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Foreign population

An overview


Over 5 million foreign citizens were enrolled on municipal population registers at the beginning of 2015 (1.9 percent more than in the previous year), the equivalent of 8.2 percent of the total number of residents. Both immigration from abroad and the annual birth rate of non-nationals showed a decreasing trend. In the same period there were 3,929,916 non-Eu citizens (55,000 units more compared to 2014). Since 2011 Italy has registered a decrease of inflows of non-Eu citizens. In 2014 248,323 new permits were issued, nearly 3 percent less than in the previous year. The decrease affected new permits issued for work to a greater extent; also the number of new permits for family reasons declined, while permits issued for asylum and humanitarian reasons recorded an increase.

The gap between unemployment rates between nationals and non-nationals is becoming smaller: in 2014 the employment rate of non-nationals aged 20-64 remained stable at 62.1 percent as against 59.6 percent for Italians; the unemployment rate decreased only among non-nationals, though they still registered higher rates (16.9 percent as against 12.2 percent for Italians); conversely, the inactivity rate of persons aged 15-64 increased only among non-nationals but it was still lower than for Italians (29.6 percent as against 36.8 percent).

The level of education among non -nationals is slightly lower than among Italians: the share of non-nationals aged 15-64 with at least lower secondary education amounted to nearly 50 percent; 40.1 percent completed upper and post-secondary education and 10.1 percent tertiary education (15.5 percent for Italians).