Despite its young history of immigration, the country has significant experience regarding migration movements: apart from being one of the world's largest exporters of manpower in the past, Italy, from the end of the 19th century onwards, also experienced sizable movements of internal migration from the agricultural South to the more industrialized North.
Official Language: Italian
Area: 301,340 km²
Population (at 1 Jan. 2011): 60,742,397
Population growth: 0.42% , -0.08% , -0.05% 
Population density: 201,57 inhabitants per km²
Foreign population as a percentage of total (at 1 Jan.): 7.5% , 7.0% , 6.5% 
Labor force participation rate: 62% , 62.2% , 62.4% 
Unemployment rate: 8.0% , 8.4% , 7.8% 
Main religions (2011): Roman Catholics (87.8%), Protestants (1.3%), Other Christians (3.8%), Muslims: (1.9%), No religion (5.8%)
In 1973, Italy, for the first time in its history, had a positive net migration rate: immigrants slightly outnumbered emigrants. From that year on immigration steadily increased. This trend has become particularly noticeable since the 1980s: the 1981 population census already counted nearly 211,000 immigrants. In 1991 Italy faced the first wave of "mass immigration": on only two days, around 50,000 Albanians arrived in Italy as a result of the collapse of the Albanian communist regime. The 1990s were marked by an acceleration of immigration flows. While there were 356,159 foreign residents in Italy in 1991, their number reached 1,300,000 in 2001 and increased even further to 4,500,000 in 2011. On the 1st of January 2012 4,859,000 foreigners resided on Italian soil, representing about 8% of the county's total resident population. Since the progressive EU enlargements, immigrants especially come from Eastern European countries. Since 2004 Romanians have constituted the largest immigrant community in Italy, followed by Albanians and Moroccans.