E.g., 06/18/2022
E.g., 06/18/2022
Country Resource - Italy

Italy

IT
  • Population...................................................................... 62,390,364 (July 2021 est.)
  • Population growth rate ................................................................. 0.09% (2021 est.)
  • Birth rate...................................................... 8.37 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Death rate................................................ 10.7 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Net migration rate............................... 3.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2021 est.)
  • Ethnic groups................... Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)

CIA World Factbook

Grand Canal in Venice

Long a country of emigration—13 million Italians went abroad between 1880 and 1915—Italy has also experienced significant inflows of Middle Eastern and sub-Saharan African workers in recent decades. Italy has also been on the frontlines of Europe's refugee crisis. This country profile examines Italy's shifting migration patterns, policy responses over time, and debates.

Recent Activity

Flags of the European Union fly outside of the European Parliament in Brussels.

Between Brexit and COVID-19, Europe’s 31-country zone of free movement has been profoundly tested. Still, the area has constantly evolved over the last 70 years, to include new groups of individuals who can freely move for work, study, or leisure, as well as cover larger geographic areas. This article examines the history and challenges to free movement, a crowning success of the European project.

Sailors and marines on the HMS Bulwark help migrants ashore in Italy.

Even as the number of people making the dangerous journey through the Central Mediterranean from North Africa to Europe has declined since the migration and refugee crisis of 2015-16, the rate of deaths has increased. This article evaluates the role of Europe's hardening approach to trans-Mediterranean migration and the criminalization of search-and-rescue operations by nongovernmental organizations.

Migrants aboard a rubber vessel are rescued in the Mediterranean

Libya was once a prized destination for workers from around the world. But after Muammar Gaddafi’s overthrow in 2011, the country became the transit point for hundreds of thousands of Europe-bound asylum seekers and other migrants. Following Libya's 2017 deal with Italy to detain and return migrants caught at sea—which was renewed in February 2020—migrants became trapped in an unstable country, facing harrowing realities, as this article explores.

Grape pickers in France

Border closures and lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic have put a chill on intra-EU labor mobility, most immediately with the difficulty for European farmers to gain access to much-needed seasonal workers and for health-care institutions to get care workers. This article explores how these workers, who often face difficult situations, may be more vulnerable now. It also takes on implications for intra-EU labor mobility post-pandemic.

Two Albanian children

Faced with a lack of employment opportunities and recurrent poverty, Albanian youth migrate to Italy alone in the hopes of improving their educational prospects or making money for their families. Yet upon arrival, they face many vulnerabilities. While some protections for unaccompanied minors exist in the Italy, the system is greatly fragmented and challenges, including how to return them to Albania, remain persistent.

Sign left by No More Deaths activists in Arizona

As industrialized countries are adopting harder-edge immigration and asylum policies to deal with real and perceived crises, humanitarian actors have sought to blunt the effects of those policies by launching rescue missions at sea, rendering direct aid to migrants in need, and offering legal assistance. A concerted pushback to this resistance emerged in 2018, with governments using legislative, legal, and other tools to fight back.

MoriaReceptionCenter

Faced with absorbing vast numbers of asylum seekers who headed to Europe during the 2015-16 migration crisis and the ongoing arrival of much smaller, but steady flows of Central Americans at the U.S.-Mexico border, EU Member States and the United States in 2018 took or explored significant steps to narrow asylum and harden policies.

A port in Mahdia, Tunisia.

In the face of an uptick in unauthorized arrivals in Italy from Tunisia in 2017, the European Union dusted off earlier policy proposals such as funding to increase Tunisia’s border-control capabilities and the creation of disembarkation platforms. This article explores why contemporary developments, including a fragile Tunisian political system, suggest the need for a different approach.

Migrants on a boat

European leaders in 2017 pursued migration partnerships with North African countries, seeking to stem maritime arrivals across the Mediterranean. Italy struck a deal with Libya to provide support in cracking down on illegal migration and smugglers, while Germany signed cooperation agreements with Egypt and Tunisia. Meanwhile, widespread reports of migrant abuse in Libya are prompting questions about the limitations and human costs of these partnerships.

Bangladeshi migrant workers

Bangladeshis in 2017 suddenly emerged as one of the top migrant groups entering Europe illegally. While Europe is a new destination, Bangladeshi labor migration has been an important part of the country's development since the 1970s, with growing numbers heading abroad, largely to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. This article explores and contextualizes the new phenomenon of Bangladeshi migration to Europe.

Pages

cover image for Destination-Country Policies to Foster Diaspora Engagement in Development
Reports
April 2022

Emigrants and their descendants can play a critical role in the development of their countries of origin or ancestry. In fact, many such countries have policies that seek to leverage their diaspora’s contributions. Much less attention has been paid to how destination countries with large international development programs are engaging their resident diasporas—or could be engaging them—in the development of countries of origin.

