Centro Studi e Ricerche Idos

Regional editorial staff

Since its creation, IDOS has been enriched by the collaboration of local researchers, editors and operators (usually representatives of local organizations) who oversee studies and in-depths about the migration phenomenon and also coordinate awareness-raising activities based on the “Dossier” and other IDOS publications.


Luigi Gaffuri
Università degli Studi dell’Aquila
Dipartimento di Scienze Umane
Viale Nizza 14 – 67100 L’Aquila

Starting from the ’70s, the region of Abruzzi recorded a positive migratory balance; around the end of the ’80s it started becoming an important destination of migration flows from the whole southern Italy.

In this context, immigrants from the Balkans (with a marked prevalence of the Albanians) have always played an important role. Since this region, and the province of Chieti in particular, is the closest territory to Apulia, it receives part of the many immigrants coming from Albania who, once arrived to Abruzzi, move to the rest of Italy.

At the territorial level, the greatest number of immigrants is received by the province of Teramo, followed by L’Aquila; in these two provinces there is also the most significant immigrants’ incidence on the population. Other important elements are the predominance of women’s presence (especially in the province of Pescara), a considerable presence of minors and a noteworthy amount of citizenship acquisitions (mostly involving the Romanians for marriage reasons and the Moroccans for residence reasons).


Paola Andrisani
Osservatorio Migranti Basilicata

Starting from 2000, the growth of immigrant population in Basilicata has been slow but constant. This increase has been concurrent with a demographic decrease at a regional level: it is mainly due to a birth decrease as well as to a high rate of migration towards other regions of Italy which has mainly involved highly educated young people. Since there are numerous graduates among the unemployed, the so-called intellectual unemployment seems to be a regional characteristic: this means that the territorial productive system cannot offer adequate job positions to highly educated people.
The very low level of foreign immigration does not compensate the negative migration balance of this region, therefore the decrease of the regional population in only partially balanced out. Generally speaking, Basilicata is definitely a territory of transition for migration flows to northern Italy or even northern Europe. Therefore, it is not surprising that the incidence on the total resident population is among the lowest ones in Italy (only 2%).


Roberta Saladino
Università della Calabria

During the last ten years, migration flows to this region have become more and more significant and immigrants have found a good level of reception. In fact, Calabria has ceased to be a land of emigration and subsequently a land of reception and transition, to become a territory of long-term integration for immigrants who leave their country seeking for better living conditions.
Thus this territory has an active role as regards not only expulsions and rejections, but also reception measures: in particular, in 2006 the region examined many asylum applications and granted asylum to more than 1,000 applicants. Among the provinces of Calabria, Reggio Calabria is the one with the highest amount of immigrants, followed by Cosenza, Catanzaro, Crotone and Vibo Valentia. Women’ presence is significant and most likely connected to family reunifications as well as their commitment in the fields of in-home assistance and in-home elder care.
During the years, the distribution of non-Italian citizens on the territory has become more and more balanced, thus making the percentages of the five provinces similar to each other. Occupation and family reunification are the most frequent reasons of residence.


Rosa Gatti
Università degli Studi di Napoli

Among the Southern regions, Campania has the highest amount of foreign residents. Particularly in the province of Naples (where almost half the foreigners of the region reside) there is over one-sixth of all foreigners residing in the whole Southern Italy.
Various studies confirm that during the last ten years the characteristics of foreigners’ presence in Campania have become well-defined: this region has gradually passed from being an area for temporary sojourns and transit towards other areas of Italy, to being a territory with a certain capacity of attraction as well as a destination for a more stable integration. This has been attested since the first years of the 00’s by a progressive reduction of the numerical difference between residence permit holders and resident foreigners, as well as an increase in the number of enrolled foreign students and a growing amount of family reunifications.
Apart from these characteristics, the growth in absolute terms of foreigners’ presence confirms the change regarding migration flows and the consequent higher incidence on the total local population.
Another figure confirming the foreigners’ tendency to stability is the one regarding women’s prevalence, which has constantly increased during the last years.


