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Young Italians in European countries: social and economic perspective

Raffaele Ferrara, Gerardo Gallo et Armando Montanari

Résumés

Au 1er janvier 2015, le nombre de jeunes Italiens âgés de 15 à 34 ans résidant dans les pays de l’UE et de l’AELE s’élevait à 758 000. Ce chiffre a été obtenu auprès du registre consulaire officiel, qui regroupe des dossiers administratifs sur les Italiens résidant à l’étranger. Les archives présentent une qualité statistique élevée résultant de l’application de la loi n°459 du 27.12.2001 relative au droit de vote des citoyens italiens résidant à l’étranger. Nous avons analysé les données relatives aux jeunes Italiens résidant dans les pays de l’UE et de l’AELE. La plupart de ces jeunes vivent en Allemagne, en Suisse, en France, en Belgique et au Royaume-Uni. Un très fort pourcentage de ceux-ci (près de 80 %) sont nés à l’étranger. La nature spécifique de la source de données permet de mesurer des variables qui ne sont pas toujours disponibles, telles que les régions d’origine italienne, le sexe, le type d’activité exercée et les liens familiaux. Nous avons utilisé des modèles de régression logistique binaire pour analyser les flux migratoires existant entre des zones d’origine spécifiques en Italie et des pays comptant le plus grand nombre de jeunes émigrants italiens (Allemagne et Suisse, France et Royaume-Uni, Espagne et Belgique).

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Acknowledgements: research work leading to this paper has been conducted within the YMOBILITY (Youth Mobility: maximizing opportunities for individuals, labour markets and regions in Europe) research project funded by the European Commission, Horizon 2020 Programme 2014-2020 under Grant Agreement No. 649491.

Introduction

1Migratory phenomena have always attracted the attention of social science researchers. This has been so since the early stages of industrial development, due to the potential of the migratory phenomenon for re-balancing the major economic and social changes going on in single regions and single states. Over the past few decades a situation that initially evolved slowly has gradually accelerated during the rapid transformation from industrial society to post-modern society, and to a modern-day society that has been defined as “liquid”. The phenomenon is now so complex and multi-faceted that the term “migration” has been replaced with “human mobility”. In the past the former term indicated a well-defined phenomenon as regards scope, objectives and direction. Nowadays we need to acknowledge that populations view movement as a leading priority. However researchers are unable to precisely define the underlying reasons, and therefore the directions and objectives, of such mobility (Montanari and Staniscia, 2016). The mobility of youngsters has been considered within the framework of the variables of global mobility, as the youth mobility was not viewed as a phenomenon of specific relevance. The situation changed with the onset of the global economic crisis (2007-2014), the intensity, duration and virulence of which was the cause of not inconsiderable alarm among the general public, especially in countries in southern Europe: Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain. A group of countries sometimes referred to collectively as PIGS, no doubt a derogatory term. It became evident that the use of human capital would be essential for quickly overcoming the crisis. The consolidation of human capital resources is based on the presence of an enabling context, thus a climate that is conducive to the development of talent. Once talent is nurtured, it is necessary to preserve it, and if possible allow it to grow. A key element for assessing the competitive capacity of single countries is average skills (labour and vocational skills) and high-level skills (global knowledge skills). High-level skills are those possessed by knowledge workers in professional, managerial or leadership roles, requiring specific traits, such as creativity and the ability to solve problems. Being able to attract young talent means thinking about and ensuring future development and wellbeing. This ability presupposes healthy international mobility, with a substantial balance of flows in both directions. An essential factor is that of ensuring that youngsters who have gained experience abroad should then return to the country of origin, or that foreign youngsters deciding to come to Italy to train and study should stay in Italy. The concepts expressed are sound in theory, but not easy to apply in practice, since notwithstanding the quantity and quality of studies conducted, the phenomenon of young emigrants is still full of unknowns. Available quantitative data are approximative, since they point to a situation that is evolving over time more quickly than the time needed to collect and process statistical data. Qualitative analyses are prone to shortcomings, since individuals tend to act according to a logic that is difficult to frame. In particular, youngsters have made use of the opportunity to move freely from one EU country to another, without having to register, and without leaving administrative traces, with the aim of moving quickly within another country or of returning to the country of origin. The reasons for such movements may often be rational and objective, but more often perhaps are driven by mindsets that are difficult to classify. These are perhaps the most evident signs of a united Europe, whose youngest citizens, the adults of tomorrow, will be able to follow new paths of development and develop new cultural outlooks.

