“Immigration, the day after”, a new MiniDossier by Openpolis

The integration of foreigners in Italy, focusing both on Italian regions and other EU Member States. The study, published with the contribution of ActionAid, analyzes the level of integration both in the job market and in the school system.

Resident population. There are almost 5 million foreign-born residents in Italy , and they represent approximately 8% of the total population. Their presence has quadrupled in the past 10 years, and is more significant in central and northern regions (in Sardegna the percentage is 2.5%, while in Emilia-Romagna it is 12%). There are more or less 190 different communities in the country, and the biggest comes from Romania, over 1 million people.

Residence permits. 71% of foreign-born residents are non-Eu citizens that have a regular residence permit (1.7 million are limited, while 2.2 million are long-term). Residence permits granted in 2013 were mostly for employment (33.%), family reasons (25%) and study (10%). The permits granted for either political asylum or humanitarian protection were only 7.49%.

Work force. In Italy 10.82% of the legal work-force is foreign-born , a percentage higher than the Eu average (7%). In 10 years Italy witnessed a 146% increase, in 2004 the foreign-born workforce was 4.4%. The are many regional differences, with the percentage reaching 13.67% in the Center, and much lower levels in the south (5.26%).

Economic crisis. The effects of the economic crisis have been significant on foreign residents in Italy. If the employment rate for Italian citizens decreased by 2.6 percentage points, the fall was higher for foreign-born citizens (8.3). At the same time, the percentage of Italian citizens at risk poverty or social exclusion is 26.5%, while 43.6% for foreign residents.

Salary gap. 80% of Italian managers earn more than 2.000 euro a month, while only 58% of their non-Eu colleagues working in Italy actually do. Equal work doest not mean equal pay . And again, if 8.3% of Italian workers earn more than 2.000 euro a month, the percentage drops to 0.6% for non-Eu workers.

School system. As we witnessed with the workforce, the percentage of foreign students enrolled in the Italian school system has been constantly growing. In 2005/2006 4.8% of students were foreigners, in 2013/2014 9% . Regionally  the gap between the first and the last of the ranking is very wide: Emilia-Romagna has 15.3% of foreign students, while Campania only 2.1%.

Second generation. Of the 802.785 foreign students enrolled in the school year 2013/2014, 51.72% were born in Italy . It is the first time in the country’s history that foreign students born in Italy were more than the ones born abroad.

Educational attainment. Numbers have been increasing, but the differences in performance remain. 11% of Italian students are behind grade level, the percentage increases to 36% when considering only foreign students. And again, the dropout rate for Italian students is 13%, while for non-Eu students it is 34%.

School-to-work transition. The school-to-work transition is a fundamental aspect of the integration of the children of immigrants. In Italy the average length of their first job is 11 months: the lowest in Oecd countries.

MiniDossier. “Immigration, the day after” is the ninth number of a series of publication called “MiniDossier”. Through a data journalism approach its goal is to verify, analyze and compare data from different official sources in order to suggest different point of views and tell different stories. To contribute and help this research, it is fundamental to support openpolis through our membership campaign.

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