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Almost 6 million Italians live abroad

As of January 1, 2024, the population of Italy was nearly 59 million, with an annual variation of about -0.3%. However, what is surprising is that almost 6 million Italians live abroad. But from which regions do most citizens migrate?

+91% of Italians abroad since 2006

The iconic year we all remember, the year of the last FIFA World Cup victory, is 2006. Since then, more and more Italians have left their homeland, marking an increase of +91%. Since 2006, Italians born abroad have increased by 175% and those over 60 by almost 110%.

We cannot generalize. In Italy, there is a significant disparity between different regions, especially between the North and the South. We are talking about working conditions, guarantees, economic stability, healthcare efficiency, and transport systems.

Regions of Italy
Regions of Italy

It is no coincidence that young graduates, the nation’s future and hope, one year after obtaining their second-level master’s degree, in 47.5% of cases, work in a region different from their place of residence. In 32% of cases, they move directly to the North.

Sicily is the most represented region abroad, with 815 thousand expatriates. Followed by:

  • Lombardy (611 thousand)
  • Campania (548 thousand)
  • Veneto (526 thousand)
  • Lazio (502 thousand)

54.7% of emigrants live in Europe

Europe (excluding Italy) hosts more than 3.2 million Italians, with clear preferences for certain countries. Half of these can be found in four main states: Germany (822 thousand), Switzerland (639 thousand), France, and the United Kingdom.

It is often said to strike a balance. Conversely, returns to the homeland also seem to be increasing, becoming more popular after a period of work abroad. During the decade 2012-2021, the number of repatriations of Italian citizens from abroad more than doubled, rising from 29 thousand in 2012 to about 75 thousand in 2021 (+154%).

The largest Italian community abroad is in Argentina, with 921 thousand Italians (about 15% of the total). Overall, there are estimated to be more than 2 million Italians in the Americas, most in South America.

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