Italian town where the mayor
pays you to have a baby
High in Italy's Apennine
hills, a white haired
pensioner sits alone on
a bench watching
autumn leaves blow
down a deserted
Not much else moves,
the games machines
are switched off in the
empty village bar and
there is hardly a sound.
No one in the town
square, no children on
bikes or in prams.
This small village, 93 miles (150km) south-east of
Naples, is running so short of children that its mayor is
offering €10,000 (£6,863) to anyone who produces one.
In Laviano, houses stand empty while the cemetery is full. Last
year, only eight babies were born in a population of 1,850.
Young couples are constantly drifting north in search of work.
'We need to drum up enough children to make a class.
Otherwise the school will have to close,' said the mayor.
Italy has the lowest birth rate in Europe and Italians
spend more on their children than any other European
nation. Young couples struggle to find a good job faced
with rocketing prices and peer pressure to dress their
children in designer clothes.
Procreating has become a luxury many Italians
Time bomb image: Daily Mail
Data: US Census
Based on an original article by
Sophie Arie published in The
Sunday 9th November 2003
Noel Jenkins 2014