaying, while Italians were more likely to say they had abandoned their plans altogether.
“The bigger the economic fears, the bigger the impact on the birth rate,” said Martin Bujard, deputy director at Germany’s Federal Institute for Population Research.