Its secret? This region invests in children and families.

According to an April 1 New York Times article, “the reason [for the consistent birth rate], experts say, is that the provincial government has over time developed a thick network of family-friendly benefits, going far beyond the one-off bonuses for babies that the national government offers.”

But what are these reforms specifically about?

In Bolzano, parents enjoy discounts on day care, child care products, groceries, health care, energy bills, transportation, after-school activities, and summer camps. According to the Times, “the province supplements national child care allocations with hundreds of euros more per child” and boasts child care programs, including one in particular “that certifies educators to turn their apartments into small nurseries [nursery schools].”

“All of that, experts say, helps free up women to work, which is vital for the economy,” the Times reported.

The website of the administration of the province of Bolzano states: “The province supports families, starting with financial contributions in favor of households with children and through the work done by the Family Agency for entities that provide child care services. The Family Agency also provides information for parents and works to improve family conditions. Families in Alto Adige need to live well and enjoy, even in the future perspective, a good quality of life.”