Italian Emigration/Immigration Data
October 4, 2013 10:43 AM   Subscribe

In advance of the World Cup, I plan on writing an op-ed that would benefit from emigration/immigration data.


There has been a lot of news about racism in Italy against immigrants from various places, including the Middle East and Africa. This racism is highly publicized due in part to reporting on Italian soccer matches involving Mario Balotelli, an Italian-born striker whose biological parents are from Ghana. Racism in Italy has become intensified because of the economic issues in the country, as well.

As a second generation Italian-American, the issues my grandfather and his peers faced in Italy that caused them to leave the country and the subsequent issues of racism they faced in the U.S. are still in the back of my mind, so to speak. I'd like to offer my perspective on these kinds of issues in an op-ed that I'd like to (hopefully) have published right before/during the World Cup.

What I'm looking for

One point I'm interested in understanding is to what extent the Italian diaspora has been offset by relatively recent waves of immigration to Italy.

There are two waves of the diaspora, according to most:
1. 1876 - 1900
2. 1901 - 1920s/30s

Is there any reliable free data on how many people left Italy during those years (and percentage of people that left compared to the total population)?

Immigration to Italy started picking up steam in the 19070s, I think. I'm basically interested in knowing if all the Italians that left the country during the diaspora have been "replaced" by new immigrants yet (or what the trend seems to be on that). It would also be good to know where these immigrants came from.

Any other thoughts people might have on this kind of data are, of course, appreciated.

Thanks so much!
posted by lhtw90 to Society & Culture (1 answer total)
I gotta admit, I feel a little like I'm doing your homework for you because this material was super-easy to find in probably less time than it took you to post your question, but what the hell.

Wikipedia page on the demographics of Italy. Yes, Wikipedia can sometimes lead one astray, but many of the sources linked in the article are quite sound. (Like this page (in English) from Italy's National Institute of Statistics.

There's also this Wikipedia page on the Italian diaspora.

Finally, this piece makes the point (though I'm not sure which of her sources it comes from) that a lot of the early 20th century Italian immigrants only left to find work and return to Italy after making some money. One of my grandfathers did this - I have found his name on an Ellis Island ship manifest, but he traveled back and forth several times as a young man as a kind of extended commuter before staying in Italy for good.
posted by camyram at 3:25 PM on October 4, 2013

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