The creation of new firms is an important aspect of entrepreneurship and an indicator of the economic vitality of territories. This article analyses the trend in firm birth rates in Italy over the period 2008-2019, using data from the Infocamere-Movimprese register. The Great Recession led to a decline in birth rates measured as the ratio of new enterprisesto the working-age population. However, in Italy, unlike other countries, the downward trajectory continued after 2013, despite the economic recovery. Many intermediate and rural areas have fallen back in favour of the metropolitan regions. Although strong overall, the latter have different performances and profiles, both between the North and South of the country and within the two geographical macro-areas.
Keywords: ; Great Recession, firm birth rates, metropolitan regions, spatial inequalities, Italy.