2It is thus necessary to make the most of available data, which are often collected for reasons that are different from normal institutional needs. It is well known that analyses undertaken on several levels in order to examine potentially relevant factors are the best way of ensuring a fuller understanding of the phenomenon under review. This study is an integral part of the European project HORIZON2020 – YMOBILITY, but differs slightly in that it develops the use of data not available for other EU countries. Thus this work makes it possible to assess the usefulness of using data collected for other purposes. As agreed between the partner countries of the YMOBILITY project, young migrants are here defined by the whole 15-34 age group which encompasses individuals in both the youth and independent adulthood life corse stages. The goal is to analyse areas of origin, place of birth, presence of family members and activities curried out by young Italians abroad, drowing on similarities and differences in the various host countries. According to the mentioned aims, the present study is structured as follows: the second chapter focuses on literature and the current debate on Italian youngsters that have emigrated to EU countries and leading non-EU countries that are part of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA); the third chapter describes the definitions adopted, data used and applied statistical indicators and methods; in the following chapters some studies have focused on countries where many young Italians reside, with the aim of uncovering, depending on migratory characteristics, a different propensity to reside in European countries of destination.

The background of youth migration in EU countries

3The social sciences have produced many researches on migrations and attempted to offer explanations about a complex phenomenon that has taken on further meaning and urgency as the global economic crisis has persisted. Notwithstanding the relevance of relative researches and published findings, King et al. (2016) wrote that we are still a long way from reaching a global understanding of the phenomenon, from knowing why some people emigrate while others, apparently having the same traits, decide not to emigrate. Some authors (Labrianidis and Vogiatzis, 2013) show a correlation between the management of national debt, the EU’s lack of a clear signal to financial markets and youth mobility. The EU’s reluctance to intervene has led to the emergence of two types of countries: those forming the “financial core”, headed by Germany and France, and countries on the “financial fringes”, including Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy (Hadjimichalis, 2011).

4Over the past decade, with the global crisis of the economic and financial system, human mobility within Europe has grown at ever growing rates (Domínguez-Mujica and Pérez-García, 2017). This has raised concerns among scholars, the media and policymakers. Most of those moving around Europe are youngsters, being those most affected by high unemployment rates. These are youngsters that move away from their native country and may never return there. This phenomenon creates losses in terms of human capital, but also economic losses (Boffo and Gagliardi, 2017), which may have long-term effects in the countries of origin. According to Alba-Monteserin et al. (2013) only in the first years of the current decade has Spain begun to publish data, often partial or simply unspecific, on this phenomenon. The media have gone on to interpret these data and give public opinion the idea that the phenomenon is one of mass migration. These interpretations have been used in arguments among political forces to construct a phenomenon, one that certainly existed, but that became so worrying that it could attract the attention of readers, and thus sell newspapers. It was reported, using the same logic, that those leaving the country were young Spaniards who were highly qualified, and were moving in particular to Germany. On 5 January 2013 Spanish daily El Pais published an article whose title, “Alemania se convierte en la tierra prometida de los jóvenes profesionales”, implied that Germany had become the promised land for qualified Spanish youngsters. At the time, Spain’s economic situation was not in the best possible shape (Domínguez-Mujica et al., 2016). Between 2008 and 2012 three million jobs had been lost. Spain’s unemployment rate was the highest in the EU, and the rate for youngsters below the age of 25 was the second highest (the highest was that one of Greece). Alba-Monteserin et al. (2013) acknowledged however that the youth migration phenomenon was not just the result of economic factors, since in the case of youngsters there are new forms of migration. Spain’s economic crisis had also had an impact on resources available for research bodies and service providers. So highly qualified workers such as researchers decided to move to countries where research laboratories are better equipped, where crime rates are lower, and where the quality of life is higher. All of these aspects are fundamental for personal realisation and for social growth. In Greece the percentage of jobless persons in possession of university qualifications reached 12% in 2012, compared with 9% in 1998 (Labrianidis and Vogiatzis, 2013). According to figures published by Eurostat, the unemployment rate for young graduates aged from 25 to 39 years of age was 9.5% in Greece in the period 1990-2010, while it was below 5% for the population aged between 40 and 64 years of age. Labrianidis and Vogiatzis (2013) believe that young graduates in “economic fringe” countries have fewer job opportunities. Becker, Ichino and Peri (2004) confirmed this trend in Italy, another country considered to be on the economic fringes within the EU.

