Has the fertility decline come to an end in the different regions of Italy?
Throughout the twentieth century, Italy was characterized by significant regional differences in fertility rates. In this article, a cohort approach is employed in order to further explore regional variation. More specifically, total cohort fertility rate is calculated for the various Italian regions for cohorts born between 1935 and 1968. In addition, recently published data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat) for the years 1999-2005 are examined. They allow us to extend our analysis to the first phase in the reproductive lives of cohorts born in the 1970s and in the early 1980s. This analysis shows that first, for the cohorts born up until the 1960s, fertility declines and regional differences remain relevant; and second, for the cohorts born from the 1970s on, the speed of the fertility decline slows in the north and even come to a halt in several regions, while continuing to drop in southern Italy. If this trend remains constant over time, cohort fertility levels in all Italian regions may eventually converge at similar levels.