This article is about the demographic features of the population of Italy, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.
At the beginning of year 2017, Italy had an estimated population of 60.4 million. Its population density, at 201 inhabitants per square kilometre (520/sq mi), is higher than that of most Western European countries. However, the distribution of the population is widely uneven; the most densely populated areas are the Po Valley (that accounts for almost half of the national population) in northern Italy and the metropolitan areas of Rome and Naples in central and southern Italy, while other vast areas are very sparsely populated, like the plateaus of Basilicata, the Alps and Apennines highlands, and the island of Sardinia.
The population of the country almost doubled during the twentieth century, but the pattern of growth was extremely uneven due to large-scale internal migration from the rural South to the industrial cities of the North, a phenomenon which happened as a consequence of the Italian economic miracle of the 1950-60's. In addition, after centuries of net emigration, from the 1980's Italy has experienced large-scale immigration for the first time in modern history. According to the Italian government, there were an estimated 5,000,073 foreign nationals resident in Italy.
High fertility and birth rates persisted until the 1970's, after which they started to dramatically decline, leading to rapid population aging. At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, one in five Italians was over 65 years old. However, as a result of the massive immigration of the last two decades, Italy has, in recent years, experienced a significant growth in birth rates. The total fertility rate has also climbed from an all-time low of 1.18 children per woman in 1995 to 1.41 in 2008.
Since the 1984 Lateran Treaty agreement, Italy has no official religion. However, it recognizes the role the Catholic Church plays in Italian society. 87.8% of the population identify as Catholic, 5.8% as non-believers or atheists, 2.6% as Muslims, and 3.8% adhere to other religions.
70.4% of Italian population is classified as urban, a relatively low figure among developed countries. During the last two decades, Italy underwent a devolution process, that eventually led to the creation of administrative metropolitan areas, in order to give major cities and their metropolitan areas a provincial status (somehow similar to PRC's direct-controlled municipality).
Italy used to be a country of mass emigration from the late 19th century until the 1970's. Between 1898 and 1914, the peak years of Italian diaspora, approximately 750,000 Italians emigrated each year. Italian communities once thrived in the former African colonies of Eritrea (nearly 100,000 at the beginning of World War II), Somalia and Libya (150,000 Italians settled in Libya, constituting about 18% of the total population). All of Libya's Italians were expelled from the North African country in 1970. In addition, after the annexation of Istria in 1945, up to 350,000 ethnic Italians left Titoist Yugoslavia. Today, large numbers of people with full or significant Italian ancestry are found in Brazil (25 million), Argentina (20 million), US (17.8 million), France (5 million), Venezuela (2 million), Uruguay (1.5 million), Canada (1.4 million), and Australia (800,000).
As a result of the profound economic and social changes induced by postwar industrialization, including low birth rates, an aging population and thus a shrinking workforce, during the 1980's Italy became to attract rising flows of foreign immigrants. The present-day figure of about 5 million foreign residents, that make up some 9% of the total population, include 97,000 children born in Italy to foreign nationals (19% of total births in Italy) in 2014, but exclude foreign nationals who have subsequently acquired Italian nationality; this applied to 106,000 people in 2014. The official figures also exclude illegal immigrants, the so-called clandestini, whose numbers are very difficult to determine. In May 2008 The Boston Globe quoted an estimate of 670,000 for this group. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and more recently, the 2004 and 2007 enlargements of the European Union, the main waves of migration came from the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe (especially Romania, Albania, Ukraine and Poland). The second most important area of immigration to Italy has always been the neighbouring North Africa (in particular, Morocco, Egypt and Tunisia), with soaring arrivals as a consequence of the Arab Spring. Furthermore, in recent years, growing migration fluxes from the Far East (notably, China and the Philippines) and Latin America (Ecuador, Peru) have been recorded. Currently, circa one million Romanians (around one tenth of them being Roma) are officially registered as living in Italy, representing thus the most important individual country of origin, followed by Albanians and Moroccans with about 500,000 people each. The number of unregistered Romanians is difficult to estimate, but the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network suggested that in 2007 that there might have been half a million or more.[note 1] Overall, at the end of the 2000s the foreign born population of Italy was from: Europe (54%), Africa (22%), Asia (16%), the Americas (8%) and Oceania (0.06%). The distribution of immigrants is largely uneven in Italy: 84.9% of immigrants live in the northern and central parts of the country (the most economically developed areas), while only 15.1% live in the southern half of the peninsula.
