Foreign residents as a percentage of the regional population, 2011
Immigration to Italy occurs from a variety of countries.
As of 1st 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 75,067 children born in Italy to foreign nationals (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. 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. The distribution of foreign born population is largely uneven in Italy: 86% of immigrants live in the northern and central parts of the country (the most economically developed areas), while only 14% live in the southern half of the peninsula.
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, replacing North Africa as the major immigration area. About a million Romanians, around 10% of them being Roma, 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%).
^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.
^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.