Immigration to Italy

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Foreign residents as a percentage of the regional population, 2011

As of 1 January 2015, there were 5,014,437 foreign nationals resident in Italy, this amounted to 8.2% of the country's population and represented an increase of 92,352 over the previous year. These figures include children born in Italy to foreign nationals (who were 75,067 in 2014; 14.9% of total births in Italy), but exclude foreign nationals who have subsequently acquired Italian nationality; this applied to 129,887 people in 2014.[1][2] They also exclude illegal immigrants whose numbers are difficult to determine; in May 2008, The Boston Globe quoted an estimate of 670,000 for this group.[3] The distribution of foreign born population is largely uneven in Italy: 59.5% of immigrants live in the northern part of the country (the most economically developed area), 25.4% in the central one, while only 15.1% live in the southern regions. The children born in Italy to foreign mothers were 102.000 in 2012, 99.000 in 2013 and 97.000 in 2014.[4]

Since the expansion of the European Union, the most recent wave of migration has been from surrounding European states, particularly Eastern Europe, and increasingly Asia,[5] replacing North Africa as the major immigration area. About a million Romanians, around 10% of them being Roma,[6] are officially registered as living in Italy. As of 2013, the foreign born population origin was subdivided as follows: Europe (50.8%), Africa (22.1%), Asia (18.8%), America (8.3%), and Oceania (0.1%).[7]


Statistics[edit]

Senegalese workers at the Potato festival in Vimercate (Lombardy) in 2015
Total foreign resident population on 1 January[note 1]
Year Population
2002 1,341,209[8]
2003 1,464,663[8]
2004 1,854,748[8]
2005 2,210,478[8]
2006 2,419,483[8]
2007 2,592,950[8]
2008 3,023,317[8]
2009 3,402,435[8]
2010 3,648,128[8]
2011 3,879,224[8]
2012 4,052,081[9]
2013 4,387,721[10]
2014 4,922,085[11]
2015 5,014,437[1]
2016 5,026,153 (8.29%)[12]
Immigration by country[note 2]
Country 2010 [13] 2011 [14] 2012 [15] 2013 [16] 2014 [17] 2015 2016 (%)
 Romania 887,763 823,100 834,465 933,354 1,081,400 1,131,839 1,151,395 (1.90%)
 Albania 466,684 451,437 450,908 464,962 502,546 490,483 467,687 (0.77%)
 Morocco 431,529 407,097 408,667 426,971 524,775 449,058 437,485 (0.72%)
 China 188,352 194,510 197,064 223,367 320,794 265,820 271,330 (0.45%)
 Ukraine 174,129 178,534 180,121 191,725 233,726 226,060 230,728 (0.38%)
 Philippines 123,584 129,015 129,188 139,835 165,783 168,238 165,900 (0.27%)
 India 105,863 116,797 118,409 128,903 160,296 147,815 150,456 (0.25%)
 Moldova 37,971 130,619 132,175 139,734 150,021 147,388 142,266 (0.23%)
 Bangladesh 73,965 80,639 81,683 92,695 127,861 115,301 118,790 (0.20%)
 Egypt 82,064 65,985 66,932 76,691 135,284 103,713 109,871 (0.18%)
 Peru 109,668 103,714 (0.17%)
 Sri Lanka 75,343 71,203 71,573 79,530 104,405 100,558 102,316 (0.17%)
 Pakistan 64,859 69,877 71,031 80,658 106,485 96,207 101,784 (0.17%)
 Senegal 72,618 72,458 73,702 80,325 97,781 94,030 98,176 (0.16%)
 Poland 105,608 84,619 84,749 88,839 97,566 98,694 97,986 (0.16%)
 Tunisia 103,678 82,066 82,997 88,291 122,354 96,012 95,645 (0.16%)
 Serbia
 Kosovo
 Montenegro
53,875 n.a. 43,022 43,816 109,474 92,378 88,076 (0.15%)
 Ecuador 85,940 80,645 80,333 82,791 91,145 91,259 87,427 (0.14%)
 Nigeria 71,158 77,264 (0.13%)
 Macedonia 92,847 73,407 73,972 76,608 84,318 77,703 73,512 (0.12%)
 Bulgaria 56,576 58,001 (0.10%)
 Ghana 50,414 48,637 (0.08%)
 Brazil 42,587 43,783 (0.07%)
 Germany 36,749 36,661 (0.06%)
 Russia 35,211 35,791 (0.06%)
Rest of Europe 219,210 (0.36%)
Rest of Sub-Saharan Africa 145,490 (0.24%)
Rest of Americas 141,632 (0.23%)
Rest of North Africa and Western/Central Asia 98,089 (0.16%)
Rest of East and South-East Asia 22,342 (0.04%)
Rest of South Asia 1,390 (<0.01%)
Europe 2,601,313 (4.29%)
North Africa and Western/Central Asia 741,090 (1.22%)
South Asia 474,736 (0.78%)
East and South-East Asia 459,572 (0.76%)
Americas 376,556 (0.62%)
Sub-Saharan Africa 369,567 (0.61%)
Oceania 2,104 (<0.01%)

