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Italians in the world: Migrantes: as many as 4.8 million. A growing trend (+3.7%) with 107thousand emigrants in 2015

Highly qualified young “millennials” – in the 18-34 age-bracket - represent the largest group of migrants leaving Italy, disappointed by the Country’s poor job opportunities. There is also a boom of senior citizens who decide to spend their old age years abroad, with an increasing number of pensions paid in Ukraine (+307%), Bulgaria (+223.6%), Romania (+152.8), and Poland (+152.8%). There emerges the new phenomenon of “new Italians” on the move, such as the Bangladeshi, two times migrants

As many as 107.529 Italians have emigrated in 2015: a growing trend with 6 232 more people leaving the Country. Almost 75 thousand Italians (69.2%) have decided to live in other European Countries. The Register of Italians Residing abroad (AIRE) counted a total of 4.811.163 as of January 2016, amounting to 7.9% of the overall population (60.665.551), with a 3.7% growth compared to last year. In ten years (2006-2016), Italians’ mobility increased by 54.9% (they amounted to 3 million in 2006). In the past 11 years the most significant variations were registered in Spain (+155,2%) and Brazil (+151,2%).  Highly qualified young “millennials” – in the 18-34 age-bracket – represent the largest group of migrants leaving Italy, disappointed by the Country’s poor job opportunities. While mobility is not viewed as an early-determined option, which changes according to the opportunities offered abroad, their option is not whether they should “leave” but if they should “stay.” There is also a boom of senior citizens who decide to spend their old age years abroad, with an increasing number of pensions paid in Ukraine (+307%), Bulgaria (+223.6%), Romania (+152.8), and Poland (+152.8%). There emerges also the new phenomenon of “new Italians” on the move, such as Bangladeshi, two times migrants: no less than 5 thousand families, after spending ten years in Italy, have decided to live and work in the United Kingdom. These are some of the highlights contained in the 2016 Italians in the World Report released by the Migrantes Foundation, presented today, October 6, in Rome. According to Migrantes

Italy’s serious problem today is not the “brain exchange”,

namely the inability to keep its talents and attract new ones. In fact it’s necessary to go from a “brain exchange” to a “brain circulation”, with a balance between departures and arrivals, avoiding that the more qualified youths settle down in certain Countries only. “Mobility is a resource but it can become harmful if it’s a one-way option.”

Italian migrants: who they are and where are they going. More than half (2.588.764, 53,8%) live in European Countries, followed by Latin America (1.564.895), North America (386.399), Oceania (146.316), Africa (63.870) and Asia  (60.919).  The most consistent increases were registered in Argentina (+28.982), Brazil (+20.427), United Kingdom (+18.706), Germany (+18.674), Switzerland (+14.496). Half of them are of southern origin, although at regional level Lombardy (+6,5%), Valle d’Aosta (+6,3%), Emilia Romagna (+6%) and Veneto (+5,7%) rank first in terms of departures. The district of Rome counts the highest number of Italians living abroad, followed by cities in Southern Italy (Cosenza, Agrigento, Salerno, Napoli). Three villages in Sicily (Licata, Palma di Montechiaro and Favara) have very high numbers of residents living abroad, amounting to 10-15 thousand each.

107thousand more migrants. The decisions of the “millennials”. Italian nationals, the young and the less young alike, are increasingly considering the option of living abroad to meet their occupational needs, notably to European countries. 60.2% of 107,529 people who went to live abroad in 2015 are single. Men are the majority (60 372). 36.7% are in the 18 – 34 age-bracket. The new emigrants depart especially from Lombardy (20,088), Veneto (10,374), Sicily (9,823), Lazio (8,436). The year 2013 registered a decline in the departure of Erasmus students owing to the ongoing economic crisis. Many families lacked the resources to invest in their offspring’s education. Millennials represent “the generation that pays the highest price in terms of job opportunities” and see migrating “not as a flight from their home Country but as an opportunity that meets their working ambitions and their curiosity. Their mobility can be described as in itinere, a decision subject to constant variations. In fact it isn’t grounded on a pre-determined migratory project but “on constantly evolving opportunities.” Moreover, as underlined in the Report, recent studies on genetic mutations show that the desire to travel and make new experiences could be determined by our DNA, more specifically by the gene DRD4-7R. That’s could be the reason why many new migrants do not consider themselves as such and describe themselves as “travellers.”

Old people on the move. The number of elderly Italians who decide to emigrate is equally increasing. Figures on pensions paid to Italian nationals living abroad, released by the national Social Security Service (INPS) shows a marked increase in pensions paid in Ukraine (+307%), Bulgaria (+223.6%), Romania (+152.8), Poland (+152.8%) and Spain (+22%). It is assumed that many of them decide to spend the last phase of their life with their in-home-nurses upon the latter’s return to their respective Countries. However, the favourite destinations of Italian and foreign pensioners in 2015 were Switzerland (583), France (495), Spain (418), Australia (373).

The future? A citizenship without borders. “The idea that deserves being further developed is the passage to a new civilization, whereby a cross-breed culture is not viewed as the betrayal of one’s origins but rather as bringing new global opportunities transmitted by the different cultural groups that inhabit our planet.” In other words, it’s possible to live anywhere whilst preserving one’s own identity and perceiving oneself as a citizen of the world. “That is the meaning of a citizenship without borders.” Italian emigrants thus feel as the “healthy carriers” of the Italian spirit through “their language, cuisine, businesses, artistic sensitivity, fashion, design, fine art, literature.”

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