Why Did Italians Leave Italy?


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Yo Kass Profile
Yo Kass answered
Immigration from the Italian peninsula was a phenomenon that accounts for the spread of Italian communities to every corner of the world.

As with most significant immigration patterns, Italian immigration was chiefly down to economic reasons, with many Italians throughout history having made the difficult decision to pack up their belongings and set sail in hope of being able to provide better living conditions for themselves and their families. This was particularly the case between  1876 and 1915, and again from 1920 till 1929.

The main causes of hardship in Italy were low employment, low wages, and heavy taxation. Coupled with a boom in population (it was not uncommon for families to have around 10 children!), this resulted in widespread poverty and famine which especially affected the southern regions and Sicily.

To The Americas
When we talk about Italian immigration, the first thing that comes to mind is the mass immigration of Italians to the United States that began in the late 1800s (when transatlantic journeys became popularly available), and which continued at a significant rate until some time after the Second World War (although the rise of fascism in Italy did bring immigration down for a brief period leading up to WWII). Many of these immigrants were unskilled and uneducated, and were often desperate to find work in order to support their families - something that had become increasingly difficult in Italy.

Although the image of Italians crossing the Atlantic often conjures up images of ragged immigrants arriving at Ellis Island in New York, a huge number of Italian immigrants actually continued their journey south and settled in South America, with the most significant amounts going to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay (where, by 1976, Italian descendants made up a staggering 40% of the population).

Around the world
Between the 19th and 20th centuries, over 30 million Italians immigrated to other countries. Although the majority crossed the Atlantic towards South and North America, significant Italian communities developed across the world, with destinations including North Africa, Australia and other emerging Western European countries like Germany, France and Belgium.

This has resulted in large modern-day communities of Italian descendants spread around the world. Below is a list of the 'top ten' largest Italian communities outside the Italian peninsula.

1) Brazil- 25 million

2) Argentina- 20 million 

3) United States- 18 million

4) France- 4 million   

5) Canada- 1.4 million

6) Uruguay- 1.5 million 

7) Venezuela- 900,000 

8) Australia- 850,000

9) Germany- 700.000

10) Switzerland- 520,000
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Italians left Italy because of disease and starvation. Food was a very big cost for the family. 2 million Italians died each year because of disease or starvation. And people also left because of a lack of democracy. Only a few select Italians were able to vote.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Same as every other Immigrant group, to find a better life in America,

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