PUGLIA - Population
A youthful population
The population density in Puglia is just above the national average. In 2001 it was equal to 211 inhabitants per km2. Foggia is by far the less densely populated province (96 inhabitants per km2 in 2000), whereas Bari is the most densely populated province (308 inhabitants per km2 in 2000).
The population of Puglia has grown by 1.8% between 1990 and 2001, in line with the national average.
The birth rate has fallen constantly over the last 20 years, from 16.3 per thousand in 1980 to 13.0 in 1990, to reach 10.2 per thousand in 2001. It remains however higher than the national average, of 9.2 per thousand in the same year, and amongst the highest in Italy after Campania and Sicily. The death rate, which had fallen slightly in the 1980s, rose again in the 1990s, and in 2001 equalled 7.8 per thousand, below the national average of 9.5 per thousand for the same year. These two components have led to a positive natural growth of the population throughout the 1990s.
The population of Puglia is one of the 'youngest' amongst the Italian regions. The share of the young age groups (under 25) was in fact 31.2% of the total population in 2001 (compared to a national figure of 25.8%), whereas the share of the old age groups (over 65) was 15.4% of the total population (compared to a national figure of 18.2%).
Emigration from the region's depressed areas to northern Italy and the rest of Europe was very intense in the years between 1956 and 1971. Subsequently the trend declined as economic conditions improved, to the point where there was net immigration in the years between 1982 and 1985. Since 1986 the stagnation in employment has led to a new inversion of the trend, caused not so much by an increase in the number of people leaving but by a fall in the number coming to live in the region.
Net immigration has been positive in the last decade, with immigration exceeding emigration by 12 000 persons between 1990 and 1998.
In 2001, 37 100 foreign residents were registered in Puglia.