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As population dwindles, Italian village bans death

The village of Sellia has seen its population drop from 1,300 in 1960 to 537 at present, with six out of 10 residents now over the age of 65, presenting an imminent population problem. As the population drops, funds continue to dry up and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the city to maintain itself.

Owing to the Sellia’s dwindling population, the local mayor, Davide Zicchinella, issued a decree this past Wednesday forbidding people from getting sick. The decree is part of Zichinella’s efforts to stave off the potential collapse of the city, and to draw attention to both the importance of personal health, and the plight faced by many small towns in Italy and elsewhere.

While enforcing the decree will be impossible, the mayor hopes to highlight the importance of taking care of one’s own health. Citizens have been encouraged to go to the newly opened medical center nearby, and so long as they receive their annual check up, they’ll be spared a 10 euro annual tax.

Sellia is a small village located in Calabria, and is known for its medieval setting. The small hillside town looks like it dropped straight out of the Middle Ages, giving it a sense of old world charm, but perhaps also encouraging the flight of younger people in search of more modernity.

Increasing urbanization has put pressure on small towns across the world. Even with advances in modern telecommunications, which in theory would make it easier for employees to telecommute, small towns in many regions have felt tremendous pressure.

In the United States the millennial generation has shown a strong preference for urban environments. The “bright lights, big city” phenomena has seen millennial populations in urban areas grow tremendously while small towns have struggled.

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