5Triandafyllidou and Gropas (2014) conducted a research on the emigration of highly qualified Greek and Italian youngsters. They concluded that although the reasons for emigrating included economic considerations, other reasons were given by youngsters for emigrating. These included better future prospects, career opportunities and professional growth. This interpretation was confirmed by around 60 per cent of young Italians interviewed, who said they had been employed in Italy in the six months leading up to emigration, thus it was not the lack of employment that had driven them to move away from Italy. The migration of human capital within the EU is likely to continue in the future, since a greater cultural level will enable people to compare the quality of life and working conditions, thus making it easier to choose between living in one’s own country or moving away to take advantage of more favourable conditions. According to Labrianidis and Vogiatzis (2013), for young Greek graduates migration appears to be the better choice, since at home job opportunities are limited, and Greek society has put up further obstacles to their aspirations of social and economic growth. Domingo et al. (2014) concluded that as unemployment levels were growing for youngsters aged between 25 and 35 years of age, reaching 27% in 2012, emigration was the only solution on offer to Spanish youngsters, who were called the “lost generation” by the media. Spanish media took this term and built a narrative around the sacrifices needed for market reasons and austerity measures. Politicians then made this position their own, treating it as a new, inevitable emergency. Raffini (2014) noted that in Italy and Spain an “insecure generation” had formed, suffering the effects of a level of unemployment that was greater than in other EU countries. This drove better qualified youngsters to consider the possibility of moving abroad, since that would give them the possibility of higher living and working conditions. These interpretations do not however offer a correct picture of reality, and partly contradict the findings of researches conducted in the social sciences (Díaz-Hernández et al., 2015). Pumares (2015) identified for young Spanish emigrants living in the United Kingdom interviewed during the economic crisis reasons for migrating that were similar to those given prior to the crisis. While the reason for youngsters moving abroad is often explained by the desire to be more independent, it is also a way, at least for those who have more self-confidence, of doing something more interesting and professional, which will also enable them to move beyond the crisis. National policies pursued by the Spanish Government appear to be justified by the above interpretations. Law 3/2012 of 06.07.2012 refers to the need for highly qualified youngsters to be able to emigrate abroad. The Spanish Youth Institute has published a handbook to facilitate the migration of youngsters to other European countries, and the State has offered subsidies to youngsters wanting to go and work in other EU nations. Alba-Monteserín et al. (2013) point out that the Spanish Government has sought to transmit a positive vision of youth emigration. Just as the government of General Franco back in the 1960s, the Spanish State has decided about half a century later that youth migration is once again a way of reducing youth unemployment. Sanguinetti (2016) sees in youth migration two different research approaches. On the one hand the attitude of those who are interested in corroborating the hypothesis of a brain drain towards richer EU countries. Other researchers on the other hand consider the phenomenon as a bottom-up push towards greater integration among EU countries, which may lead to greater freedom of movement and settlement. Pugliese (2017) refers to a new migratory process, since it began in the first years of the global economic crisis, and registered a wave of new Italian departures. Pugliese again (2017) identified a change in the social composition of flows during the years of crisis. In the years before the crisis it was mainly the working class that migrated, whereas more recently the social composition has become more varied. Gabrielli and Strozza (2017) highlight a considerable difference between the number of Italians residing abroad according to the Registry of Italians Residing Aabroad (AIRE) and the number resulting from censuses carried out in the countries of destination. AIRE data moreover do not include the academic qualifications nor the job title of the emigrant. In Germany the difference in figures is less than ten per cent, in Belgium less than forty per cent, while in Switzerland and France local censuses have recorded a presence of Italians around fifty per cent lower than AIRE figures. Gabrielli and Strozza (2017) believe that these differences are due to the fact that AIRE records as Italians those citizens with dual nationality, or with multiple nationality, and it has also failed to erase the records of deceased persons or persons that have lost Italian nationality. Brandi (2017) argues that it is not possible to precisely determine the number of researchers emigrating from Italy, although it is clear that the number of Italian researchers emigrating abroad is higher than the number of foreign researchers moving to Italy. Boffo and Gagliardi (2017) argue that for these reasons Italy cannot be included among the cases of “brain circulation”, but is rather a “brain drain” case, in a similar way to developing countries. This phenomenon is justified (Brandi, 2017) by the quality of the system in countries that work harder than Italy to encourage the scientific work of researchers.

