Lack of opportunity prompts four million Italians to live abroad

Friday, December 3, 2010

Rome, Dec 3 (IANS/AKI) More than four million Italians, or about seven percent of Italy’s population, live abroad in search of a work, according to a new report presented Thursday in Rome by the Catholic refugee and immigrant charity Migrantes. About half the expatriates are women.

Italian immigration conjures images of ships transporting millions of the country’s desperately impoverished inhabitants to North and South America.

Between 1876 and 1924, 4.5 million out of 14 million Italians emigrated to the US alone, according to the Washington-based American Immigration Law Foundation.

Italy has changed since the early waves of mass migration ended in the middle of the 20th century. It is now one of the world’s richest countries and draws millions of immigrants from developing countries. But lack of opportunity still sparks mass departures in search of work.

The regional destination of choice is Europe, where 55 percent of Italian immigrants live, according to the “Italians in the World Report 2010″. In second place is North and South America, with 39 percent.


Filed under: Immigration, World
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