Italy turns out to be a country of mass emigration afterward national reunification in the late 19th century. Between 1898 and 1914, the climax years of Italian Diaspora, about 750,000 Italians emigrated each year. Italian communities once flourish in the former African colonies of Eritrea (nearly 100,000 at the start of World War II), Somalia and Libya (150,000 Italians established in Libya, constituting about 18% of the total inhabitants). All of Libya's Italians were barred from the North African country in 1970.
In the decade after World War II, equal to 350,000 ethnic Italians left Yugoslavia. Big figures of people with full or important Italian descent are found in Brazil (25 million), Argentina (20 million), United States (17.8 million), France (5 million), Uruguay (1.5 million), Canada (1.4 million), Venezuela (0.9 Million) and Australia (0.8 Million).
Estimated foreign-born inhabitants by country of birth, 2006 figures. At the start of 2010 there were 4,279,000 foreign nationals inhabitant in Italy and registered with the authorities. This amounted to 7.1% of the country’s residents and represented a year-on-year boost of 388,000. These figures comprise more than half a million children born in Italy to overseas nationals—second generation immigrants are becoming an vital element in the demographic picture—but keep out foreign nationals who have afterward acquired Italian population; this applied to 53,696 populace in 2008. They also keep out illegal immigrants, the so-called clandestine whose numbers are hard to determine. In May 2008 The Boston Globe estimated of 670,000 for this group.
Since the growth of the European Union, the latest wave of migration has been from surrounding European nations, chiefly Eastern Europe, and ever more Asia, replacing North Africa as the main immigration area. Some 950,000 Romanians, approximately 10 percent of them being Romains, are formally registered as living in Italy, put back Albanians and Moroccans as the major ethnic minority group. The figure unregistered Romanians is hard to estimate, but the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network recommended that in 2007 that there might half been half a million or more.
As of 2009, the overseas born population origin of Italy was subdivided as follows: Europe (53.5%), Africa (22.3%), Asia (15.8%), the Americas (8.1%) and Oceania (0.06%). The sharing of foreign born population is mainly uneven in Italy: 87.3% of immigrants live in the northern and central parts of the country (the most economically developed areas), while only 12.8% live in the southern half of the peninsula.
Following is the current scenario of immigrants in Italy:
Italian - 93.52%
Romanian - 1.32%
North African -1.01%
Chinese - 0.28%
Ukrainian - 0.26%
Asian (non-Chinese) - 0.74%
Latin American - 0.50%
Sub-Saharan African -0.44%
Others - 1.19%