The Homeland of Migrating Groups - Southern Europe

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Emigrants [sur Ellis Island], deux gosses d'Italie. (Emigrants [at Ellis Island], two Italian kids)

Emigrants [sur Ellis Island], deux gosses d'Italie. (Emigrants [at Ellis Island], two Italian kids) Greek immigration to the United StatesShoe shine parlor

The Homeland of Migrating Groups - Southern Europe

From Southern Europe, emigrants came from the Iberian Peninsula, the Greek Isles and the countries of the Balkans. However, by far the greatest number of emigrants came from Italy. The first Italians to arrive in the 19th century were mostly from the northern regions. After the unification of southern and northern Italy in 1861, emigration numbers slowly increased. Mass migration though, started relatively late: prior to 1880, Italian communities in America barely existed. But due to the economic downturn, more and more Italian emigrants, mostly from the rural south, moved to the United States. Within a few decades, millions of Italians arrived, the majority making the journey between 1900-1914. This mass migration was only halted by the outbreak of the First World War. At that time, some 4 million Italians had left their country and made America their home. Most of them were concentrated in the urban areas of the Northeastern United States, forming famous ‘Little Italy’ communities in cities like New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

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