It seems that Florence’s city centre is still losing its native residents. There are two main reasons why: a consistent emigration to more suburban areas, and a high mortality rate among the large number of elderly residents
For years, there has been a general tendency for Florentines to migrate out of the city centre because of the difficulties of urban living and what many consider the degradation of daily life for residents in Florence.
Recent data does show, however, that this trend may be slowing somewhat. Although the total numbers are still falling (on March 31st of this year the city’s population was 367,747 while at the same time last year residents totaled 370,146) the request for residency increased by 298 units since the beginning of this year. Although it may not seem like a very impressive increase, it is significant enough for city officials to believe that there may be the possibility of a turnaround in the near future.
The opposite trend has been recorded for foreign immigrant residency requests. There has been quite an increase in the number of resident immigrants living in the centre. Statistics show that in March 2004 there were 29,478 foreign residents, while in March of this year it had increased to 31,368. Although still growing in numbers, the massive influx of past years has diminished slightly and numbers may also be stabilising for this group. The majority of foreigners requesting residency in the centre are of Chinese (12.5%) and Albanian (11.4%) origins. The other groups that continue to grow are residents of European Union origin, who make up about 6.9% of the total foreign population, and residents from the United States at 2%.