There is no foreign “invasion.” A new report published by Italy’s statistical research body, Istat, on demographic indicators for 2017 belies the racist propaganda that has entered the mainstream ahead of the March 4 elections, thanks to the uncritical amplification by major television and other media.
There are 5,650,000 foreigners residing in Italy as of Jan. 1, accounting for 8.4 percent of the population. In 2017, the figure was 8.3 percent. The increase of 18,000 people represents a rate of 3.6 for every 1,000. Since 2016, there have been only modest levels of change in the number of foreign people, especially compared to the aughts.
The slowdown in the growth of the foreign population is due, the National Institute of Statistics explains, to the acquisition of Italian citizenship by 35,000 in 2006 and 202,000 in 2016. It’s a sign of a progressing, but still incomplete, integration that would coincide with a “mature phase of immigration,” Istat says. The data must also be weighed in light of the (unintentional) material offered to racist propaganda on the one hand and security on the other.