Migrants and Europe’s Aging Population

village_standardWith all the talk about immigration concerns in this country, I ran across an interesting article on The Christian Science Monitor website entitled “Could Embracing Migrants Help Solve Italian Villages’ Aging Problem?”  (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2016/1030/Could-embracing-migrants-help-solve-Italian-villages-aging-problem)

In Italy, the birth rate is not high enough to prevent a shrinking population.  This is especially true in Southern Italy’s villages, where young people tend to move away because of a lack of opportunities.

A good example is the village of Acquaformosa, saddled with an aging population, many well beyond retirement age.  Their solution was to join a program to receive government funding to help settle asylum-seekers.  The Italian state provides the equivalent of $26 per person per day to pay for living expenses.  Since then, about 350 asylum seekers have arrived, and many have decided to stay despite the scarcity of work.  They are helping rejuvenate the village.

Of course, the program has its critics.  But for many communities, this seems to be their best hope.

The photo is credited to Chris Warde-Jones and is copied from the website. It depicts eighteen-month-old Samira, a migrant from Ivory Coast, with residents of Acquaformosa, in Calabria, Italy in October 2016.

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