Immigration is a very important and special issue in Italy for several reasons. For many years, the emigration route of Africans, to the EU had been through Spain.
But when Spain strengthened its border security, the route shifted, and most migrants entered from Libya into Italy. Enlarging EU had also big impact on Italy, as big wave of Romanian and Albanian immigrants entered Italy, leaving beside number of Moroccans what was the largest immigration group. Table 2 Source: ISTAT-Italian National Institute OF Statistics. From 1970 until today, the foreign citizens with regular residence permits in Italy have increased tenfold, and the rhythm of growth seems to be unstoppable. At present, according to the yearly survey carried out by the ISMU foundation, the foreigners in Italy are around 5,3 million, of whom 500,000 not (or not yet) included in the municipal registers and around 550,000 irregular immigrants; regular residents are 4 million and 253,000, at 1st of January 2010 (Fondazione ISMU, 2010). A noteworthy feature is that, contrary to northern European countries which demanded workforce from abroad to sustain their economic growth, the phenomenon of immigration in Italy was completely unplanned and followed different paths. Most importantly, Italy differentiates itself from other European countries with respect to the origin of immigrations flows, given that countries like Britain, France, and Spain, consistently attracted steady flows from former colonies, while in Italy immigration flows originated from many heterogeneous countries, creating a fragmentation of the foreign communities (Rusconi, 2010).
In addition to this, the composition of the immigrant population changed remarkably through time: during the 1990s, the majority of foreign residents came from North Africa (most notably Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal) and from the Philippines (most of who were women employed in domestic works). Then, the collapse of the Soviet Block and former Yugoslavia gave rise to consistent flows of people from eastern and south-eastern European countries that have grown progressively in the 2000s and finally outnumbered the presence of North Africans and Asians (Rusconi, 2010). Albanians and Romanians became the most numerous groups in late 2000s, but also migrants from Ukraine and Moldavia have shown consistent and growing flows toward Italy. South and North Italy Historical overview Italy’s particular divide comes from thousands of years of different rulers. The south was ruled by the Greek, Arabs and Spanish, while the North was ruled by the Gauls, French and Germanic tribes. Each was profoundly influenced by its rulers. Even today, Southern Italy is more similar to Greece than it is to Northern Italy.
Northerners call the South Africa. Southerners call the North Germany. Economic overview Economic reasons are one of the major reasons having different results, why in one part of Italy it can be complementary and in another it can have substitutional effect. For example, in figure below, we can see how real GDP per Capita is significantly different