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Italian populations living abroad 2018, by country of residence

In 2018, Argentina had the largest Italian population outside of Italy with almost one million Italians residing in the South American country. This Italian community represented a fifth of all Italians residing outside the country. Moreover, the second and third biggest groups lived in European countries: Germany hosted 807 thousand Italians, while Switzerland 640 thousand. In total, the share of Italians living in an EU country amounted to 3.1 percent.

Increasing tendency to emigrate

  Between 2006 and 2018, the number of Italians living abroad constantly increased. As of 2018, over five million Italians lived outside their homeland. Data related to the educational level of the emigrated population show that one third of the academics decided to leave the country. In 2017, 32.5 percent of Italians holding a university degree did not reside in Italy.

Better jobs and lower taxes

  When asked about the reasons why leaving their country, the opportunity to pay lower taxes and have better jobs played an important role. Indeed, about 43 percent of Italians declared to be ready to leave Italy for a place where taxes were lower. In addition, roughly 37 percent could leave Italy for better working chances.

Fifteen largest Italian populations living abroad in 2018, by country of residence

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Release date

July 2019



Survey time period


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Statistics on "Emigration of Italians"

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