Cover image for Promoting the Inclusion of Europe’s Migrants and Minorities in Arts and Culture
Reports
March 2022

European cities are becoming ever more diverse. Yet migrants and minorities are often under-represented among mainstream cultural venues’ visitors, featured artists, and staff. This MPI Europe report examines strategies for improving the inclusion of migrant and minority communities in culture and the arts, with the aim of boosting integration outcomes, strengthening social cohesion, and making cultural institutions more vibrant.

Cover image for Lessons from the European Negotiations of the Global Compact for Migration
Reports
January 2022

In the months leading up to the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration in 2018, what had been a quiet negotiation process suddenly became front-page news, drawing unprecedented public attention and sparking protests across Europe. This report explores how the compact negotiations triggered a multilayered institutional and political crisis in the European Union, and how this breakdown continues to affect EU external migration policy.

Cover image for Healing the Gap: Building Inclusive Public-Health and Migrant Integration Systems in Europe
Reports
September 2021

While the pandemic has had broad impacts across European societies, these have not been evenly felt. Many migrants and refugees have long faced health challenges, such as limited health-care eligibility and accessibility, and COVID-19 has threatened to deepen health disparities. This report explores how European countries have responded and what opportunities have emerged to tackle disparities in migrant health.

Cover image for "Diversifying" Social Investment: European Welfare States and Immigrant Integration in the Wake of the COVID-19 Crisis
Reports
September 2021

European countries’ responses to the pandemic have been extraordinary in scope and volume, and strengthened appreciation for the role of robust welfare programs in helping individuals and communities weather challenges. This report explores the case for using the crisis to more permanently rethink European welfare states and whether the social-investment approach could serve as a tool for post-pandemic recovery in diverse, immigrant-receiving societies.

Cover image for Taking the Long View: Options for Inclusive Post-Pandemic Labor Markets
Reports
August 2021

Even as COVID-19 vaccination campaigns have picked up speed in Europe, economic uncertainty remains. Recently arrived refugees, migrant women, and other immigrants who faced labor market challenges before the pandemic have in many cases seen these challenges grow. This report explores the impact of the public-health crisis on migrants’ labor market integration and options for building inclusive pandemic recovery strategies.

Building Welcome from the Ground up: European Small and Rural Communities Engaging in Refugee Resettlement
Reports
November 2020

Small towns and rural areas within Europe have become more active in receiving resettled refugees in recent years. How is resettlement to these communities different compared to urban areas? And what can be done to make good on the promise of “rural welcoming”? This report explores these questions, drawing on interviews with resettled refugees and receiving-community members in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

coverthumb_eufrank final report
Reports
November 2020

In recent years, the European Union and some of its Member States have taken on a greater role in global refugee resettlement, expanding or launching new programs and experimenting with creative approaches to providing protection to those in need. This report looks ahead to how these efforts, investments, and lessons learned can be built upon, even in the face of the uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managing the Pandemic and Its Aftermath: Economies, Jobs, and International Migration in the Age of COVID-19
Reports
November 2020

Around the world, governments are grappling with how to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while also managing the economic fallout of policies put in place to stop the virus’ spread. Global migration has dropped sharply amid border closures and travel restrictions. This reflection takes stock of policy responses to the pandemic thus far, and of the challenges (and some opportunities) on the horizon for migration systems, labor markets, and integration of newcomers.

coverthumb_social innovation covid19
Reports
September 2020

Since COVID-19 hit cities across Europe, many have struggled with how to sustain support for migrant inclusion in a time of social-distancing orders and likely budget cuts. This report explores how municipalities and their partners used social innovation to meet the challenges of the 2015–16 spike in arrivals of asylum seekers and migrants, and how those experiences can help localities weather the pandemic and put communities at the center of recovery efforts.

Pages

coverthumb_brexit pandemic
Policy Briefs
September 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic hit just weeks after the United Kingdom formally left the European Union, delaying plans to implement the withdrawal agreement’s provisions on citizens’ rights. This policy brief assesses the progress countries have made in setting up systems to adjust the status of mobile EU and UK nationals, as well as steps countries can take to make up for lost time.

Measuring Up? Using Monitoring and Evaluation to Make Good on the Promise of Refugee Sponsorship
Policy Briefs
June 2020

A growing number of countries, particularly in Europe, have piloted or implemented refugee sponsorship programs in recent years. Yet there is limited evidence of how well these programs, which tap community members and civil society to take key roles in refugee resettlement, are working and how they can be improved. This issue brief explores how building monitoring and evaluation activities into sponsorship programs can help answer these and other critical questions.

Seasonal Worker Programs in Europe: Promising Practices and Ongoing Challenges
Policy Briefs
February 2020

Seasonal worker programs in the European Union have a long history, but have yet to find the sweet spot of working for migrants, employers, and countries of destination and origin alike. This policy brief explores some of the challenges common to these programs—drawing on examples in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand—and highlights promising practices.

Coverthumb_FamilyMigrationBrief
Policy Briefs
April 2018

As policymakers in a number of countries, the United States among them, debate limiting family-based immigration, this issue brief explores family-migration trends and policies in the United States, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and several other European countries. Family admissions play a key role, even in countries that prioritize economic or other immigration streams.