Migrants in Italy, an opportunity ? Statistics ! (PE nr. 1082)

Italy holds 4% (10 million) of the 244 million migrants in the world: 5,200,000 Italians live abroad and 5,026,153 foreign nationals live in Italy. Many immigrants arrive illegally. In 2015, 154,000 disembarked on Italian soil. They were asylum seekers fleeing war and persecution and economic migrants fleeing misery.

However, in 2015, 250,000 foreign nationals were registered with local authorities as arriving from abroad and 72,000 were children born to foreign parents. Nevertheless the foreign population has not grown compared with previous years. The number of immigrants who acquired Italian nationality was exceptionally high at 178,000 in 2015. This means that the number of Italians of foreign origin stands at 1,150,000 people. Of these, women represent 52.6% and minors constitute 21.2% of the total.

The regions migrants came from in 2015 are:

1) Europe: 52.4%
2) Africa: 20.6%
3) Asia: 19.7%
4) America: 7.5%

The five countries most represented are :

1) Romania: 1,151,395
2) Albania: 467,686
3) Morocco: 437,485
4) China: 271,330
5) Ukraine 230,728

The resident immigrants make a positive contribution to Italian society. They represent 10.5% of the active population despite a high rate of unemployment among them. Besides, the long drawn out economic crisis has not affected the entrepreneurial dynamism of the immigrants. Their enterprises represent 9.1% of economic activity in Italy. According to the Dossier Statistico dell’Immigrazione, the balance between the contributions that the immigrants pay and the payments that they receive from public funds represents a profit of 2.2 billion euro to the public purse.

On the demographic front, immigrants play an important role because natural increase in the population is declining (there were 162,000 more deaths than births in 2015). This situation is going to get worse during the period from 2011 to 2065 according to the Institut National de Statistique (Istat). This trend can only be reversed by migration inflows. If Italy succeeds in launching its economic recovery, immigration will be an indispensable factor and the reasons for living together will be better understood.

There are 1,036,653 African living in Italy of whom women make up 40.6% of the total. These figures can be broken down as follows:

1) North Africa: 669,014
2) West Africa: 304,885
3) East Africa: 39,890
4) Central and Southern Africa: 22,864

Of the Africans holding residence visas, women represent 39.4% of the total. 35.9% of the permits granted are for employment reasons and 21.4% are for asylum or other humanitarian reasons. These figures can be compared with residence visas granted to people coming from Europe (2.4%), Asia (7%), America (0.7%) and Oceania (0.1%).

Basing myself on data from the INMP – Istituto Nazionale salute, Migrazioni e Povertà, an organ of the Italian Ministry of Health, gave me the opportunity to observe migrant populations the world over. I have come to the conclusion, after many years of work on the subject, that migrants from Africa are the most vulnerable especially those in Lampedusa. There are many unaccompanied minors mostly coming from sub-Sahara Africa. Most are very young and illiterate. There are a great many young girls caught up in human trafficking for prostitution and other young people are being trafficked for the purposes of begging. Very few of them have the resources to grasp the opportunities that present themselves or that are presented to them. They are not ready for such an experience of migration but they are extraordinarily resilient.

Africa is preoccupied with its many problems and does not realize that it is losing part of its future in such a painful way The most common reasons are: its political and social instability, armed conflicts that are intra and interethnic, the consequences of structural adjustment plans imposed by International Financial institutions which have undermined investments by the state in important areas of health and national education, but above all there is the lack of patriotism among African leaders.

If Europe succeeds in having a change of heart and makes them citizens, the migrants of the world will offer it a better future.





Doctor Mbiye Diku

B. Coccia, F. Pittau : Le Migrazioni qualificate in Italia, ISP S. PIO V
Idos, Dossier statistico innigrazione 2016

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