Pietro Pinto
Esperto delle migrazioni

Sandra Federici
Africa e Mediterraneo

Emilia Romagna is one of the regions with the highest presence of resident foreigners (both in absolute terms and for the incidence on the overall population); it stands out also for the incidence of foreign students on the total enrolled students in local schools. This region used to be (and still is) one of the most attractive for immigrants (including those coming from other areas of Italy), because it offers stable occupation and a service network that is more in accordance with family needs.
This is attested by the foreigners’ presence in the region, which increased by 150% between 2002 and 2008,with far higher rates than the regional average in some provinces like Ferrara, Ravenna and Piacenza (where the foreigners presence increased by three times, during the same period). On the contrary, in those provinces which had historically been more involved in immigration (such as Bologna and Modena) such increase was lower, as if foreigners had started a process of reallocation all over the regional territory.
The women’s incidence also indicates a tendency to a permanent settlement: starting from 2008 they represented the majority (50.1%), partly thanks to family reunification.

Friuli Venezia Giulia

Paolo Attanasio
Esperto delle migrazioni

Friuli Venezia Giulia, being a continental and border region, is influenced by the Central European culture; at the same time, due to its specific characteristic of a “bridge on the Adriatic sea”, Friuli Venezia Giulia is an ideal gateway to Italy. Besides, the provinces of Udine and Pordenone represent the typical industrialized hinterland attracting productive and geographically stable immigration.
During the ’80s the emerging migratory phenomenon involved almost exclusively male immigrants from the Equatorial Africa and the Maghreb, who mainly arrived from Southern Italy and the nearby Veneto; instead, from the beginning of the ’90s, a significant amount of immigrants reached the eastern area of the region arriving in rubber dinghies from the Croatian coast. During these years, many people fleeing war and social tensions in the Balkan Peninsula passed through this territory. Therefore, the presence of other nationalities as well as that of the first unaccompanied minors began being noticed.
Each of the provinces of Udine and Pordenone hosts over one-third of the regional immigrants, mainly from Slovenia and Croatia, whereas the provinces of Trieste and Gorizia – where most short-term migrants live – are less attractive areas. It is only in the province of Pordenone, however, that the incidence on the overall local population reaches its high.


Raniero Cramerotti
Centro Studi e Ricerche IDOS/Immigrazione Dossier Statistico

The capacity of attraction of the capital city of Rome has certainly determined a conspicuous foreign presence in Latium since the very beginning of the migratory phenomenon in Italy. For many years such presence made this region rank first for amount of resident foreigners (even though, despite this significant percentage incidence of immigrants on resident population, the female component is only slightly predominant). Only in more recent times the increased importance of other areas of Northern Italy made Latium slightly fall in the ranking for amount of immigrants.
Rome still remains the capital city of immigration, when considering the whole range of nationalities which constitute almost 200 communities of immigrants: this makes it a true cosmopolitan and multi-religious metropolis, even if – being the world centre of Catholicism – it continues playing an important role also from an immigration point of view.


Andrea T. Torre
Centro Studi Medì
Via del Molo 13/a, 16128 Genova
tel. +39.010.2514371 – fax +39.010.2512840

Deborah Erminio
Centro Studi Medì
Via del Molo 13/a, 16128 Genova
tel. +39.010.2514371 – fax +39.010.2512840

Between 1985 and 1995 Liguria was one of the main destinations for migrants, especially those from the Maghreb countries: this was mainly due to both its geographical position (at the border with France) and the presence of Genoa’s port (which for a long time represented the destination of choice by North-African immigrants). Despite the fact that the economic situation of this region has been quite problematic since the ’80s (the crisis affecting Genoa’s port was emblematic), the characteristics of immigration to Liguria are typical of a structural settlement.
The process of regional economic recovery has been characterized by several aspects, including the creation of new business activities, the development of small enterprises, the recovery of the construction industry and the shipbuilding in general (despite the setback due to the economic crisis started in the second semester of 2008). Today, immigration to Liguria is characterized by significant flows from Latin America (especially Ecuador), which amounts to even one-fifth of the total foreign residents; this is due/thanks to this community’s “structural” commitment in the fields of in-home assistance and in-home elder care since their very first settlements.


