Italian Immigration to the United States

Italian people immigrated from Italy for many reason often due to poverty, scarce medical care, rigid class structure and exploitation. The 1870s marked the start of mass migration from Southern Italy, a region with the most poverty and least land opportunities, traditionally.

The majority of immigrants at the turn of the century were young men looking for work in the U.S., often called the "land of opportunity," in order to send money home to family. Overall, 20 to 30 percent of Italian immigrants returned to Italy permanently.

Italians to America, 1855-1900

This immigration record collection includes nearly one million Italian immigrants who arrived in the United States between 1855 and 1900 through the ports of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia.

Italian immigrants to America may include:
• First name
• Last name
• Age
• Birth Year
• Gender
• Occupation
• Literacy
• Country of Origin
• City/Town of Last Residence
• Destination
• Port of arrival
• Travel compartment
• Port of departure
• Date of arrival
• Ship’s name

The information in this database was provided by the National Archives and Records Administration and contains official extracts of nearly one million arrivals of Italian immigrants at the ports of Baltimore, Boston, New Orleans, New York, and Philadelphia between 1855 and 1900.