There is significant cultural, linguistic, genetic, historical political diversity within the "Italian" ethnicity, enough to constitute several distinct ethnicities by some standards. When Italy unified in 1861, only 3% of the population spoke Italian, even though an estimated 90% of Italians speak Italian as their L1 nowadays. Groups like Friulians, Ladins, Sardinians, South Tyroleans, and Sicilians are examples of distinct peoples native to Italy.
|North Africa (Maghrebis)||646,624||1.07%|
|China (Han Chinese)||265,820||0.28%|
|Life expectancy in Italy||29.8||29.7||31.6||31.8||31.3||33.6||34.9||34.3||34.0||32.8|
|Life expectancy in Italy||34.2||34.3||35.2||36.6||36.9||35.1||36.0||37.0||39.1||38.5|
|Life expectancy in Italy||38.5||38.9||39.8||40.0||39.6||40.7||43.3||42.3||43.7||41.7|
|Life expectancy in Italy||43.5||43.0||43.1||44.4||43.9||45.1||45.4||43.1||44.6||46.7|
|Life expectancy in Italy||44.7||48.9||48.4||49.9||42.5||39.6||38.1||25.8||42.3||45.5|
|Life expectancy in Italy||49.2||50.0||51.4||51.5||51.3||50.9||52.5||52.6||52.3||55.2|
|Life expectancy in Italy||54.8||54.7||56.3||56.8||56.2||56.7||55.5||56.1||57.6||57.0|
|Life expectancy in Italy||54.7||52.5||49.4||52.4||54.9||59.0||61.2||63.4||64.1||65.8|
|Period||Life expectancy in
|Period||Life expectancy in|
Source: UN World Population Prospects
|Total Fertility Rate in Italy||5.47||5.42||5.38||5.33||5.29||5.24||5.19||5.15||5.1||5.06||5.01|
|Total Fertility Rate in Italy||4.96||4.93||4.9||4.9||4.91||4.91||4.92||4.92||4.91||4.9|
|Total Fertility Rate in Italy||4.9||4.89||4.88||4.89||4.9||4.9||4.91||4.92||4.95||4.98|
|Total Fertility Rate in Italy||5||5.03||5.06||5.05||5.04||5.04||5.03||5.02||4.98||4.95|
|Total Fertility Rate in Italy||4.91||4.88||4.84||4.79||4.74||4.69||4.64||4.59||4.56|
|Average population||Live births||Deaths||Natural change||Crude birth rate (per 1,000)||Crude death rate (per 1,000)||Natural change (per 1,000)||Total Fertility Rates[fn 1]|
|2009||59,000 000||568,857||591 663||-22,806||9.5||9.8||-0.3||1.45|
Demographic statistics according to the World Population Review in 2019.
Christian 80% (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic with very small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestants), Muslim (about 800,000 to 1 million), atheist and agnostic 20%
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Italy's official language is Italian. Ethnologue has estimated that there are about 55 million speakers of the language in Italy and a further 6.7 million outside of the country, primarily in the neighboring countries and in the Italian diaspora worldwide.
Italian, adopted by the state after the unification of Italy, is based on the Florentine variety of Tuscan and is somewhat intermediate between the Italo-Dalmatian languages and the Gallo-Romance languages. Its development was also influenced by the Germanic languages of the post-Roman invaders.
Italy is linguistically diverse, taking also into consideration the actual varieties of Italian specific to each cultural region. However, the establishment of a national education system has led to decrease in the use of the various languages spoken across the country. Standardisation was further expanded in the 1950s and 1960s, thanks to economic growth and the rise of mass media and television, since the state broadcaster RAI helped to set a standard Italian.