Giovanni Franco Valenti
Fondazione Guido Piccini per i Diritti dell’Uomo ONLUS
Via Terzago 11 – 25080 Calvagesedella Riviera (BS)

Elena Mauri

The stability of immigrants’ presence in Lombardy is attested by the numbers. This region, which ranks first in Italy for the total amount of immigrants, hosts about one-quarter of the foreign resident population in Italy and represents an essential area for the analysis of the migratory phenomenon and its trends.
Attractive factors are mainly work-related and, as far as nationalities of foreign citizens are concerned, the European countries (especially the Eastern ones) confirm their primacy, in line with the most recent migratory dynamics in our country.
Such migratory situation makes Lombardy a complex territory. High integration possibilities, mainly due to the regional economy, are counterbalanced by a quite large amount of irregular foreign citizens, as attested by the high number of applications submitted in occasion of the latest immigration flow decrees. This means that the high integration possibilities of this region, together with its high living standards, are necessarily connected with irregular workforce (to a higher degree, compared to other contexts).


Vittorio Lannutti
Università “G. D’Annunzio” Chieti – Pescara
Dipartimento di Economia Aziendale

Immigrants’ presence in Marches is significant not only from a quantitative point of view (thanks to the number of immigrants who doubled during the 00’s, as well as an increase rate particularly marked in the province of Pesaro-Urbino), but also from a qualitative point of view, when considering integration in the labour market, the growing presence of families and the increase of foreign students in the regional schools.
During the last years, in fact, although the world economic crisis affected this region too, especially in the industrial sector the increase of foreigners’ presence has never stopped.
Women’s incidence on the total resident foreigners confirms the immigrants’ tendency to permanently settle in this region: in fact in 2008 it reached the same level of men’s incidence (50,9%). Finally, the figure regarding resident minors is equally interesting, as they represent one-quarter of the total foreign presence.


Norberto Lombardi
Centro studi sulle migrazioni – Biblioteca Provinciale di Campobasso

Chiara Cancellario

Since the beginning of migration flows to this region, in the small provinces of Molise the arrival of immigrant women has constantly increased and their incidence is more than 7% higher than in the rest of Italy. This prevalence of women is partially connected to family reunifications and, to a higher extent, to work commitment in the fields of in-home assistance and in-home elder care. Unfortunately, in Molise as well immigrants are subjected to the sad conditions which affect the activities of foreigners in general (and women’s ones in particular): there are cases of illegal hiring “under the table”, without insurance and social security coverage, as well as cases of women arrived in order to find an occupation and then become victims of exploitation, slave trade or forced prostitution in the worst cases.
Foreign population regularly residing in Molise is mostly concentrated in the province of Campobasso and is highly increasing (although marginally, if compared to the rest of Italy). This element indicates that the small communities constituting the Municipalities of Molise offer immigrants the possibility to normalize their lives, reunify their families and build new relationships.


Roberta Ricucci
Università degli Studi di Torino

Since the beginning of the ’80s both the public and private sectors have clearly paid attention to immigrants’ needs; therefore, this region has often been considered an example of good integration initiatives. This has been also confirmed by some indicators, such as the increased number of family reunifications and of foreign students in schools of all levels.
There is a certain variety in immigrants’ distribution between the Piedmont provinces: it is due to the socio-economic characteristics of the various contexts as well as to the different levels of work, living and social integration opportunities. In any case, the provincial capital still have a strong power of attraction.
During the ’90s the migration flows to Piedmont were predominantly from North Africa and Central/Eastern Asia, but from the beginning of the 00’s migration from Eastern Europe started to stand out. The current attractive capacity of this region is quite different compared to the past, due to a deep reorganization of its productive system (which was previously based on big industries and is now experiencing a considerable economic depression), especially in those market sectors where immigrants’ presence is significant.


Angela Martiradonna
Associazione Etnie

Silvia Rizzello

The migratory phenomenon in Apulia has shown heterogeneous features and continuous changes over the years. The region is no longer an exclusive area of ​​landings, as it was in the 1990s, but still remains an important (and contradictory) turning point of immigration in Italy, thanks to interesting entrepreneurial experiences and innovative legislative attempts on the one hand and to the worrying phenomenon of embezzlement, illegality and exploitation, on the other.

The characteristics of the substantial part of residing immigrants confirm the chances of finding a job in the region, even if too often in disadvantaged conditions and with the promise of a illusory gain.

