This site uses cookies to provide a better experience. Continuing navigation accept the use of cookies by us OK

Italian and Italian-American communities


Italian and Italian-American communities

The dome of the U.S. was completed by Italy's  
Constantino Brumidi in true fresco technique in 1865
(Credits: United States Government Work)


Relations between Italy and the United States rely on the presence of a large and talented Italian and Italian-American community which has created an impressive network of associations and cultural centers, museums, festivals, magazines, newspapers and blogs. Several media focused on the Italian community receive support from the Italian government.

The number of Italians registered with the Registry of Italians Residing Abroad (Anagrafe degli Italiani Residenti all'Estero - AIRE) in the United States is approximately 257,000 (data updated to July 11, 2016), distributed as follows among the 10 Italian Consular Districts: Boston :18,573; Chicago: 21,042; Detroit: 16,813; Philadelphia: 22,130; Houston: 9,246; Los Angeles: 23,652; Miami: 32,597; New York: 86,237; San Francisco: 20,625; Washington, D.C.: 6,793.

The “early generations” of Italians who arrived in the United States up until the early sixties are joined by a more recent immigration wave which mainly consists of highly qualified citizens in possession of university degrees and beyond: from the young entrepreneurs who invest in the United States while maintaining the focus of their interests in Italy, to university professors, scientists and researchers who, for instance, have applied their discoveries and inventions in the industry sector, particularly in information technology and hi-tech.

Among the bodies representing the Italian community in the United States:

  • Two of three members of the Italian Parliament elected in the North and Central America district: Senator Renato Turano and Hon. Fucsia Nissoli;
  • Ten Committees of Italians Abroad (COMITES). To learn about COMITES, click here. To find out about the COMITES in the USA, click here;
  • Two Counselors of the General Council of Italians Abroad (CGIE): Vincenzo Arcobelli; Silvana Mangione.
  • Six “Patronati” with multiple locations in the United States (Inca-Cgil, ACLI, Ital-Uil, Inas-Cisl, Epasa, Encal-Cisal).

According to the most recent census (2013), Americans of Italian origin are about 17.7 million, making Italian Americans the fourth largest ethnic group of European origin after Germany, Ireland, and the UK. The two major Italian-American organizations, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) and the Order of Sons of Italy in America (OSIA) believe, however, that a more realistic figure is at least 25 million.

For several years now, there has been renewed attention directed toward our country by the Italian-American community, which is explained by several factors including the growing attraction for the Italian way of life perceived as producing wellbeing and quality of life and the admiration for the country’s image in in all realms, from culture to fashion, from design to gastronomy and enology, from research to advanced technology. This renewal has been confirmed by the increases in tourism to our country, the increasing number of those studying Italian language and culture, and the requests for Italian citizenship.

Italians in America have traditionally advanced in all areas of national life (politics, economics, art, cinema, science and research, sport) and have therefore contributed to the increasing prestige of Italy in the United States. Through their contribution to the development and reinforcement of bilateral relations, their presence is a true bridge between Italy and the US. As stated by President Obama in the Presidential Proclamation for Columbus Day 2015, the generations of our countrymen and their Italian-American heritage have contributed “in immeasurable ways” to advance the US, while “strengthening the friendship between the United States and Italy”.