As a way to distance itself from the Italianization policies promoted because of nationalism, Italy recognized twelve languages as the Country's "historical language minorities", which are promoted alongside Italian in their respective territories. French is co-official in the Aosta Valley, although Franco-Provencal is more commonly spoken there. German has the same status in the province of South Tyrol as, in some parts of that province and in parts of the neighbouring Trentino, does Ladin. Slovene and Friulian are officially recognised in the provinces of Trieste, Gorizia and Udine in Venezia Giulia. The Sardinian language is recognized as co-official in Sardinia.
In these regions official documents are either bilingual (trilingual in Ladin communities), or available upon request in the co-official language. Traffic signs are also multilingual, except in the Valle d’Aosta where French toponyms are generally used, with the exception of Aosta itself, which has retained its Latin form in Italian as well as English. Attempts to Italianize them, especially during the Fascist period, have been formally abandoned. Education is possible in minority languages where such schools are operating.
UNESCO and other authories recognize many other endangered languages, which are not protected by Italian government: Piedmontese, Venetian, Ligurian, Lombard, Emilian-Romagnolo, Neapolitan and Sicilian.
Roman Catholicism is by far the largest religion in the country, although the Catholic Church is no longer officially the state religion. In 2006, 87.8% of Italy's population self-identified as Roman Catholic, although only about one-third of these described themselves as active members (36.8%). In 2016, 71.1% of italian citizens self-identified as Roman Catholic, .
Most Italians believe in God, or a form of a spiritual life force. According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005: 74% of Italian citizens responded that 'they believe there is a God', 16% answered that 'they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force' and 6% answered that 'they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force'. There are no data collected through census.
The Italian Catholic Church is part of the global Roman Catholic Church, under the leadership of the Pope, curia in Rome, and the Conference of Italian Bishops. In addition to Italy, two other sovereign nations are included in Italian-based dioceses, San Marino and Vatican City. There are 225 dioceses in the Italian Catholic Church, see further in this article and in the article List of the Roman Catholic dioceses in Italy. Even though by law Vatican City is not part of Italy, it is in Rome, and along with Latin, Italian is the most spoken and second language of the Roman Curia.
Italy has a rich Catholic culture, especially as numerous Catholic saints, martyrs and popes were Italian themselves. Roman Catholic art in Italy especially flourished during the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque periods, with numerous Italian artists, such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Caravaggio, Fra Angelico, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Sandro Botticelli, Tintoretto, Titian, Raphael and Giotto. Roman Catholic architecture in Italy is equally as rich and impressive, with churches, basilicas and cathedrals such as St Peter's Basilica, Florence Cathedral and St Mark's Basilica. Roman Catholicism is the largest religion and denomination in Italy, with around 71.1% of Italians considering themselves Catholic. Italy is also home to the greatest number of cardinals in the world, and is the country with the greatest number of Roman Catholic churches per capita.
In the 20th century, Jehovah's Witnesses, Pentecostalism, non-denominational Evangelicalism, and Mormonism were the fastest-growing Protestant churches. Immigration from Western, Central, and Eastern Africa at the beginning of the 21st century has increased the size of Baptist, Anglican, Pentecostal and Evangelical communities in Italy, while immigration from Eastern Europe has produced large Eastern Orthodox communities.
In 2006, Protestants made up 2.1% of Italy's population, and members of Eastern Orthodox churches comprised 1.2% or more than 700,000 Eastern Orthodox Christians including 180,000 Greek Orthodox, 550,000 Pentecostals and Evangelists (0.8%), of whom 400,000 are members of the Assemblies of God, about 250,000 are Jehovah's Witnesses (0.4%), 30,000 Waldensians, 25,000 Seventh-day Adventists, 22,000 Mormons, 15,000 Baptists (plus some 5,000 Free Baptists), 7,000 Lutherans, 4,000 Methodists (affiliated with the Waldensian Church).
