Foreign students are decreasing, the number of people born in Italy is increasing. More generally, job opportunities increase for foreigners, but not stability. The new XXXI Immigration Report 2022 of Caritas Italiana and Fondazione Migrantes, presented today, Friday 7 October, in Rome, takes a picture of this segment of the population.
In general, the foreign population residing in Italy has started to grow again: the data as of January 1, 2022 speak of 5,193,669 foreign citizens legally resident, a figure that marks a recovery from last year. In the framework of the first 5 regions of residence, the primacy of Lombardy is confirmed, followed by Lazio, Emilia-Romagna and Veneto, while Tuscany surpasses Piedmont in 5th place. The nationality framework remains substantially unchanged: among the residents Romanians prevail (about 1,080,000 citizens, 20.8% of the total), followed, in order, by Albanians (8.4%), Moroccans (8.3 %), Chinese (6.4%) and Ukrainians (4.6%).
Multiple holders of residence permits
Foreign citizens holding residence permits have also increased (as of January 1, 2022, they numbered 3,921,125, while in 2021 they were 3.3 million), as well as new residence permits issued in the year: during 2021 there were 275 thousand, + 159% compared to 2020 (105,700); in particular, there was a surge in work reasons, certainly as a result of the amnesty procedure launched by the government in 2020. Citizenship measures also marked a certain growth: there were 118,000 in 2020, or + 4% from ‘last year
Education: foreign students are decreasing
A novelty of the school year 2020/2021 is the decrease in the number of pupils with non-Italian citizenship: 865,388 in total, with a decrease of over 11 thousand units compared to the previous year (-1.3%). It is the first time this has happened since 1983/1984, the school year from which reliable statistical surveys have been made. The percentage incidence of pupils with non-Italian citizenship on the total of the school population remains unchanged (10.3%) because the total number of pupils has decreased, or the pupils of Italian citizenship have also decreased. Lombardy is confirmed as the region with the highest number of pupils with non-Italian citizenship (220,771), while Emilia-Romagna is the one with the highest percentage (17.1% of the total regional school population). The provinces of Prato (28.0% of the total), Piacenza (23.8%), Parma (19.7%), Cremona (19.3%), Mantua (19.1%) and Asti (18.8%).
The number of births in Italy is increasing
The data reported in the report highlights the constant growth of the new generations, i.e. pupils with non-Italian citizenship born in Italy: this is 66.7% of students from migrant backgrounds, one percentage point more than in 2019/2020 . Although improving compared to the past, the school delay is still a major obstacle for the integration of pupils with non-Italian citizenship in the Italian education system, especially as pupils with non-Italian citizenship continue to remain those at the highest risk of dropping out. If we look at the historical series 2010 / 2011-2020 / 2021, there is a 62% growth in foreign students enrolled in Italian universities. Predominantly female, they followed a growth trend in the reference decade, albeit slight, against a decrease in the number of total enrollments recorded in the academic years between 2011/2012 and 2015/2016. The regions with the highest number of foreign students in the academic year 2020/2021 are Lombardy, Lazio, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont, while the main countries of origin are Romania (11.0%), Albania (8.7%) and China (8.1%). These data show that the origins and regional distribution of foreign university students are closely linked to the statistics relating to the presence of foreign citizens residing in Italy. It can therefore be deduced that these are an important part of “foreign students” who have been living in Italy for some time, where they have obtained a secondary school diploma, and not real foreign students.