Italy: 5 million documented migrants in 2016 – to rise to 20 million

In 2016, there were five million documented migrants living in Italy, according to the 2017 Immigration Statistics Dossier prepared by the IDOS and Confronti research and study centres. The report, presented in Rome recently, said estimates show the number will reach more than 20 million by the year 2065.

There were more than five million documented migrants living in Italy as of 31 December 2016, according to the 2017 Immigration Statistics Dossier prepared by IDOS and Confronti research and study centres. The report estimated the number will grow to 14.1 million foreign residents in the country and 7.6 million foreign-born Italian citizens within the next 50 years, comprising one-third of the entire population.

Last year, there were 69,379 births to foreign parents in Italy, comprising one-seventh of all births that year. The Immigration Statistics Dossier, now in its 27th edition, is a “service for a better understanding of migration” in Italy, said Franco Pittau, scientific coordinator of the document, who presented the dossier in Rome.

About five million documented foreigners in Italy

The document revealed that there were 5,047,028 documented foreigners resident in Italy at the end of 2016, over half of whom are European. Between 2007 and 2016, the foreign population in Italy grew by 2,023,317 people. In 2016, 262,929 were registered as having come from abroad. There were 181,436 who arrived by boat, 122,960 of whom presented asylum requests, according to Eurostat. Taking into account recent arrivals that still aren’t registered as residents, estimates show a documented foreign population of 5,359,000. According to demographic projections by Italian statistics bureau ISTAT, by the year 2065 there could be 14.1 million foreign residents in Italy and 7.6 million foreign-born Italian citizens, together making up more than one-third of the country’s population.

8.8 percent GDP depends on foreigners

Regarding labour and employment, in 2016 for the third consecutive year, the number of foreign employees increased (2,401,000; 42,000 more than in 2015), making up 10.5 percent of all employed. They produced an added value of 127 billion euros in 2015 (8.8 percent of the total) and declared income of 27.3 billion euros, paying 3.2 billion euros in taxes. In 2016, migrant-managed businesses continued to grow, up 3.7 percent. This upward trend started at the beginning of the economic crisis and hasn’t stopped, in contrast to Italian-managed businesses which were down 0.1 percent. Overall, there were 571,000 businesses managed by foreign-born people, 9.4 percent of total businesses.

On the topic of migration, the document said: “Italy seems like a construction site in which the work is behind schedule”. This, despite the growing presence of foreigners in Italy, where long-term residency permit holders are on the rise, as well as foreign-born citizens who have acquired Italian citizenship and births to foreign-born parents (69,379 in 2016).

Also on the rise are family stay permits (103,500) as well the number of minors (1,038,046 residents) of whom more than half were born on Italian soil, despite not having Italian citizenship.


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