The longest-established religious faith in Italy is Judaism, Jews having been present in Ancient Rome before the birth of Christ. Italy has seen many influential Italian-Jews, such as Luigi Luzzatti, who took office in 1910, Ernesto Nathan served as mayor of Rome from 1907 to 1913 and Shabbethai Donnolo (died 982). During the Holocaust, Italy took in many Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. However, with the creation of the Nazi-backed puppet Italian Social Republic, about 15% of 48,000 Italian Jews were killed. This, together with the emigration that preceded and followed the Second World War, has left only a small community of around 45,000 Jews in Italy today.
Due to immigration from around the world, there has been an increase in non-Christian religions. As of 2009, there were 1.0 million Muslims in Italy forming 1.6 percent of population; independent estimates put the Islamic population in Italy anywhere from 0.8 million to 1.5 million. Only 50,000 Italian Muslims hold Italian citizenship.
There are more than 200,000 followers of faith originating in the Indian subcontinent, including some 70,000 Sikhs with 22 gurdwaras across the country, 70,000 Hindus, and 50,000 Buddhists. There are an estimated some 4,900 Bahá'ís in Italy in 2005.
2011 EU census, or EU population and housing census 2011 was an EU-wide census in 2011 in all EU member states.Demographic history
Demographic history is the reconstructed record of human population in the past. Given the lack of population records prior to the 1950s, there are many gaps in our record of demographic history. Historical demographers must make do with estimates. models and extrapolations. For the methodology, see Historical demographyHinduism in Italy
Hinduism is practised by 0.3% of the people in Italy.lt is practised by 0.1% of the Italian citizens and 2.9% of the immigrant population. It is also the fastest growing religion in Italy.
There are approximately 177,200 Hindus in Italy .Of which 30,392 are Italian citizens and 146,800 are foreign residents .Unione Induista Italia (UII) (Italian Hindu Union) exists in Italy led by Swami Yogananda Giri.Hindus
Hindus (pronunciation ) are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism. Historically, the term has also been used as a geographical, cultural, and later religious identifier for people living in the Hind (Indian subcontinent).The historical meaning of the term Hindu has evolved with time. Starting with the Persian and Greek references to the land of the Indus in the 1st millennium BCE through the texts of the medieval era, the term Hindu implied a geographic, ethnic or cultural identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent around or beyond the Sindhu (Indus) river. By the 16th century, the term began to refer to residents of the subcontinent who were not Turkic or Muslims.The historical development of Hindu self-identity within the local South Asian population, in a religious or cultural sense, is unclear. Competing theories state that Hindu identity developed in the British colonial era, or that it may have developed post-8th century CE after the Islamic invasion and medieval Hindu-Muslim wars. A sense of Hindu identity and the term Hindu appears in some texts dated between the 13th and 18th century in Sanskrit and regional languages. The 14th- and 18th-century Indian poets such as Vidyapati, Kabir and Eknath used the phrase Hindu dharma (Hinduism) and contrasted it with Turaka dharma (Islam). The Christian friar Sebastiao Manrique used the term 'Hindu' in religious context in 1649. In the 18th century, the European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus, in contrast to Mohamedans for Mughals and Arabs following Islam. By the mid-19th century, colonial orientalist texts further distinguished Hindus from Buddhists, Sikhs and Jains, but the colonial laws continued to consider all of them to be within the scope of the term Hindu until about mid-20th century. Scholars state that the custom of distinguishing between Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs is a modern phenomenon. Hindoo is an archaic spelling variant, whose use today may be considered derogatory.At more than 1.03 billion, Hindus are the world's third largest group after Christians and Muslims. The vast majority of Hindus, approximately 966 million, live in India, according to India's 2011 census. After India, the next 9 countries with the largest Hindu populations are, in decreasing order: Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, United States, Malaysia, United Kingdom and Myanmar. These together accounted for 99% of the world's Hindu population, and the remaining nations of the world together had about 6 million Hindus in 2010.Immigration to Italy
