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Immigration and Poverty: The Case of Italy

Research on Economic Inequality

ISBN: 978-1-78714-522-1, eISBN: 978-1-78714-521-4

Publication date: 10 October 2017


During the last two decades the share of foreign-born residents in Italy has grown considerably, from just over 1 percent to about 8 percent. This chapter seeks to clarify the status of immigrants in Italy by examining the evolution of their economic situation and, in particular, the presence of economic hardship. Poverty is measured by considering not only the usual income-based indicators but also others that take into account households’ real and financial wealth. The picture that emerges is one of a higher incidence of economic hardship among immigrant households that strongly affects the dynamics of poverty nationwide. The economic gap with respect to natives appears to increase in the years considered, but the condition of poverty is not more persistent for immigrants than for Italians.




The author wishes to thank Andrea Brandolini, Giovanni D’Alessio, Alfonso Rosolia and the anonymous referee for helpful comments. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Italy.


Gambacorta, R. (2017), "Immigration and Poverty: The Case of Italy", Bandyopadhyay, S. (Ed.) Research on Economic Inequality (Research on Economic Inequality, Vol. 25), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 229-257.



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