Of course, Apulia has also been hit hard by the economic crisis that has involved the whole country in recent years: many companies in the driving sectors of the regional economy have get into crisis or have closed, but difficulties have also been felt in the agricultural sector, where the collapse in production prices has opened the door to the recruitment of “slave immigrants”, who for some euro work a whole day in harsh conditions, favouring dishonest entrepreneurs of the tomato racket.

The provinces of Bari and Foggia represent the main attraction areas for regularly resident foreigners, even if Lecce seems to be the province most sought after by the new migration flows. Less significant is the presence of migrants in the provinces of Brindisi and Taranto, where foreigners are just one over a hundred.


Gianni Loy
Università degli Studi di Cagliari

Although its scope is very different from that of other Italian regions, immigration to Sardinia can also be considered a structural phenomenon, with deep implications for the social, cultural and economic aspects of the region.
From a demographic point of view, it is interesting that the growth of the regional population is not due to a natural balance (which is constantly negative since some years) but to the presence of migrants. Such trend is developing since some years and has gradually made the island shift from being a land of transit towards other destinations – in Italy or abroad – to being a destination for elective residence, family reunifications and, more generally, projects of long-term residence for numerous foreign citizens. This trend seems to be further growing and is confirmed by the number of residence permits and grantings of citizenship.
By examining the provincial context, it can be noted that foreigners’ presence has increased in all the territories, especially in the province of Sassari (which includes the recently constituted province of Olbia-Tempio), followed by Oristano, Cagliari and Nuoro.


Karim Hannachi
Università di Kore di Enna

Since about thirty years Sicily is a kind of “door” for African citizens migrating to Europe: this makes this island a bridge between cultures, peoples and religions. This phenomenon is characterized by historical continuity, because Sicily has always been the crossroads of migrants from Europe, Asia and Mediterranean Africa for the most various kinds of encounters and transits.
Although the media focus their attention on migration flows to Sicily only in occasion of landings, data confirm that this island is an important territory that has to be taken into consideration in order to verify the evolution of the migratory phenomenon. Almost all the foreigners (over 9 out of 10) reside in Sicily for work or family reasons; therefore, they have a project of long-term integration in the social fabric of the region. There is a prevalence of women and young people, and second generations are a relevant phenomenon, since an important quota of the foreign population was born in this territory.
During the 00’s the amount of migrants has doubled in the provinces which are historically more involved in the phenomenon (Palermo, Catania, Messina, Ragusa and Trapani) and has tripled in the other ones (Agrigento, Siracusa, Enna and Caltanissetta). Consequently, their incidence on the total population has increased as well.


Francesco Paletti
Caritas di Pisa

Federico Russo
Università degli Studi di Siena

Referente per la provincia di Siena:
Raymond Siebetcheu
Università per Stranieri di Siena

During the last years, immigration to Tuscany has become such a strong social structural component, that the main challenge for this region currently consists in an integration process involving more than the occupational aspect alone.
During the years, beside the Asian communities (the province of Prato represents one of the great centres of attraction for the Chinese community in Italy), communities from Eastern Europe – in particular from countries which have recently joined the European Union – have also increased. At the same time there has been a decrease in migration flows from countries with a new “migration maturity”, such as Morocco and Philippines: today these communities mostly grow thanks to new births and family reunification.
Immigrants’ presence in Tuscany is extremely fractioned at a provincial level. Apart from Florence, which is the regional capital and hosts about one-third of the regional total, there is a significant foreign presence also in the above-mentioned province of Prato.
In the provinces of Arezzo, Pisa, Siena, Pistoia and Lucca there is an average degree of immigration, whereas immigrants are less numerous in the provinces of Livorno, Massa Carrara and Grosseto.

Trentino Alto Adige

For the Autonomous Province of Bolzano
Matthias Oberbacher
Accademia Cusano – Cusanus Akademie

Fernando Biague
Centro di Ricerca e Formazione sull’Intercultura

Salvatore Saltarelli
Fondazione Alex Langer

For the Autonomous Province of Trento
Serena Piovesan
CINFORMI – Centro Informativo per l’Immigrazione

Since 1972, this region is made up of two autonomous Provinces, therefore most of its regional jurisdiction is assigned to each of them.
However, the regional economic structure is balanced between the two provinces, and their immigration attractiveness is similar, despite a very different population composition from a linguistic and a cultural point of view: in the province of Bolzano, unlike that of Trento, there is a significant presence of Austrian and German citizens.
Furthermore, as regards irregular presence, Trentino Alto Adige has one of the lowest rates of irregularity in Italy.

