“Over 50% of families today are without children,” [His Eminence The Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference] said. Another quarter have only one child, 20% have two, while just 5.1% have three or more.
[...] The bishop's warning of Italy's demographic suicide follows closely the findings of a report issued in March by the Milan-based International Center for Family Studies, that revealed the country’s fertility rate of 1.31 children born per woman has resulted in a largely childless and aging nation.
Despite continued high levels of foreign immigration, the report cites 2009 statistics showing a 0.047 decrease in population.
The study found that 57.8 per cent of childless households said they had no children out of “personal choice.” Reasons for this personal choice, the report said, include a general sense of uncertainty about the future and the inherent difficulties involved in raising children.
[...] Parents complained of the complications of organizing their day around school hours and other inconveniences incompatible with an affluent lifestyle with both parents working. Asked why she decided to have only one child, one woman said: "People prefer to just have one so they can give the child everything - the best schools, the best clothes, the best everything."