The civil registry office in Brusciano, Italy | Photo: ANSA/Ciro Fusco
The civil registry office in Brusciano, Italy | Photo: ANSA/Ciro Fusco

The overall number of foreigners who registered in Italy's civil registry in 2019 dropped by 7.3% on 2018 figures. Registrations by migrants from Africa decreased by 28%, according to the Italian statistics bureau ISTAT.

The overall number of foreign migrants who registered in Italy's civil registry decreased by 7.3% in 2019 to 265,000 people. A 28% drop was recorded in registered migrants from Africa.

The number of Italians who left the country rose by 4.5%: A total of 122,000 Italians emigrated, many of whom were well-educated young people, with nearly one-fourth who chose to go to the United Kingdom.

The figures were released in the most recent registry report by Italian statistics bureau ISTAT, published Wednesday.

Male and female migration

The population registered in the Italian registry in 2019 who came to Italy presented a slight gender imbalance in favour of men (51%). This, however, varies according to the citizenship of the migrants.

Gender of foreigners entering Italy

  • In general, migrants with a European passport were mainly women (57%)
  • 78% of Russians and 73% Ukrainians were female
  • The majority of African migrants were male (59%).
  • Considering individual countries, nearly all migrants from the Gambia and Mali were men (96%)
  • Moroccan migrants, on the other hand, were 52% female
  • Asian citizens were predominantly men (53%)
  • American migrants were predominantly female (54%)


  • The average age of foreign women migrants was 33 years compared to 29 years for men
  • More than half of those who registered for transfer from abroad were between the ages of 18 and 45 (63%), where the gender balance was essentially equal
  • In the age 45 and over category, there were more women (12%) than men (8%)

One in five chose Lombardy

With regards to territorial distribution, the ISTAT report said one in five foreign migrants chose the Lombardy region as their destination. "In 2019, the main destination region of foreign citizens registered from abroad, in absolute terms, is Lombardy. It alone welcomed 57,000 migrants (22% of the total). It was followed by Lazio (28,000 registrations), Emilia-Romagna (26,000), Veneto (25,000), Tuscany (23,000) and Piedmont (23,000)."

In the south, at least as a first residency, the regions of Campania, Sicily, Puglia and Calabria attracted 11% of the total. Milan, Rome, Turin, and Naples received 23% of the total number of entering foreigners.


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