An Italian town with a dwindling population is offering new residents $10,000 (over N3 million) to relocate and have a baby. The mayor of Locana in the north west of Italy is offering the cash in order to attract more families back to the shrinking community.

Anyone wanting to relocate to the picturesque Alpine commune in the mountainous Piedmont region could be paid up to $10,000 (€9,000) over three years to make Locana their home.

Giovanni Bruno Mattiet, Locana’s mayor, has made the offer in the hope of reversing the exodus of residents leaving the beleaguered hamlet and save the community from dying out. He first appealed to Italians or foreigners already living in Italy but after a disappointing response is now extending it to non-Italians living abroad as well.

As the number of young couples and children has decreased, the community has seen shops, restaurants and amenities shut and its only school is facing closure.

In the early 1900s over 7,000 residents lived in Locana, but that figure has shrunk to less than 1,500 today. Last year there were 40 deaths in the town but just 10 births, with a similar ratio in previous years. Another Piedmont town also trying to draw in new residents is offering to give $1,144 (€1,000) to anyone who has a baby there, and another $2,288 (€2,000) to anyone willing to start and register a business.

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