Data and methodology

6The data used in this research, supplied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, refer to information contained in the archives of diplomatic and consular seats, registering Italians residing abroad (there are about 5.2 million Italians in the world, of whome 1.4 million live permanently in EU and EFTA countries). The centralised archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers the possibility of considering a number of socio-demographic variables (gender, age, marital status, place of birth, occupation, academic qualification, etc.), and are very complete, starting from the 2006 general elections, when the “Foreign Constituency” was created, enabling around a million Italians residing in other countries worldwide to vote in Italian general elections. Procedures for obtaining the right to vote for Italians living abroad are set forth in Law 459 of 27.12.2001 and in the implementing regulations approved in Presidential Decree no. 104 of 02.04.2003.

7According to the figures from the Consular Registers, at the beginning of 2015 a total of 757,686 Italian youngsters (aged from 15 to 34 years of age) resided abroad, in EU and EFTA countries (Foreign Affairs Ministry, 2016). The origins and main traits of this group have been studied, highlighting the similarities and differences in the various countries of destination. These include place of birth, gender differences, the presence of other family members residing with them abroad, professional status abroad and, above all, if applicable, the propensity to reside in different host countries. With regard to methods, double-entry tables were used to cross-reference several variables, and binary logistic regression models were used for final analyses on young Italians that have experienced migration (thus only for youngsters born in Italy), with an attempt to analyse the propensity to live in some European nations (Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Spain and the Netherlands) in relation to the main demographic and social traits.

Young Italians residing in Europe: host countries and main demographic traits

  • 1 In Romania, for instance, Italian citizens work mainly as employees, mostly in the industrial secto (...)

8Looking at the distribution of young Italians living in other European countries (aged between 15 and 34 years of age), numbers are particularly large in countries that have traditionally been the destination of emigration (Table 1). Germany alone hosts over 30 per cent of young Italians living abroad (nearly 240,000), followed by Switzerland, hosting 21 per cent (135,000), then France, Belgium, United Kingdom and Spain (ranging from 5 to 13 per cent of the total). These six countries host 90 per cent of young Italian emigrants living in Europe. These main destinations are the same as those seen in data on emigration flows for more recent years (Gallo, Staniscia, 2016; Haug, 2015). The youth component of Italian emigrants born in Italy has grown in Consular Registries since 2010, coinciding with the start of the economic crisis, whereas in previous years youngsters had a marginal role in the phenomenon (Figure 1). The gender structure among Italian youngsters residing abroad is quite balanced, with women making up not less than 47% of the total in each of the European countries of destination (Figure 2). This might be due to the large number of families, and to steady migration flows. In eastern European countries however the number of men is much higher, the result of migration for work reasons, and a more frequent availability of manual jobs1.

