Any talk about immigration usually ends up in a debate about walls and refugees in the United States, but it is having a huge impact on other countries in the world by changing the entire makeup of these nations – especially in Europe.
A recent report about immigration in Italy reveals that in just a few decades, the country could include drastically fewer native Italians and rapidly surging numbers of immigrants. The declining birthrate in Italy, coupled with high immigration numbers, is largely to blame for the coming dramatic shift.
In 1964, the birthrate in Italy was 2.7 children per woman, according to a Centro Machiavelli study. The country needs a rate of 2.1 children per woman to simply break even when it comes to population growth. Today, a little over 50 years later, Italy’s birth rate is just 1.5 children per woman, resulting in a decline in the overall population.
Many children both in Italy today are the babies of immigrants, who have a much higher birthrate than native Italians. The locations in Italy with the highest fertility rates are no longer in the southern portion of the nation, but in the north, where the concentration of immigration is higher.
Surging Immigration Changing the Nation
In January of 2017, Italy counted over five million immigrants living as residents in the country. This figure was 25 percent higher than the number of immigrants in the nation in 2012 and 270% higher than the number of immigrants residing in Italy in 2002.
Just 15 years ago, immigrants made up only 2.38% of Italy’s overall population. Today, that figure has grown to encompass 8.33%. If this trend continues, Italian natives could eventually be a minority in their own country.
The recent study indicates that if the rate of immigration continues, immigrants will make up over 40% of Italy’s population in just one more generation.
Rapidly Increasing Numbers of Immigrants
According to recent figures. By 2065, there will be over 22 million first and second-generation immigrants in Italy, making up over 40% of the nation’s population. The increase in immigrant numbers represents an unprecedented change in the makeup of the nation; never has the population been affected so swiftly or changed so much.
The highest concentration of immigrants is from just a few key countries, a trend that can lead to trouble for host nations. When immigrants come from only one or two nations, instead of all over the world, it leads to homogeneous communities becoming closed off from the host nation and that refuse to integrate or adapt to that nations’ culture and rules.
According to Pope Francis, this can lead to “ghettoization” or an overall decline in the country’s safety, income and culture.
In the 1970s, a total of 10 countries of origin made up only 12 percent of the immigrant population, suggesting that immigrants were coming from all over the world and had diverse backgrounds. Today, that has changed dramatically, with the top 10 countries of origin making up over 64% of immigrants, leading to the closed, homogenous communities described above.
Where are the Women and Children?
As immigrants continue to arrive in record numbers from Africa and the Middle East, they are altering the gender makeup of the country as well. A higher than average percentage of young men could dramatically impact the gender balance in the host nation; some nations are already experiencing trouble because of the disproportionate numbers of male immigrants vs. women and children.
In Germany, dozens of women were attacked on New Year’s Eve by men described by authorities as being of North African or Arabic descent. While many European nations take pride in gender equality, a massive shift in gender population numbers could impact the entire country in troubling ways. According to the International Organization of Migration, over 66% of the immigrants arriving in Italy in the last year were male, a drastic increase from the 50% seen just a few years before.
Italy is not the only nation facing demographic struggles now and in the future. If current trends continue, native Britons will be a minority in the UK by 2065, according to the study. In Germany, over 36% of children under the age of 5 were born to immigrant parents, indicating a shift in demographics in that nation as well.
The results of this study are troubling for both Italy and the world as a whole; as record numbers of immigrants arrive but do not assimilate, entire nations are evolving at incredible rates and face declining native populations.
~ Liberty Planet