Lies, Damn Lies, and Population Statistics
Wall Street Journal - USA
Mr. Meotti wrote that Italy's fertility rate is at the "lowest low": 1.3 children per woman. According to the Italian National Statistical Institute (Istat), that rate is 1.41 children per woman, and has been rising since the mid-90s, when it was at 1.19 children per woman. The op-ed also reports that Italy's under-five population made up 9% of the country in 1975. Our numbers show this figure was actually 8%. Further, according to our data, this age group counted for 4.7% of the population on Jan. 1, 2009, not 4.2%. Mr. Meotti cites the U.N.'s Population Division to forecast a drop in this age group to 2.8% by 2050, though according to our data they will be 4.2%, while Eurostat predicts 3.9%.
(22 September 2010)