As of 1 January 2017, there were 5,047,028 foreign nationals resident in Italy. This amounted to 8.2% of the country's population and represented an increase of 92,352 over the previous year. These figures include children born in Italy to foreign nationals (who were 75,067 in 2014; 14.9% of total births in Italy), but exclude foreign nationals who have subsequently acquired Italian nationality; this applied to 129,887 people in 2014. Around 6,200,000 people residing in Italy have an immigration background (around the 10% of the total Italian population). They also exclude illegal immigrants whose numbers are difficult to determine. In May 2008, The Boston Globe quoted an estimate of 670,000 for this group. The distribution of foreign born population is largely uneven in Italy: 59.5% of immigrants live in the northern part of the country (the most economically developed area), 25.4% in the central one, while only 15.1% live in the southern regions. The children born in Italy to foreign mothers were 102,000 in 2012, 99,000 in 2013 and 97,000 in 2014.Since the expansion of the European Union, the most recent wave of migration has been from surrounding European states, particularly Eastern Europe, and increasingly Asia, replacing North Africa as the major immigration area. About a million Romanians, around 10% of them being Roma, are officially registered as living in Italy. As of 2013, the foreign born population origin was subdivided as follows: Europe (50.8%), Africa (22.1%), Asia (18.8%), America (8.3%), and Oceania (0.1%).Index of Italy-related articles
The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to Italy.Italian National Institute of Statistics
The Italian National Institute of Statistics (Italian: Istituto Nazionale di Statistica; Istat) is the main producer of official statistics in Italy. Its activities include the census of population, economic censuses and a number of social, economic and environmental surveys and analyses. Istat is by far the largest producer of statistical information in Italy, and is an active member of the European Statistical System, coordinated by Eurostat.
Its publications are released under creative commons "Attribution" (CC BY) license.Italian society of economics demography and statistics
The Italian society of economics demography and statistics (SIEDS, Italian: Società italiana di economia demografia e statistica) is a learned society aiming to further economic, demographic, and statistical studies and to establish active co-operation among professionals of the mentioned subjects in the field of social sciences and human behaviour. The society pursues this aim by:
organising seminars, congresses, or scientific meetings for analysing and discussing problems concerning its activity;
implementing scientific surveys, enquires and researches and promoting, training activities (courses, seminars, etc.);
publishing the Rivista italiana di economia demografia e statistica, SIEDS News, a series of studies and monographs on specific items concerning the scientific interest of the society, as well as the proceedings of its congresses and seminars.Italians
The Italians (Italian: Italiani [itaˈljaːni]) are a Romance ethnic group and nation native to the Italian peninsula and its neighbouring insular territories. Most Italians share a common culture, history, ancestry or language. Legally, all Italian nationals are citizens of the Italian Republic, regardless of ancestry or nation of residence (in effect, however, Italian nationality is largely based on jus sanguinis) and may be distinguished from people of Italian descent without Italian citizenship and from ethnic Italians living in territories adjacent to the Italian Peninsula without Italian citizenship. The majority of Italian nationals are speakers of Italian, or a regional variety thereof. However, many of them also speak another regional or minority language native to Italy; although there is disagreement on the total number, according to UNESCO there are approximately 30 languages native to Italy (often misleadingly referred to as "Italian dialects").In 2017, in addition to about 55 million Italians in Italy (91% of the Italian national population), Italian-speaking autonomous groups are found in neighbouring nations: almost a quarter million are in Switzerland, a large population is in France, the entire population of San Marino, and there are smaller groups in Slovenia and Croatia, primarily in Istria (Istrian Italians) and Dalmatia (Dalmatian Italians). Because of the wide-ranging diaspora, about 5 million Italian citizens and nearly 80 million people of full or partial Italian ancestry live outside their own homeland, which include the 62.5% of Argentina's population (Italian Argentines), 1/3 of Uruguayans (Italian Uruguayans), 40% of Paraguayans (Italian Paraguayans), 15% of Brazilians (Italian Brazilians, the largest Italian community outside Italy), and people in other parts of Europe bordering Italy, the Americas (such as Italian Americans, Italian Canadians and Italo-Venezuelans among others), Australasia (Italian Australians and Italian New Zealanders), and the Middle East.
