An estimated 3.5 million Italians are currently residing outside the bel paese according to a recent report published by Migrantes, an Italian-based religious organisation.

The report, entitled "Italians around the world", found that nearly 60 per cent (two million) of Italian expatriates choose to reside within Europe.

Germany is the most popular country, hosting one out of six Italians that choose to live abroad, which translates to a total of 500,000 people.

Switzerland is the second favourite European destination, with around 460,000 Italians.

After Europe, America is the most popular continent for Italian emigration (34.4 per cent), with Argentina hosting the largest number of Italians out of Europe (over 400,000). The United States registers over 180,000 Italians living in the country (comprising 6 per cent of Italian emigration) while Canada hosts some 125,000 (4 per cent) of Italian emigrants.

The distribution of Italians among the other continents is: Oceania, (3.6 per cent) Africa (1.3 per cent) and Asia (0.7 per cent).

According to Migrantes, there are over 60 million people of Italian origin living around the world. The organisation estimates that about half of Argentina's population is of Italian extraction, translating to around 15 million people. There are also some 31 million people of Italian origin in Brazil, 15.7 million in the United States, 1.3 in Uruguay and 800,000 in Australia.