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New Models of Integration in Italy

by Michele Lipori

by Michele Lipori Confronti Editorial Staff

The Immigration Statistical Dossier (www.dossierimmigrazione.it), edited by the IDOS Study and Research Center and the Confronti Study Center, celebrated its 30th edition with its latest release.


The snapshot of the world of immigration in Italy that emerges from the Dossier confirms some data from previous years, while also presenting some surprises. Last year’s figure is confirmed, so—contrary to a certain “common feeling” amongst Italians—Christian immigrants number 2,742,000, equal to 51.8% of the total (5,306,548 people). The Muslim component stops at 1,761,774 faithful, 33.2%. This was not the case until 2007, when Romania entered the European Union: since then, over one and a half million Orthodox have strengthened the Christian presence, and today the Romanian Church boasts over 200 parishes, stands out for its ecumenical commitment and maintains excellent relations with the Roman Catholic Church which, not infrequently, makes rooms and churches available for Orthodox worship.


If immigration in general has been one of the “hot topics” on which the discourse of certain politics is oriented in recent years, even more crucial is that of migrants who arrive on our coasts by sea, with “hopeful journeys” seriously risking the lives of migrants. In 2019, there were 11,471 migrants arriving by sea in Italy, or 49.1%, compared to those arriving in 2018, a year in which an 80.4% decline had already been recorded. These data are one of the consequences of the Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Libya signed in Rome on February 2, 2017. Furthermore, the approval of the so-called “Security Decrees” led to a sharp drop in the number that could be granted protected status, which led to an increase in migrants who cannot be included in any path.


The negative trend of new births and of the young population (16-34 years) has been confirmed, which modify traditional family models—together with an ever-low economic growth that results in the permanent residence of young people living into adulthood with their families of origin. According to ISTAT data, for couples in which both partners aree Italian, over the last ten years there has been a decrease in births of about 136,912 units, almost a quarter (24% less) compared to 2008 (see “birth rate and fertility of the resident population in 2018,” issued by ISTAT on 25 November 2019). In 2018, 439,747 boys and girls were registered (18,404 fewer than in 2017). In the same year, however, the overall number of marriages increased (+4,491) and there was a “recovery” of mixed marriages (ie between an Italian partner and a foreigner). The incidence of mixed marriages reached 12.2% of the total, with the Italian bridegroom and foreign bride type prevailing internally (17,789 cases, 74.4% of all mixed marriages). The number of children of mixed couples, while recording a fluctuating trend starting from 2010, grew over the decade of 2008-2018, passing from 29,970 to 31,134 (marking, in 2018, an incidence of 7.1% of the total births registered in Italy).

Michele Lipori

Michele Lipori

Confronti Editorial Staff

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