Together for a common home. New Policy brief of NEAR Project
14 March 2023

The ISMU Report on Migrations in Italy 2022

The ISMU Report on Migrations in Italy 2022

The latest estimates calculated by ISMU show a moderate growth of the foreign population living in Italy: as of March, 1st 2023, it has reached more than 6 millions individuals in 2022, 88,000 more than in 2021. On the contrary, the number of undocumented people has decreased, standing at 506,000, as opposed to 519,000 estimated in the previous year (-2.5%).

Additionally, 2021 marked a significant increase in new residence permits issued (about 242,000, +127% compared to the previous year).

Looking at migrant’s employment, 2021 saw a growth in both the activity rate among foreigners and the employment rate. Poverty rates, at the same time, did not improve: in 2021 absolute poverty affects 30.6% of immigrant families, almost four percentage points higher than in 2020.

The many critical issues concerning labour market integration underline the need for a new governance of migration and inclusion processes (analysed in the Libro bianco sul governo delle migrazioni economiche edited by ISMU).

With regard to education, in the school year 2020/2021 for the first time in nearly 40 years, there was a decrease in the number of students with a migrant background (approximately 865,000, with a decrease of 11,413 compared to the previous school year). Moreover, those born in Italy represent 66.7% of students with non-Italian citizenship.

Turning to religious confessions, ISMU estimates that as of July , 1st 2022 Christians collectively represent the absolute majority (53.1%) among foreigners living in Italy, with the percentage of Catholic foreigners standing at 17.1% (whereas Muslims represent 29.4% of the foreign population).

These are the main data presented by the XXVIII Migration Report 2022, published by Fondazione ISMU and launched on 1 March 2023.

The Twenty-eight Italian Report on migrations 2022

The 28th edition of ISMU Migration Report inevitably addresses the tragic events connected to the war in Ukraine, analysing the conflict from the perspective of human mobility. The volume traces the inflows and outflows from Ukraine to Europe and Italy, analysing the reasons why the reception granted to Ukrainians differs from that reception conditions that have been granted to asylum seekers of other nationalities over the past decade.

While paying particular attention to the conflict in Ukraine, the Report also turns the spotlight on some countries that tend to be forgotten, such as Afghanistan, Syria and Countries of the African continent. 

Alongside the analysis of statistical data (ISMU estimates that the number of foreigners living steadily in Italy slightly exceeded 6 millions individuals, as of 1 January 2022), the Report covers the traditional areas of interest of health, work, education and the juridical framework. Moreover, the Report is enriched by several in-depth studies including  analyses of how recent Italian political elections treated the “Migration issue”, of the different faiths among the foreign population, of housing policies, of the role played by diaspora communities between local integration and international cooperation.