Foreign workers in Italy have been revealed to be playing a significant role in the country’s economy.
Their contribution funds the pensions of 640,000 Italian retirees, according to a new report.
More than five million foreigners live in Italy, comprising 8% of the country total. Of them, only 100,000 are themselves receiving pensions from the Italian state compared to more than 16 million Italians.
Most of the newcomers are young; 78% are of working age, compared to 63% of the Italian population as a whole.
“The economic impact of immigration” study by the Leone Moressa Foundation annually measures the tax and social security contributions of migrants in Italy as well as what they cost the state.
In 2015, the migrants paid in more than €7 billion in personal income tax and €11 billion in social security contributions, despite nearly two-thirds of them working in low skilled jobs.
In total, they contributed €126 billion to the national GDP, which was nearly 9% of the total. This was a €3 billion increase over the year before.
Auto manufacturer Fiat generated €136 billion last year, just a touch ahead that contributed to the national economy as the migrants. Fiat is Italy’s largest car producer and one of the country’s biggest companies.
At the same time, the state had to spend €15 billion in public funds for the foreign workers. This was less than 2% of all public spending.
"Migration continues to bring benefits to the Italian system," the foundation noted, singling out pension contributions as "one of the main benefits".
Italy knows it will struggle in future as it has the lowest birth rate in the EU. Thousands of qualified young people today are exiting the country.