Comparison with the European Situation

In document Identity Crisis in Italy (Pldal 30-38)

Statistics and Perspectives

5. Comparison with the European Situation

The dynamics underway in Italy can also be found in other Western European countries.

In Great Britain national projections on ethnic composition have not been published since 1979. Professor David Coleman (2010) of the University of Oxford has sought to fill this gap, concluding that the complex of non-British ethnic groups, which accounted for 13% of the population in 2006, will reach 43% in 2056. By then, half of the children under 5 years old will be non-British, thus highlighting a growing trend, which will lead the British to no longer be the absolute majority around 2065 (Brown 2013). The forecast by Coleman is that in 2056 there will be 7.99 million non-British whites, 14.01 million Asians (mostly from the Indian subcontinent), 4.79 million blacks (Africans and Caribbean), that will represent respectively 10.2%, 17.9% and 6.1% of the total population.

In Germany, official statistics (Destatis 2017) report that, as of 2015, 17.1 million inhabitants had a “migrant background”: this indicates the first or second generation immigrants but also the Germans repatriated after 1949 and their children (those repatriated to East Germany are not computed). 31% of these people with migrant backgrounds are non-European; 45.4% are foreigners: the latter class does not include children of mixed couples or those of foreign parents if they have benefited from the ius soli. Consider that today almost 2.5 million naturalised citizens live in Germany. Altogether the inhabitants with migrant background reach 20.8% of the population. It is interesting to note that today in Germany, 36% of the children under the age of 5 are children of immigrants. According to a projection of the beginning of this century (Ulrich 2001), which to date has been confirmed in line with what happened in the meantime, foreigners in Germany will be about 20% of the population in 2050: this figure does not include neither the naturalised nor the second-generation immigrants beneficiaries of ius soli.

In France it is forbidden by law, since 1978, to compile demographic statistics concerning the ethnicity or religion of citizens. For example, in 2015 the Mayor of Béziers was fined for having calculated that 65% of the baptismal names of students enrolled in city schools was Muslim. We know that in 2013 there were 5,719,761 immigrants (including naturalised), 63% of whom came from outside the EU (Ined 2017). The demographer Michèle Tribalat (2017) estimates that first and second generation immigrants have already exceeded 20%

of the population.

6. Conclusion

The proposed figures show a picture of rapid and profound demographic change in Europe and, in particular, in Italy. In the history of our continent, there are no comparable phenomena.

Take for example the barbarian invasions that disfigured the Western Roman Empire and inaugurated a new hybrid, Romano-Germanic civilization, and marked an epochal turning point, from Antiquity to the Middle Ages: historians believe that the newcomers did not reach numerically 5% of the indigenous population; and their influx was distributed over a century. To find instead a profound impact on the genetics of Europe, we will probably have to go back to Indo-European migrations, whose duration is measured however in centuries when not millennia. The Europeans, in their turn, have in the past centuries fed massive migratory flows to the Americas, Australia and New Zealand, in large regions completely supplanting pre-existing populations, and everywhere imposing their own culture or at least hybrid forms.

Mass migratory movements and multicultural society are often no longer described as problematic: on the contrary, in the culture of Western Europe and North America, it is much more common to find stressed the moral value of hospitality, the economic value of masses of low-cost young workers, and the political one of diversity and of the contamination between cultures; the threat of a biological supplanting of the European populations is hardly taken into consideration, or the concern is stigmatised as a form of “racism”. Instead, in Eastern Europe and in Russia, more traditional discourses prevail, linked to the ideas of preservation of a peculiar and distinct European civilization, to acceptance of the host culture by immigrants, and to the biological survival of the indigenous lineages.

Whatever the chosen position, bare figures and statistical projections are often absent from the debate, as well as everything that is objective to serve in order to realistically frame the moment in which Europe is living. The aim set out in this discussion is precisely to provide the debate with elements that cannot be ignored, which are essential for developing an informed opinion.

Figure 1.

Average age of the population

Source: United Nations 2017

Figure 2.

Population according to continents

Source: United Nations 2017





1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015

Figure 3.

GDP per capita according to continents

Source: World Bank 2017a

Figure 4.

African migration waves towards the OSCE countries

Source: World Bank 2017b

Figure 5.

Total fertility

Source: United Nations 2017

Figure 6.

Italy: foreign residents according to the country of origin

Source: Istat 2017a

Figure 7.

Asylum seekers in Italy

Source: Ministero degli Interni 2017

Figure 8.

Nigeria: total population

Source: United Nations 2017


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The Italian Governors from the Constitutional Reform

In document Identity Crisis in Italy (Pldal 30-38)