2000s Mediterranean Sea crossings crisis[edit]

Due to the peninsula geographical position and close proximity to the North Africa coast, the crossing of the Mediterranean Sea has historically been the most used route for undocumented migrants, this route has become gradually more prominent as people flows through other routes to the EU gradually faded and political turmoil in Libya caused a general weakening of borders and coastal control, opening opportunities to people smuggling organisations.

The principal destination for sea crossings boats and rafts are the southernmost Italian territories, the Pelagie Islands, these islands are 113 km from Tunisia, 167 from Libya and 207 from Sicily.

The close distance between these islands and the African mainland has caused people smuggling organisation to employ boats and rafts otherwise hardly seaworthy, generally vastly filled above their capacity. Official reports list boats filled up to 2 or 3 times nominal capacity, including the use of rubber dinghies, this has led to several accidents at sea, as in 2007, the 2009, the 2011, the 2013, 2015.[18] These accidents have become harder to document as between 2014 and 2017, as people smuggling organisation changed their tactics: instead of aiming for a full crossing of the sea towards Lampedusa, their boats aimed just to exit Libyan territorial waters and then trigger rescue operation from passing mercantile vessels, seek and rescue organisations, Italian and Maltese coastguards and militaries, as per the United Nations Convention of the Sea, of which Italy is a subscriber, people rescued at sea have to be transported to the closed safe harbor: as Libya continues to be in political turmoil this means they are transported to Italy.

Once in Italy, the EU Dublin Regulation requires migrants to apply for legal residence, protection or asylum permits in the first EU country they cross into, effectively barring them from legally crossing internal EU borders until their case has been processed and positively concluded, as the vast majority of migrant people landing in Italy targets destinations in Central and Northern European States, they avoid filing permits applications in Italy and rather try a northwards land journey.[19]

Refugees and migrants arriving in Italy by sea, 1997–2015[20]

As a reaction to the gradual increase in migration flows through the Mediterranean Sea, Italian governments stepped up cooperation with Tunisian and Libyan authorities to halt activities of people smuggling organisation on land, as well as to allow boats rescued from the Italian Military in international waters to be towed back to the port where they left from, this policy, enacted in 2004 and 2005, sparked controversies related in particular to the compatibility with Italian and EU laws, as numerous reports documented acts of violence from Libyan authorities on migrants people. The policy was openly criticised by the EU Parliament[21].

In 2008, Berlusconi’s government in Italy and Gaddafi’s government in Libya signed a treaty including cooperation between the two countries in stopping unlawful migration from Libya to Italy; this led to a policy of forcibly returning to Libya boat migrants intercepted by the Italian coast guard at sea.[22] The cooperation collapsed following the outbreak of the Libyan civil war in 2011; in 2012 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Italy had violated the European Convention on Human Rights by returning migrants to Libya, as it exposed the migrants to the risk of being subjected to ill-treatment in Libya and violated the prohibition of collective expulsions.[23], thus effectively ending the policy.

In 2009, as migrants flow picked up again, the overcrowded conditions at the island's temporary immigrant reception centre came under criticism by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The unit, which was originally built for a maximum capacity of 850 people, was reported to be housing nearly 2,000 boat people. A significant number of people were sleeping outdoors under plastic sheeting.[24] A fire started as an inmate riot destroyed a large portion of the holding facility on 19 February 2009.

