Immigration: Many Myths and Little Reality

Immigration: Many Myths and Little Reality


By Roberto Savio*

August 1, 2018

• According to the latest statistics, the total flow of immigrants so far in 2018 is 50.000 people, compared with 186,768 last year, 1,259,955 in 2016 and 1,327,825 in 2015. The difference between reality and perceptions is so astonishing, we are clearly witnessing one of the most brilliant manipulations in history.

The latest survey carried out of 23,000 citizens of France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States shows an enormous level of disinformation. In five of those countries, people believe that immigrants are three times higher than they actually are.

Italians believe they account for 30% of the population when the figure is actually 10%, an average which is lower than the media of the European Union. Swedes are those closest to reality: they believe immigrants account for 30%, when in fact the figure is 20%.

Italians also believe that 50% of the immigrants are Muslim, when in fact it is 30%; conversely, 60% of the immigrants are Christian, and Italians think they are 30%.

In all six countries, citizens think that immigrants are poorer and without education or knowledge, and therefore a heavy financial burden. Italians think that 40% of immigrants are jobless, when the figure is close to 10%, no different from the general rate of unemployment.

Originally published at

Meanwhile, the 7th report on the economic impact of immigration in Italy from the Leone Moressa Foundation, which based its research on Italian Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) data, has presented some totally ignored facts.

The 2.4 million immigrants in Italy have produced 130 billion euros, or 8.9% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) – an amount larger than the GDP of Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia. In the last five years, out of a total of nearly 6 million Italian companies, 570.000 – or 9.4% of the total – were started by immigrants. Tito Boeri, president of Italy’s national pension agency INPS, has told Parliament that immigrants give 11.5 billion euro to the system, more than what they cost. He also stressed that Italy is going through a demographic crisis, with only seven births for every eleven deaths.

Well, Matteo Salvini, the emerging Italian leader, who has based all his political success on making immigrants the greatest threat facing Italy, answered on Twitter: Boeri lives on Mars. And that was the end of the story. For more than 50% of Italians, Salvini’s tweet was more conclusive than real statistics.

The same happened with the outgoing Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), William Swing, who quoted a study conducted by the IOM and McKinsey Global Institute which “determined that although only 3.5% of the world’s population are migrants, they are producing nine percent of the global wealth measured in GDP terms, which is more than four percent than if they stayed at home”. This made no impact on Trump electors, white rural and red collars, who are convinced that immigration is a threat to the country, even though they all have immigrant roots.

In other words, facts are irrelevant. Perceptions count more…

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Roberto Savio
– is an Italian-Argentine journalist. He is the publisher of OtherNews, adviser to INPS-IDN and to the Global Cooperation Council. He is also co-founder of Inter Press Service (IPS) news agency and its President Emeritus.



One Response to "Immigration: Many Myths and Little Reality"

  1. pappa gone   August 6, 2018 at 10:36 am

    In Italy, contrary to what Savio tells, immigrants are the majority of the people in prison (about 75%), so means that security from immigrants arrived in Italy (about in 1990 they started to arrive in measure of many thousandt). Immigrants receive all sanitarian assistance even pay nothing, so INPS boss tell us a great quantity of lies. there are millions of italians of people under level of poverty but immigrants received one house before italians. this is inacceptable. WE HAVEN’T POSSIBILITY TO MANTAIN IMMIGRANTS from 90’s when the first crisis started to arrive in Italy, one fter the other, one more bad than precedent……….
    so, what Savio tell us con’t be the real truth, whatever he thinks we are in so bad situation that we can’t have millions of desperados that for the majority goes to became criminals


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