In Italy, as in many parts of the world, social structures and norms have changed dramatically over the last 50 years. The stereotype of the large Italian family is no longer true –and hasn’t been for quite a while, now– as Italy now has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. Traditionally large families were particularly common in the countryside and, in more recent decades, have become more associated with the South, rather than the North.
Today, Italians hesitate to have children and most of the population’s growth is due to the large numbers of immigrants entering the country each year. In the US, on the other hand, large families are still the norm, especially in the Midwest and in the Southern States, and the average number of children born to a woman is 2.01, against the 1.43 of Italy.