Csel, the map of the areas subject to depopulation

An elaboration by the Centro Studi Local Authorities (CSEL) indicates which municipalities have paid the highest pledge in terms of ‘desertification’ in recent decades

Between 1981 and 2019, the Italian population has increased overall by over 3 million inhabitants but not uniformly. There are well 3,805 municipalities that have lost an average of 22% of their inhabitants. Overall, these entities paid a tribute of almost 4 million inhabitants (-3,996,457), generally in favor of larger centers with easier access to essential public services. The map of the municipalities that have paid the highest pledge in terms of ‘desertification’ in recent decades emerges from an elaboration by Centro Studi Local Entities (CSEL)based on Istat data and the ministry for the South and Territorial Cohesion and created for Adnkronos.

So where are these 3,805 municipalities located, whose inhabitants have decreased over the period of time considered? 88% is equally divided between Northern and Southern Italy (44 and 44%). The remaining municipalities are located in the center of the country. The regions that count the most are Piedmont (664) and Lombardy (411), followed by Calabria (309), Campania (289), Sardinia (277), Sicily (245) and Abruzzo (213). Veneto has 167 municipalities on its territory with a decreasing population in the period under examination, Lazio and Liguria 149 each, Puglia 126, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Tuscany 123, Marche (119), and Basilicata, with 110. Molise (109), Emilia Romagna (107), Trentino Alto Adige (48), Umbria (44) and Valle d’Aosta (23) complete the circle.

On average, these administrations with a tendency to depopulation are small: the average number of inhabitants is 5,815. In 75% of cases they are even below 3 thousand inhabitants and only 549 municipalities on this list have more than 5 thousand inhabitants.

In the 212 municipalities where the number of citizens has dropped by more than 50%, the average population is equal to 475 inhabitants. It must be said, however, Csel specifies, that there are glaring exceptions. In fact, scrolling through the list of municipalities with the minus sign, we also find some maxi administrations, such as Naples, which lost over 263 thousand residents in that time or Turin, which lost Bari, which lost 259 thousand.

Also significant is the demographic decline recorded in Milan (-198 thousand inhabitants), Genoa (-197 thousand), Catania (-84 thousand), Florence (-81 thousand), Venice (-77 thousand), Bologna (-63 thousand), Bari (-55 thousand), Palermo (-54 thousand), Cagliari (-46 thousand) and Taranto (-42 thousand).

On the other hand, at the top of the ranking of the centers that have been able to attract more people in recent decades, there are Giugliano in Campania, which went from 44 thousand inhabitants in 1981 to 118 thousand in 2019, Fiumicino (+ 41 thousand inhabitants, equal to 55% of the population of the 1980s), in Lazio, and Reggio Emilia (+ 41 thousand). In percentage terms, the podium for the attractiveness of new inhabitants is entirely Lombard. This is, in fact, up to Basiglio, a municipality in the hinterland of Milan which has gone from 808 to 7,749 inhabitants with an increase of 884%, and 2 small municipalities in the Pavia area, Roncaro (from 202 to 1549 citizens, + 667% ) and Ceranova (+ 404%).

180 million euros to the areas subject to depopulation

The territories subject to depopulation have recently been awarded grants for a total of 180 million euros. These are resources that belong to the ‘Fund to support marginal municipalities’ for the years 2021-2023 and that can be used for works on municipal buildings to be granted on free loan for the opening of commercial, craft or professional activities. ; granting of grants for the start-up of commercial, artisanal and agricultural activities and grants to be put on the table for those who transfer their residence and habitual residence in the municipalities of the internal areas, as a competition for the costs of buying and renovating the property (maximum 5,000 euro per beneficiary).

However, the demographic decline was not in itself sufficient to secure the resources at stake. THE 1,187 beneficiary municipalities they are those who were found to be most disadvantaged also on the basis of the social and material vulnerability index and in relation to the low income level of the resident population. 95% of the municipalities identified (to which more than 171 million euros have been allocated) are located in the southern regions. The remaining funds were allocated to 52 municipalities in Central Italy, which received a total of 5.5 million, and 34 municipalities in the North which catalyzed 3.1.

Each municipality was assigned an amount between 71 thousand and 924 thousand euros. The 3 administrations that will have the most resources available to try to attract new businesses in their territory are Lentini, a town in the province of Syracuse (924,485 euros) compared to a population almost halved in recent decades and an average income of 13,879 euros. .

Sicilian also the third body that has benefited from the most significant contributions. This is Licata, in the Agrigento area, to which over 850 thousand euros have been allocated. In the middle of San Severo, in the province of Foggia, which obtained 890 thousand euros.

“It will be the Territorial Cohesion Agency to monitor how these resources will be used. If the municipalities do not assign the contributions to the beneficiaries within six months of the closure of the previous year, these resources will in fact be revoked”, warns Csel.

New criteria redesign the map of disadvantaged areas to be supported in the 2021-2027 cycle

“The territorial cohesion agency recently released i new criteria for the selection of inland areas to be supported in the 2021-2027 cycle. It is a question of identifying those municipalities that are peripheral to the urbanized centers in which essential health, education and mobility services are accessible. “This was recalled by the elaboration of the Centro Studi Local Entities (CSEL).

“On the basis of these new parameters, the map of those disadvantaged municipalities will therefore be redesigned which in the next few years will be at the center of an innovative national policy of development and territorial cohesion aimed at combating marginalization and the phenomena of demographic decline typical of the internal areas of our country. “, explains.

“According to the previous classification, which will now be redesigned in light of the new recent addresses, these territories cover 60% of the national surface, 52% of Municipalities and 22% of the Italian population”, he concludes.