Italys immigrants are beginning to establish themselves financially in the country, opening bank accounts and even owning houses, according to the socio-economic research institute Censis. A survey of 800 immigrants revealed what Censiss secretary-general described as a new middle class which has given up on the idea of returning to home in favour of settling permanently in Italy. Of the immigrants who took part in the survey, 61 per cent had a bank account. Around 12 per cent owned a house, with 11 per cent having a mortgage and 18 per cent planning to ask for one soon. Most immigrants were spending around half of their salaries on food and lodging, with 15 per cent put aside for savings and 14 per cent sent home. Each year immigrants in Italy send around 5 billion back to their families abroad. Some 54 per cent were borrowing money in order to be able to save, but this money was also used to buy mobile telephones (possessed by 93.3 per cent of immigrants), televisions (82.9 per cent), and furniture (79.5 per cent). Around 12.8 per cent of immigrants own a personal computer, which was also the item most wanted by those that did not.
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