Rome, Oct 6 (IANS/AKI) Over 4.8 million Italians are now living abroad amid a growing “brain drain” of younger people who are leaving behind poor prospects in their homeland, a new report on Thursday showed.
As of January 1 this year, a total 4,811,163 Italians were registered as resident outside their homeland, according to the report presented in Rome by the Italian Bishops’ Conference’s Migrantes Foundation.
And between January 1 and December 31 last year, 107,529 Italians went abroad, a 6.2 percent increase from 2014, the “Italians around the World” report showed.
Among Italians who emigrated last year, most went to other European countries and the largest group was aged between 18 and 34 (36.7 per cent) followed by 35-49 year-olds (25.8 per cent).
The report described the rise in emigration as a “brain drain” caused by high unemployment and low salaries among the ‘millennial’ generation, who also have the highest average education levels.
While southern Italians have traditionally accounted for the majority of those leaving the country, the report showed a sharp increase in emigration from northern Italy in recent years.
Germany was the country where the biggest share of Italians decided to start a new life (16,568), only slightly more than the UK (16,503), followed by Switzerland and France, according to the report.