Table 1. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in the EU and EFTA European countries by destination country and place of birth. Absolute values and percentages.

Table 1. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in the EU and EFTA European countries by destination country and place of birth. Absolute values and percentages.

Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016

Figure 2. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries: women percentage.

Figure 2. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries: women percentage.

Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016

9Around 80% of Italian youngsters residing abroad are single (Figure3). In the top six countries by the number of young Italian emigrants, the percentage of married persons is always below the general average (19.4%). Countries in which the number of married persons is greater than this percentage are Malta, Latvia and above all Austria (more than a quarter of such cases).

10Another characteristic that differentiates the six leading countries of destination is the high percentage of youngsters born abroad (Table 1). These make up around 80% of cases, with the sole exception of the United Kingdom, for which young emigrants born in Italy are twice as many as those posted in Germany and Switzerland (approximately 42% for the UK, compared with 15% and 18% for the other two countries). In the other countries considered, only in Croatia and Greece were there higher percentages of persons born abroad (about 90%), but the presence of Italian youngsters was less significant (Table 1).

Figure 3. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by civil status.

Figure 3. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by civil status.

Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016

11Looking at Italian youngsters emigrating abroad, it is interesting to note the provenance of these youngsters by geographic area. General speaking, almost 50% of these youngsters were born in southern Italy (the South and Island macro regions), therefore in economically poorer areas of the country (Figure 4). In Germany, Switzerland and Belgium the number of Italian youngsters born in Italy and coming from southern Italy is above the average, while in Spain, France and Switzerland more youngsters born in the centre and north of Italy (in particular from the North-West of the country) tend to reside.

Figure 4. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by Italian macro regions.

Figure 4. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by Italian macro regions.

Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016

12Countries in northern Europe and eastern Europe attract mostly, and with few exceptions, Italian youngsters coming from central and northern Italy.

Young Italians abroad: presence of family members, academic qualifications and professional status

13In order to paint a more complete picture of young Italian emigrants residing abroad, other variables were taken into consideration, such as the presence of other family members, academic qualifications and professional (or non-professional) status. Around half of emigrating Italian youngsters live with other family members. The presence of other family members in the host country is more marked in Croatia and Greece, followed by countries where immigration is more traditional, such as Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. The lowest percentages in this case are to be found above all in northern Europe (Figure 5).

Figure 5. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries: family members.

Figure 5. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries: family members.

Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016

14A very interesting point relates to graduates, who make up over 40% of the population consisting of young Italians born in Italy who today live abroad (Figure 6).

Figure 6. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by absolute numbers and percentages of university degree.

Figure 6. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by absolute numbers and percentages of university degree.

Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016

15The presence of Italian graduates residing abroad was also seen prior to the start of the economic crisis, but relative numbers have risen significantly in recent years with the migration of qualified youngsters.

16Looking at those countries hosting the most young Italians, youngsters in possession of higher education qualifications make up more than half the total number in France and the UK. In Germany and Switzerland however there are fewer highly qualified youngsters (27% in the former, 37% in the latter). The number of graduates is higher in a number of countries in northern Europe (e.g. Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Norway), while percentages are lower in eastern European countries (e.g. Croatia, Bulgaria or Romania).

17Looking at the distribution of young Italians emigrating abroad by professional status, 47% of youngsters are employed, while less than 3% are unemployed. Students make up over 20% of the total (Figure 7).

Figure 7. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by activity.

Figure 7. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by activity.

Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016

18More than 50% of Italian youngsters residing abroad are workers in twelve of the 26 countries considered, including Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In Luxembourg, Slovakia and Latvia they make up 75% of all residing Italian youngsters. On the other hand, the percentages of those studying abroad are high in Croatia and Greece (over 60%), but also in Belgium, Malta and Poland (over 40% of the total).

19These results show a wide heterogeneity in the demographic characteristics of Italian migrants that can contribute also on the choice of destination country.

