Potential reasons to leave Italy for another country 2017

Almost 43 percent of Italian respondents would move to another country in which the taxes were lower than in Italy. In a survey conducted in 2017, this was the most popular factor Italians indicated as a reason to leave their country. Furthermore, the possibility to find a better job, or a job at all, was a good reason for 36.8 percent of respondents. However, better services and respect of rules were motives to move out of Italy for more than 20 percent of interviewees.

Where do Italians emigrate?

  As of January 2019, the largest share of Italians living abroad were found in Argentina. In this South American state, lived 15.9 percent of all emigrated Italians. Furthermore, Germany was the second country who housed the most Italian emigrants, followed by Brazil and Switzerland. In the last years the destination countries of Italian emigrants slightly changed. Italians who moved abroad in 2018 preferred the United Kingdom, while Argentina only ranked eighth.

A history of emigration to South America

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Argentina was one of the main destinations for Italian emigrants. For instance, in 1913, 111.5 thousand Italians moved to this South American country. Nowadays, Argentina has a nationality law which grants citizenship according to both systems jus soli and jus sanguinis. Thus, many Italians living in Argentina could be the second or third generations of Italian migrants who moved there in the last century. Brazil was also one of the most common destinations for Italian emigrants between the 19th and 20th centuries. The number of Italians who emigrated to Brazil peaked in 1891, where 108.4 thousand emigrants arrived from Italy.

For which reasons would you be ready to leave Italy to move to another country?

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Release date

July 2017



Survey time period

July 21-24, 2017

Number of respondents

800 respondents

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI)

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Statistics on "Emigration of Italians"

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