In 2011, as Arab Spring rebellions in Tunisia and Libya disrupted government control over borders and coasts, migrant flows increased again.[25] By May 2011, more than 35,000 immigrants had arrived on the island from Tunisia and Libya.[26] By the end of August, 48,000 had arrived,[27] as migration and asylum policies are exclusive responsibilities of each member State, the increased migration pressure at EU Southern border sparked tensions between EU States on how to differentiate between people migrating due to economic reasons, which in principle are regarded as unlawful immigrants and thus forced to leave or deported, and people fleeing violence or religious, sexual orientation, political persecution, which can be granted asylum rights.[28] As the Libyan authoritarian governments struggled to keep control of the country, it allowed an increase in northbound migrant flows as a tactic to pressure Italy and the EU not to militarily intervene in the country, as Gaddafi feared it would have been overthrown.[27]

Immigration industry in Italy[edit]

Income in Euro from funds allocated by the Italian Prefectures
Cooperatives 2015 2016 2017
Liberitutti - Crescere Insieme 893.400 4.945.017 1.301.389 (7.6 million)
Pietra alta - 2.2 million -
Caleidos - 8.450.729 -
Versoprobo - 4.4 million -
Domus Caritatis - Casa della Solidarietà - La Cascina. - - -
Tre Fontane - Casa della Solidarietà - La Cascina - - -
Senis Hospes - - -
Codeal - 1.406.590 -
Leone Rosso - 542.000 -
Leone Rosso - L’Angolo - - 518.000 (1.360.000)
Agorà 2.505.513 2.8 million (5.8 million)
Lai Momo 3.2 million 5.3 million

• Investigated in Mafia Capitale

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The figures for 2002–2011 have been revised downwards as a result of the 15th General Census of Italy which offered more precise data. The figures since 2012 are calculated adding to the foreign population enumerated by the census the foreign population inflows and outflows recorded in all Italian municipalities during each calendar year.
  2. ^ Since 2013, the European Union foreign nationals are no longer counted in the immigration statistics. This includes the Romanians, the largest minority group in Italy.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Cittadini Stranieri. Popolazione residente e bilancio demografico al 31 dicembre 2014". ISTAT. 15 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Bilancio demografico nazionale". ISTAT. 15 June 2015. 
  3. ^ Rosenthal, Elisabeth (16 May 2008). "Italy cracks down on illegal immigration". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  4. ^ Programma, Integra (12 February 2015). "Istat: nel 2014 oltre 90mila i nuovi nati stranieri". Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Willey, David (13 April 2007). "Milan police in Chinatown clash". BBC News. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Ciobanu, Claudia (16 May 2008). "EUROPE: Home to Roma, And No Place for Them". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  7. ^ IDOS (30 October 2012). "Dossier Statistico Immigrazione 2012" (PDF). Caritas. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Ricostruzione della popolazione residente per età, sesso e cittadinanza nei comuni". ISTAT. 26 September 2013. p. 9. 
  9. ^ [1].
  10. ^ [2].
  11. ^ [3].
  12. ^ [4].
  13. ^ Albani, Mauro (22 September 2011). "La popolazione straniera residente in Italia nel 2011". ISTAT. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Gli stranieri al 15° Censimento della popolazione" (PDF). ISTAT. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  15. ^ "I cittadini non comunitari regolarmente soggiornanti". 30 November 2011. 
  16. ^ "I cittadini non comunitari regolarmente soggiornanti". 30 November 2012. 
  17. ^ I cittadini non comunitari regolarmente soggiornanti Archived 13 November 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
  18. ^ "Italy's illegal immigrants: Tidal wave". The Economist. 5 July 2014. 
  19. ^ Grant, Harriet; Domokos, John (7 October 2011). "Dublin regulation leaves asylum seekers with their fingers burnt". The Guardian. 
  20. ^ "Sbarchi e richieste di asilo 1997–2014". Fondazione Ismu. 
  21. ^ European Parliament resolution on Lampedusa, 14 April 2005
  22. ^ "Pushed Back, Pushed Around". Human Rights Watch. 21 September 2009. 
  23. ^ "Italy: ‘Historic’ European Court judgment upholds migrants’ rights". Amnesty International. 23 February 2012. 
  24. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "News". 
  25. ^ Reid, Sue (4 April 2011). "Special dispatch: Gaddafi's diaspora and the Libyans overwhelming an Italian island who are threatening to come here". Daily Mail. London. 
  26. ^ "Hundreds more migrants reach Italy from Africa". Reuters. 14 May 2011. 
  27. ^ a b "Gaddafi planned to turn Italian island into migrant hell". 
  28. ^ https://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jYWyqZanCi2M7i3Z_qsl0FmHlBkA?docId%3D6562488. Retrieved 2016-02-26.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]