Comparing scholastic performance between immigrants' children and natives in Italy: a spatial analysis
Di Bartolomeo, Anna
Department of Demography, Faculty of Statistics University of Rome "La Sapienza" Rome, Italy
Direzione Centrale per le Statistiche e le Indagini sulle Istituzioni Sociali Italian National Institute of Statistics, Istat Rome, Rome
Direzione Centrale per le Statistiche e le Indagini sulle Istituzioni Sociali Italian National Institute of Statistics, Istat Rome, Italy
The growing importance of migratory flows in Italy is reflected in the Italian scholastic system. Immigrants? children attending Italian schools are in fact more than 570 thousands, accounting for the 6.4% of the students and their yearly growth rate has been about 71.1% in the last ten years. Migrants and their children are unevenly distributed on the territory as the most attractive areas for them are the Northern regions, where the unemployment rate is relatively lower. There, the proportion of immigrants' children is significantly higher than on average - in Emilia Romagna, e.g., it reaches the value of 12%, while in the South this value varies between 1.2 - 2.3%.
Notwithstanding the strong incentives, immigrants' children do not perform as well as other students. On the one hand, the lack of regularity in educational tracks represents one of the greater concern; on the other hand, they are more likely to spend more time to complete their education path than their native peers. In summary, immigrants' children face worst educational experiences with respect to natives in all types of schools during the whole educational tracks.
This paper studies the performance gap between natives and immigrants' children by focusing on the geographical aspects. In particular, the aim is twofold. First, we analyze how the students' performances tend to differ among Italian regions and by immigrant status. Secondly, by adopting the spatial analysis methodology, we deepen the relationship between performances and school locations. More in details, the spatial analysis treats geo-referenced statistical data, in which the geographical localization of cases is the object of the analysis. The latter represents an innovative contribution, as geographical variables assume an explicative function abandoning their traditional descriptive role.