In 2018, 668,405 inhabitants live in the municipality of Palermo. The population has been decreasing for at least 25 years (in 1990 residents were over 734 thousand) and progressively ageing from the 2000s onwards: the average age has increased from 39 years in 2002 to 43.3 in 2018 (still below the national average of 45.2 years).
The foreign population, 25,663 citizens in January 2018 with a fairly balanced gender composition, has almost tripled since the year 2000 (3.8% of residents in Palermo compared with 8.5% of the Italian average).
Palermo stands out among the Sicilian municipalities for a greater multi-ethnic presence: foreign residents are of 127 different nationalities. This specificity is testified both by the melting pot of spoken languages and by the presence of different “cultures”.
Among the languages spoken, an important role still belongs to the local dialect, widely used in daily life: in 2015, 25.5% of Sicilians spoke mainly dialect in family (national average of 14.1%), 19.7% with friends (national average of 12.1%) and 5.7% in the workplace (national average of 3.4%).
With the consolidation of the foreign presence, even in Sicily, as in the rest of Italy, the percentage of people declaring to express themselves regularly in foreign languages in family has increased over time (3.6% in 2015; 0.2% in 1995).
The artistic heritage of the city is very rich and characterized by the variety of museums and exhibition spaces (25 open to the public according to the last national census conducted by ISTAT in 2015). This heritage attracts a huge number of visitors: over 450 thousand people in 2015 (7 visitors out of 10 inhabitants).
In 2016 Sicily, with 6,135 accommodation establishments and 196,178 beds, represented about 4.0% of our country’s accommodation supply, lagging slightly behind the national average (5.0%). The province of Palermo covered 14.6% of the total regional supply (17.3% in terms of beds).
Archaeological and ancient art museums are the heritage places citizens residing in Sicily and in the South prefer the most: in 2015, they were visited by 54.3% of Sicilians and 58.1% of residents in Southern Italy (national average of 50.9%).
In 2015-2016, the citizens of Palermo went to the cinema and the theater more frequently than the national average: in the last 12 months 23.4% of residents went to the theater at least once (19.8% the national average) and 29.2% four or more times (21.5%).
Cultural liveliness of the city is also evidenced by residents’ participation in cultural activities (26.9% in 2015-2016), higher than the regional average (20.5%), in line with the national average (28.3%) and increased in comparison with 2005-2006 average (17.8%).
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