Emigration, the great escape from Borgo Valbelluna. Only in Southern Italy is the situation worse

BORGO VALBELLUNA (BELLUNO) – Two entire cities, the largest in the province, residing abroad: there are 56,965 Belluno members on 1 January 2022, a figure that is constantly growing. And there are municipalities from which we start, almost like in the South: Borgo Valbelluna has a total rate of expatriates on the population, which follows that of 7 Sicilian cities and one Calabrian. Among the northern municipalities between 10 and 100 thousand inhabitants it is the first for emigrants.

Living in the mountains, the difficulties

Other than the desert of the Tartars. If only the Dolomites were suddenly transformed into large piles of golden sand, the perception, certainly not new, of many young people from Belluno who feel forced to live in the driest of deserts, would be transformed from a simple metaphor to a true equation: Belluno equals desert. A desert from which, necessarily, those who are not satisfied with adapting, being satisfied or giving up their hopes flee. Suitcase in hand, then. And many greetings. The data confirms it. To present them is the Belluno Association in the World, on the strength of the statistics compiled by the Migrantes Foundation: a report that tells of how the profile of the migratory phenomenon is being redesigned, on a national scale.

Emigration, young people flee from Italy

Young people are among the first to leave the country. And not to return so easily; «a sick mobility – the summary of the report -, driven by necessity and unidirectional». Translated, whoever leaves never comes back. «It used to be said that Italy from a country of emigration has transformed over the years into a country of immigration: this sentence has never been true. We have never stopped leaving from Italy». From Belluno, even less. If the data speak of a Bel Paese that is not very attractive in convincing young people to stay and not very encouraging in making them retrace their steps, the Belluno area does not deviate from this interpretation at all. Perhaps, even, in the Dolomites you can do even worse. To find confirmation of the increase in outgoing movements, one can look at the increase in enrollments in Aire, the register of Italians residing abroad: in one year, the one that has just ended, over 1500 more Bellunese registered than in 2021; half of these are registered by birth; for over a third, these are young people under 34 years of age.

Vallesella and its 800 inhabitants, the story of a vanished town

Escape from the municipalities in the province of Belluno

Among all, one case stands out. Dividing the number of Aire members by that of residents in the Italian municipalities, the Belluno municipalities are those with the highest rate of departures. And the smaller the municipality, the higher the rate of those who decide to leave. Thus, narrowing the field to municipalities with a population between 100,000 and 10,000 inhabitants, the first name that appears on the list, among those in Northern Italy, is Borgo Valbelluna. A fact that leaves us at least perplexing: if young people leave a rather structured municipality like that of the left Piave, there is something to reflect on. Even more so, if we observe that Borgo Valbelluna is even in ninth place in Italy, second only to 7 Sicilian municipalities and one in Calabria, realities which, historically, experience emigration, especially youth, as one of their greatest dramas. In Mel and its surroundings, about 5,000 Aire members against 13,000 residents bring the bill to almost 38%. But in the standings there is also room for Sedico, in 40th place in Italy (23% of residents abroad out of the total).

The case of Borgo Valbelluna

By further reducing the size of the municipalities, arriving to consider those with less than 10 thousand inhabitants, the municipality of Soverzene is positioned in 11th place, nationally. In this case, a different but no less singular datum: many fewer inhabitants than those residing abroad, 882 against 364 (an incidence of expatriates of 242%). Absolute Venetian primacy, moreover. A result followed closely by Arsiè (third, 126%), Vallada Agordina (fifth, 99.4%), Fonzaso (sixth, 90.0%), Lamon (seventh, 89.1%), Cibiana di Cadore (ninth, 78.7%), Gosaldo (11th, 71.3%), Seren del Grappa (12th (70.9%), Val di Zoldo (16th, 60.9%), Longarone (18th, 57. 3%), Sovramonte (19th, 57.3%), Cesiomaggiore (22nd, 49.2%) and San Gregorio nelle Alpi (23rd, 48.6%).

Emigration, the great escape from Borgo Valbelluna. Only in Southern Italy is the situation worse