Ethnic groups in Italy

The major ethnic group in Italy is the Italians, who account for 95% (above 60 million) of the total population of Italy. The remaining 5% of the population consists of ethnicities like Albanians, Romanians, Ukrainians, and other Europeans (2.5%); Africans (1.5%), and several other minorities (1%).


For a long period, the region where modern days Italy exists as a single state was divided into separate provinces controlled by different ethnicities. In the past, Greeks, Celts, Romans, and older Italian peoples had control of the Italian peninsula. The Romans were strong in northern Italy, while Greeks dominated the south, and the early Italian tribes were found in the northern and central parts of the peninsula. Others that ruled different regions of the Italian peninsula in varied periods belonged to ethnicities that included Catalans, Norman, Swabian, and Angevin.

Because of this joint occupation, several descendants of the different ethnic groups remained back in Italy and eventually accepted themselves as Italians. The culture of the Italians has been strongly influenced by those of the Romans, who were very aggressive rulers in the history of Italy. As Italy had remained in a divided form for several centuries, the Italians from each of these provinces had their own regional dialects and culture, which can still be seen in Italy.

One survey claims that Italians choose to settle in rural locations rather than larger cities. It claims that only about 60% of Italians stay in cities, which is the lowest compared to other populations in other European countries. Many Italians prefer to be identified by their province, which is their native region. Major Italians are Roman Catholics though some minor groups follow Protestantism or Judaism.

Italians from diverse fields have contributed a lot to our world. Numerous Italian scientists that have created some world-famous inventions include but are not limited to Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo, the man who showed practically Kepler’s laws of planetary movement, Antonio Meucci- who invented the telephone, Antonio Pacinotti- who invented the dynamo and Alessandro Volta- who invented an electric battery.


Around two thousand years ago, the island of Sicily was ruled by the African Arabs for nearly two hundred years. Though it has been long since their defeat by the Normans, even today, about half a million African Arabs settled in Italy. There are also another 100,000 Africans apart from the Arabs, who have immigrated to Italy in recent years.

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