Immigration to Italy

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Foreign residents as a percentage of the regional population, 2011

Immigration to Italy occurs from a variety of countries.

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]

Many illegal immigrants from Africa make the dangerous boat journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy. This has led to numerous disasters such as the 2007 Malta migrant shipwreck, the 2009 Libya migrant shipwreck, the 2011 migrant shipwreck, the 2013 Lampedusa migrant shipwreck, and the 2015 Mediterranean Sea migrant shipwrecks.[5] Once in Italy, immigrants seeking asylum often are unable to leave due to the Dublin Regulation requirement that they stay in the first country where they are processed.[6]

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,[7] replacing North Africa as the major immigration area. About a million Romanians, around 10% of them being Roma,[8] 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%).[9]

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[10]
2003 1,464,663[10]
2004 1,854,748[10]
2005 2,210,478[10]
2006 2,419,483[10]
2007 2,592,950[10]
2008 3,023,317[10]
2009 3,402,435[10]
2010 3,648,128[10]
2011 3,879,224[10]
2012 4,052,081[11]
2013 4,387,721[12]
2014 4,922,085[13]
2015 5,014,437[1]
2016 5,026,153[14]
Immigration by country[note 2]
Country 2010[15] 2011[16] 2012[17] 2013[18] 2014[19]
 Romania 887,763 823,100 834,465 933,354 1,081,400
 Morocco 431,529 407,097 408,667 426,971 524,775
 Albania 466,684 451,437 450,908 464,962 502,546
 China 188,352 194,510 197,064 223,367 320,794
 Ukraine 174,129 178,534 180,121 191,725 233,726
 Philippines 123,584 129,015 129,188 139,835 165,783
 India 105,863 116,797 118,409 128,903 160,296
 Moldova 37,971 130,619 132,175 139,734 150,021
 Egypt 82,064 65,985 66,932 76,691 135,284
 Bangladesh 73,965 80,639 81,683 92,695 127,861
 Tunisia 103,678 82,066 82,997 88,291 122,354
 Poland 105,608 84,619 84,749 88,839 97,566
 Serbia
 Kosovo
 Montenegro
53,875 n.a. 43,022 43,816 109,474
 Pakistan 64,859 69,877 71,031 80,658 106,485
 Sri Lanka 75,343 71,203 71,573 79,530 104,405
 Senegal 72,618 72,458 73,702 80,325 97,781
 Ecuador 85,940 80,645 80,333 82,791 91,145
 Macedonia 92,847 73,407 73,972 76,608 84,318

Sea arrivals[edit]

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

Since the early 2000s, the small island of Lampedusa has become a prime transit point for immigrants and asylum seekers from Africa, the Middle East and Asia wanting to enter Europe. In 2004, the Libyan and Italian governments reached a secret agreement that obliged Libya to accept those deported from Italian territories. This resulted in the mass return of many people from Lampedusa to Libya between 2004 and 2005 without the endorsement of European Parliament.[21]

By 2006, many immigrants were paying people smugglers in Libya to help get them to Lampedusa by boat.[22] On arrival, most were then transferred by the Italian government to reception centres in mainland Italy. Many were then released because their deportation orders were not enforced.[23]

In 2009, 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. Most of the immigrants were from Ghana, Mali and Nigeria and were working illegally as seasonal farm workers.[25]

In 2008, Berlusconi’s government in Italy and Gaddafi’s government in Libya signed a treaty including cooperation between the two countries in stopping irregular 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.[26] The cooperation collapsed following the outbreak of the Libyan civil war in 2011, and 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.[27]

In 2011, many more immigrants came to Lampedusa during the rebellions in Tunisia and Libya.[28] By May 2011, more than 35,000 immigrants had arrived on the island from Tunisia and Libya.[29] By the end of August, 48,000 had arrived.[30] Most were young males in their 20s and 30s.[31] The situation has caused division within the EU, the French government regarding most of the arrivals as economic migrants rather than refugees in fear of persecution.[32] The Libyan ambassador to Italy stated that Gaddafi controlled illegal immigration to meet his goals- "he wanted to turn Lampedusa black with Africans".[30]

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. ^ "Italy's illegal immigrants: Tidal wave". The Economist. 5 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Grant, Harriet; Domokos, John (7 October 2011). "Dublin regulation leaves asylum seekers with their fingers burnt". The Guardian. 
  7. ^ Willey, David (13 April 2007). "Milan police in Chinatown clash". BBC News. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Ciobanu, Claudia (16 May 2008). "EUROPE: Home to Roma, And No Place for Them". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  9. ^ IDOS (30 October 2012). "Dossier Statistico Immigrazione 2012" (PDF). Caritas. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ [1].
  12. ^ [2].
  13. ^ [3].
  14. ^ [4].
  15. ^ Albani, Mauro (22 September 2011). "La popolazione straniera residente in Italia nel 2011". ISTAT. Retrieved 28 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Gli stranieri al 15° Censimento della popolazione" (PDF). ISTAT. 23 December 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  17. ^ I cittadini non comunitari regolarmente soggiornanti
  18. ^ I cittadini non comunitari regolarmente soggiornanti
  19. ^ I cittadini non comunitari regolarmente soggiornanti
  20. ^ "Sbarchi e richieste di asilo 1997–2014". Fondazione Ismu. 
  21. ^ European Parliament resolution on Lampedusa, 14 April 2005
  22. ^ Out of Africa: The human trade between Libya and Lampedusa
  23. ^ Bitter harvest, The Guardian, 19 December 2006
  24. ^ UNHCR Concerned over Humanitarian Situation in Lampedusa, Italy
  25. ^ "Assistance For Illegal Migrant Workers in Italy". Médecins Sans Frontières. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  26. ^ "Pushed Back, Pushed Around". Human Rights Watch. 21 September 2009. 
  27. ^ "Italy: 'Historic' European Court judgment upholds migrants' rights". Amnesty International. 23 February 2012. 
  28. ^ 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. 
  29. ^ "Hundreds more migrants reach Italy from Africa". Reuters. 14 May 2011. 
  30. ^ a b Gaddafi planned to turn Italian island into migrant hell
  31. ^ Guterres, António (9 May 2011). "Look Who's Coming to Europe". The New York Times. 
  32. ^ [5][dead link]