The Autonomous Province of Bolzano
Starting from the mid ’90s, the migratory phenomenon in this province of Alto Adige gradually went on strengthening. Since then on, migration flows have never stopped increasing, to the extent that foreign resident population has more than doubled in the last six years. Today this has to be considered a structural phenomenon, due to its fundamental contribution.
Most of foreign population (about 60%) resides in the city of Bolzano. The significant presence of Austrian and German citizens in this autonomous province is connected with the high amount of foreigners holding an “Elective Residence” permit: this kind of residence permit is intended for those who plan to live in this area without the obligation to practice a profession. These migration flows are markedly different from those for work reasons involving the other Italian regions; because of this, a concentration of mature-aged people in the demographic structure of immigrants is not surprising.

The Autonomous Province of Trento
In comparison with the big Italian cities, only in recent times the autonomous province of Trento has experienced the arrival of foreign citizens: in fact the migratory phenomenon became relevant only since the ’90s, making the area of Trento the second and final destination of many immigrants already residing in other areas of Italy. Commuting is facilitated by the geographical proximity of Eastern Europe countries, from where most of immigrants come.
Despite the fact that the provincial economic structure is more balanced, compared to that of the nearby Bolzano, there are significant differences in the immigrants’ community – primarily because of the much lower amount of immigrants from Central Europe.
Foreign population is well distributed on the territory, in both urban and rural areas: this determines a small impact on the population and, on the contrary, creates the conditions for a good social integration.


Eleonora Bigi

Perugia and its province certainly play an important role in immigrants’ arrival and integration in Umbria. During the 00’s, in fact, resident foreigners continued growing and their concentration in this province reached the level of 8 out of 10 immigrants of the whole region; however, the highest increase rates (in proportion) have been recorded in the province of Terni, thus confirming the high level of entries in this territory too.
After all, the incidence of immigrants on the resident population of Umbria has sensibly increased; women’s incidence has also grown and reached the majority (53%) at the end of 2008, with a slight preponderance in the province of Terni.
In Umbria, a whopping 150 national groups are currently present, most of whom from the EU. Moreover, the most significant amount of resident foreigners is from Eastern Europe, and particularly from the Balkans.

Valle d’Aosta

William Bonapace

Valle d’Aosta has been a centre of attraction for foreign immigrants since the end of the ’80s.
The characteristics of local migration flows (which over the years have connected this region with the whole world) are not particularly different from the national ones: the percentage proportions of the various nationalities, in fact, reflect the Italian migration dynamics of the latest years.
Therefore, in the course of the years the particularities of this region, in particular its small demographic and administrative dimensions, have not prevented it from becoming a land of integration for migrants arriving to Italy.
Today the migratory phenomenon in Valle d’Aosta is clearly stable. In more than half of the total cases, residence permits applications are for work reasons, followed by family reasons.
It is also particularly interesting that, according to the most recent data, the irregularity rate of both resident and sojourning foreigners is one of the lowest in Italy.


Gianfranco Bonesso
Esperto delle migrazioni

Carlo Melegari

Quite significant migration flows towards Veneto started during the ’70s (although at a lesser extent), but only at the end of the ’80s such phenomenon became socially relevant.
All throughout the ’80s and ’90s this region experienced the arrival of migrants fleeing the political turmoil in the nearby former Yugoslavia (of them, women mainly found a job in the field of in-home assistance and men in the field of construction) as well as the presence of a relevant amount of foreign university students. The contemporaneous increase of natives deciding to continue the higher education makes presume that additional foreign workforce will have possibilities of integration in non-qualified sectors of the local labour market.
Currently, Veneto is among the very first Italian regions for amount of foreign residents, and this has made increase the incidence of resident immigrants on the overall regional population.
Foreigners living in Veneto are mostly settled in the provinces of Verona, Treviso and Vicenza, which on the whole host over 60% of regional immigrants and have the highest incidence of immigrants on the total population; on the other hand, their incidence in the provinces of Belluno and Rovigo is quite low.