Modern Migrations: Ciociaria to Abroad


Frosinone – In 2021 there were almost a thousand. There are five phases that characterize the phenomenon: from unemployment to war destruction up to the crisis of 2007.

A land, the Ciociaria, from where people continue to emigrate. Taking a look at the numbers, recently published in the dossier of the Idos study and research center “Observatory on migration in Rome and Lazio”, mainly dedicated to those who arrive in Lazio and Ciociaria from abroad in search of a better future, there is a chapter dedicated to those who make the opposite choice. In other words, the many people from Lazio who, every year, decide to get back into the game and make a life away from the land where they grew up.

There are 57,854 members of the Aire, i.e. the register of Italians redeemed abroad, in the province of Frosinone, with an increase of 13% in the last nine years. Based on the 2021 data, 1,487 emigrated (or were born abroad) from Ciociaria in the last year considered by the research. After that of Rome, it is the second highest value in Lazio. Moreover, also for the total number of Aire members, Frusinate is second. Of these 1,487, 535 are expatriates, 529 were born to Aire members and 423 are abroad for “other reasons”.

Numbers in hand, nine out of every hundred residents of Lazio live abroad. The region is in contrast with the rest of Italy as those born to Aire members (55%) prevail over those who expatriate (35%). Women are 48% on average with the national figure. 13% of members are minors, 66% are of working age, the remaining 20% are over 65. 55% are established in America, of which just under half in central-southern America, just under 38% in Europe and the remaining 6.5% in the other three continents. One in 5 from Lazio lives in Brazil, one in 7 in Argentina, one in 11 in the United Kingdom with shares ranging from 97,224 in Brazil to 45,258 in Great Britain. Followed by the United States and France with over 30,000 members and Germany and Spain with over 20,000.
Idos divides the emigration from Lazio to the world into five phases (1876-1914, between the two wars, the post-war period, 1980-2006 and the new migrations from 2007 to 2021). And in all of them there is a large number of citizens from the current Ciociaria who, especially from inland areas, but not only, over the years, first with makeshift means, then on steamers, now more comfortably by plane, have traveled to France, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Australia and many other destinations.

«There are in fact 840,000 citizens of Lazio who, in almost 150 years of history, have emigrated, a flow that is only partially compensated by the 566,000 Italian citizens of Lazio origin (and not only) who have repatriated from abroad to settle in our region», writes Idos.
As for the reasons, “in fact, from the very beginning, there have been poverty, difficult economic and social conditions, lack of work, wars, political and religious persecutions”. To support immigration “logic of solidarity typical of rural societies”. According to the report, “after the Second World War the reduction in population, particularly evident – albeit with some exceptions – in the provinces of Viterbo, Rieti and Frosinone, produced serious problems of depopulation for the inland and mountainous areas”.

In the first phase of emigration the choice is for Europe but also for the Americas: «The area of departure is mainly the Ciociaria. Unemployment, made more acute by demographic pressure, drives people to emigrate abroad». After the Second World War, «emigration once again became the only alternative to hardship, also due to the destruction along the German defensive line “Gustav” of entire Lazio towns under Allied bombing or following the passage of the belligerent armies (1943-1944 ). In the 1950s, many people, almost all with a low level of education, fled these areas, which were severely disadvantaged, supported also by fellow villagers and relatives already residing abroad. The serious damage to many cities and villages in Lazio is intertwined with political and social instability, high inflation, a high unemployment rate and greater competition in the labor market”. In this third phase “the province of Frosinone will still be the protagonist of outgoing flows until the 1980s, when the economic and building boom will attract many emigrants home”. Then, with the 2007 crisis and the “new migrations”, there are those who have chosen to retrace the footsteps of grandparents and great-grandparents.

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