Italians have greatly influenced and contributed to diverse fields, notably the arts and music, science and technology, fashion, cuisine, sports, jurisprudence, banking and business both abroad and worldwide. Furthermore, Italian people are generally known for their localism, both regionalist and municipalist.Italy in the Middle Ages
The history of the Italian peninsula during the medieval period can be roughly defined as the time between the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the Italian Renaissance.
Late Antiquity in Italy lingered on into the 7th century under the Ostrogothic Kingdom and the Byzantine Empire under the Justinian dynasty, the Byzantine Papacy until the mid 8th century.
The "Middle Ages" proper begin as the Byzantine Empire was weakening under the pressure of the Muslim conquests, and the Exarchate of Ravenna finally fell under Lombard rule in 751. Lombard rule ended with the invasion of Charlemagne in 773, who established the Kingdom of Italy and the Papal States. This set the precedent for the main political conflict in Italy over the following centuries, between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor, culminating with conflict between Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV and the latter's "Walk to Canossa" in 1077.
The term "Middle Ages" itself ultimately derives from the description of the period of "obscurity" in Italian history during the 9th to 11th centuries, the saeculum obscurum or "Dark Age" of the Roman papacy as seen from the perspective of the 14th to 15th century Italian Humanists.
In the 11th century began a political development unique to Italy, the transformation of medieval communes into powerful city states modelled on ancient Roman Republicanism.
The republics of Venice, Florence, Genoa, Pisa, among others, rose to great political power and paved the way for the Italian Renaissance and ultimately the "European miracle", the resurgence of Western civilization from comparative obscurity in the Early Modern period. On the other hand, the Italian city states were in a state of constant warfare, adding to and overlapping with the persistent conflict between the Pope and the Holy Roman Emperor.
Each city aligned itself with one faction or the other, yet was divided internally between the two warring parties, Guelfs (loyal to the Pope) and Ghibellines (loyal to the Emperor). Since the 13th century, these wars had increasingly been fought by mercenaries, giving rise to the Italian institution of condottieri and the Swiss mercenary culture.
After the three decades of wars in Lombardy between the Duchy of Milan and the Republic of Venice, there was eventually a balance of power between five emerging powerful states, which at the Peace of Lodi formed the so-called Italic League, bringing relative calm for the region for the first time in centuries.
These five powers were the maritime republics of Venice and Florence, whose naval powers dominated the east and west coast of the peninsula, respectively, the territorial powers of Milan and the Papal States, dominating the northern and central parts of Italy, respectively, and the Kingdom of Naples in the south.
The precarious balance between these powers came to an end in 1494 as the duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza sought the aid of Charles VIII of France against Venice, triggering the Italian War of 1494–98. As a result, Italy became a battleground of the great European powers for the next sixty years, finally culminating in the Italian War of 1551–59, which concluded with Habsburg Spain as the dominant power in Italy. The House of Habsburg would control Italy for the duration of the early modern period, until Napoleon's invasion of Italy in 1796.Outline of Italy
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Italy:
Italy is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe, located primarily upon the Italian Peninsula. It is where Ancient Rome originated as a small agricultural community about the 8th century BC, which spread over the course of centuries into the colossal Roman empire, encompassing the whole Mediterranean Sea and merging the Ancient Greek and Roman cultures into one civilization. This civilization was so influential that parts of it survive in modern law, administration, philosophy and arts, providing the groundwork that the Western world is based upon.Tamils in Italy
Tamils in Italy are people of ethnic Tamil ancestry who reside in Italy. Around 25,000 Tamils from both Sri Lanka and India are estimated to be living in Italy.
|Historical minority communities|
See Also: Immigration to Italy Template
|States with limited|