Migration patterns and propensity to live in specific countries

20The final part of the paper proposes a study limited to Italian youngsters born in Italy, having the aim of assessing youngsters’ changing propensity to live in a specific country (Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Netherlands) based on some personal profiles (gender, place of origin, family situation, professional status and educational level). This type of analysis makes it possible to verify the existence of specific profile of migrants.

21Young Italians residing in Germany and Switzerland appear to belong to the same migratory flows, marked by the migration of unskilled youngsters for work reasons. The difference is that Germany attracts mostly youngsters from southern Italy, whereas Switzerland attracts youngsters from northern Italy.

22From a more analytical point of view, the propensity to live in Germany is higher for those coming from central Italy (1.1 times higher) or from southern Italy (2.2 times higher), compared with those from the North (Table 2). This propensity for youngsters from central Italy to move to Germany is especially high for non-graduates (for those with the lowest academic qualifications the rate is over 3 times higher than average), and for those who live with other family members compared with those who do not. On the other hand, the propensity to live in Germany is almost 40% lower for students compared with workers.

Table 2. Logistic regression model and estimated parameters (ß) to reside abroad. Dependent variable to reside in Germany and in Switerland.

Table 2. Logistic regression model and estimated parameters (ß) to reside abroad. Dependent variable to reside in Germany and in Switerland.

The significance of predictions: ***=<0,01; **=<0,05; *=<0,1.

Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016

23For Switzerland too the propensity to live there is higher for non-graduates and for those living with other family members (Table 2). It is lower however for those coming from central or southern Italy, compared with those born in northern Italy, for students more than for workers, and for women rather than men.

24Young Italians emigrating to the United Kingdom and France appear to be better qualified, going primarily for work reasons and secondarily to study (Table 3).

Table 3. Logistic regression model and estimated parameters (ß) to reside abroad. Dependent variable to reside in France and United Kingdom.

Table 3. Logistic regression model and estimated parameters (ß) to reside abroad. Dependent variable to reside in France and United Kingdom.

The significance of predictions: ***=<0,01; **=<0,05; *=<0,1.

Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016

25The propensity to live in the United Kingdom is higher for youngsters coming from central Italy compared with those from the North, and for students (about 2 times higher) compared with workers, and for those in possession of a school-leaving diploma (1.5 times higher) compared with graduates. It is however lower for those only with the lowest academic qualifications, and for those living with other family members (35% less).

26The propensity to live in France is higher for those coming from central Italy compared with those moving from northern Italy. It is more significant for students (1.5 times higher) than for workers, for women more than men, and for those living with other family members. On the other hand, the propensity to live in France is lower for those living in southern Italy compared with those from the North, and for non-graduates (and for those not possessing any academic qualifications over 80% lower) compared with graduates (Table 3).

27Finally, Table 4 shows the results obtained for Spain and Belgium: migration to Spain appears to be “unqualified” (Pumares et al 2018), while as far as Belgium is concerned the migratory model is probably determined by family-related considerations. This may be explained by the transfer of family members, following parents employed within European institutions that are based in Brussels. The propensity to live in Spain is higher for those coming from central Italy compared with those from the North; for those not in possession of academic qualifications (2.7 times higher) or for school leaving-certificate holders (1.4 times higher) than for graduates; and for women more than for men. On the other hand, it is lower for those youngsters coming from southern Italy compared with those from the North (almost 50% less), and for those living with other family members (about 20% less) compared with those who do not.

Table 4. Logistic regression model and estimated parameters (ß) to reside abroad. Dependent variable to reside in Spain and Belgium.

Table 4. Logistic regression model and estimated parameters (ß) to reside abroad. Dependent variable to reside in Spain and Belgium.

The significance of predictions: ***=<0,01; **=<0,05; *=<0,1.

Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016

28The propensity to live in Belgium is higher for those coming from the Centre and from southern Italy compared with those coming from the North, for students compared with workers, for women compared with men, and for those living with other family members compared with those who do not. On the other hand, it is lower for young non-graduates.

