Greater Milan has the most immigrants in Italy

Encouraging statistics on integration and employment.

The Greater Milan metropolitan area is home to Italy’s largest community of some 474,000 non-EU immigrants, mainly from North Africa and Asia, with a strong level of employment and business ownership.

Regularly registered residents, their number has been growing twice as fast as in the rest of Italy, with an increase of around 30 per cent since 2010. They now account for around 12 per cent of all immigrants in Italy.

The figures are quoted in a report published this week by ANPAL, the government’s National Agency for Labour Policy.

Around 68 per cent of these immigrants are employed – a level second only to those in Rome, and in any case considerably better than the national mean of 57 per cent among non-Italians. Their 23 per cent unemployed compares favourably with the 39 per cent of unemployed Milanese.

Around one fifth of the immigrants hosted in Milan are employed in the restaurant sector, but many of the others are unqualified labourers, often in construction. Over 40 per cent of them earn less than €800 per month.

Milan has also proved to be the most favoured location for opening their own business. Over 30,000 immigrants have done so, representing 24 per cent of the total, twice as many as the national average among immigrant communities. These companies are active mainly in commerce and in services for other businesses. Around one in five of these operators are Egyptian, followed closely by Filipinos and Chinese and more distantly by Moroccans and Bangladeshi.