Over the last years, the foreign population usually resident in Italy has notably grown, showing a clear tendency to a stable settlement. The spatial distribution of this population is an important key to better understand the general integration process in the country of destination. At the beginning of the XXI century, scholars individuated three main settlement patterns, but nowadays the situation is quite different and probably more complicated. The aim of this paper is to analyse the recent evolution of settlement patterns of the main ethnics’ groups usually resident in Italy. Methods and Results In order to evaluate recent changes in the spatial distribution of the foreign population usually resident in Italy, for each ethnics’ groups selected in the study we computed both some of the most important spatial segregation indexes (evenness, concentration and exposure index) and some other indexes (distribution of the foreigners’ groups in function of demographic size of the municipality and the proportion of each foreigners’ group on the total usually resident population in each municipality). Data are provided by ISTAT. We used 2001 General Population Census data, and 2006 and 2010 Municipality register data. The study shows some signals of change with respect to the recent past. A geographical rearrangement has occurred. In particular we observed both a decrease of the dissimilarity level between the spatial distribution of usually resident foreign population and of Italian population a decrease of the level of spatial concentration of usually resident foreign population and a decrease of the proportion of usually foreign resident population in the major urban area. Conclusions Recent trends of settlement patterns of the foreign population usually resident in Italy shows notably changes in comparison to the recent past but not properly a clean break. The majority of the ethnics’ groups that have been analysed has actually only reshaped their settlement patterns, and this due to the fact that settlement pattern are strongly linked to the demographic, migratory and occupational profile of the foreign groups.
Keywords: Foreign population, ethnics groups, settlement patterns, segregation measures, spatial distribution
Jel Code: R23