Conclusions

29The Consular Registers are a very useful source for analysing the presence of Italian citizens abroad, providing information on the number of Italians residing abroad by country of destination and making it possible to build profiles of young Italians residing abroad by gender, age, academic qualification and professional status. The first conclusion we can draw is that young Italians moving abroad come more from central and northern regions than from the south of the country.

30The analysis of data sources highlights the existence of well-defined migratory models in the European countries of destination:

31a) young Italian emigrants in Germany and Switzerland may be related to unskilled migration for work reasons;
b) the probability of residing in UK and France is higher for graduates than for unskilled workers, and the close presence of relatives is relatively lower in these countries;
c) even young Italians residing in Spain seem to belong to the unskilled migration model, while in the case of Belgium the probability of residing is higher for students and for those with other family members living there.

32In other words, the characteristics of young Italians seem to play an important role when choosing the country to move to. Further analysis should take into account the main features and context of host countries.

33Recent events happening around the world (Brexit, for instance, and the election of Trump) appear to suggest that new scenarios may be on the horizon, casting doubt on the certainty that the opening of borders to skilled labour (one of the most significant expressions of the globalisation process happening over the past thirty years) will be a long-lasting phenomenon. The protectionist impulses emerging at a worldwide level may also affect the dimension of qualified or skilled migration. This may lead not only to fewer migratory opportunities for Italian youngsters but also to the “forced” re-entry of emigrants, at least in the weaker and more unstable sectors in which young emigrants are employed.

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Notes

1 In Romania, for instance, Italian citizens work mainly as employees, mostly in the industrial sector. They are chiefly single, living without their family, and have the clear intention of returning to Italy in the near future (Fondazione Migrantes, 2010).

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Table des illustrations

Titre Table 1. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in the EU and EFTA European countries by destination country and place of birth. Absolute values and percentages.
Crédits Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 216k
Titre Figure 1.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 516k
Titre Figure 2. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries: women percentage.
Crédits Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 416k
Titre Figure 3. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by civil status.
Crédits Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 512k
Titre Figure 4. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by Italian macro regions.
Crédits Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 540k
Titre Figure 5. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries: family members.
Crédits Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 552k
Titre Figure 6. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by absolute numbers and percentages of university degree.
Crédits Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,5M
Titre Figure 7. Young Italians (aged 15-34) residing in EU and EFTA European countries by activity.
Crédits Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 524k
Titre Table 2. Logistic regression model and estimated parameters (ß) to reside abroad. Dependent variable to reside in Germany and in Switerland.
Crédits The significance of predictions: ***=<0,01; **=<0,05; *=<0,1.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 136k
Titre Table 3. Logistic regression model and estimated parameters (ß) to reside abroad. Dependent variable to reside in France and United Kingdom.
Légende The significance of predictions: ***=<0,01; **=<0,05; *=<0,1.
Crédits Source: prepared by the authors on the base of data provided by MAE 2016
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 144k
Titre Table 4. Logistic regression model and estimated parameters (ß) to reside abroad. Dependent variable to reside in Spain and Belgium.
Crédits The significance of predictions: ***=<0,01; **=<0,05; *=<0,1.
URL http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/docannexe/image/29516/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 144k
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Référence électronique

Raffaele Ferrara, Gerardo Gallo et Armando Montanari, « Young Italians in European countries: social and economic perspective  », Belgeo [En ligne], 3 | 2018, mis en ligne le 04 décembre 2018, consulté le 20 janvier 2019. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/belgeo/29516 ; DOI : 10.4000/belgeo.29516

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Auteurs

Raffaele Ferrara

ISTAT – Italian National Institute of Statistics, Rome, rferrara@istat.it

Gerardo Gallo

Corresponding author, ISTAT – Italian National Institute of Statistics, Rome, gegallo@istat.it

Armando Montanari

Sapienza University of Rome, armando.montanari@uniroma1.it

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Belgeo est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International.

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