According to the latest collection of data on teaching Italian in the world (2015/2016 academic year), there are 2,065,787 foreigners studying the Italian language.
The data presented in this section provide an update on the global picture of Italian language studies, from kindergarten to university.
The sources used for data collection are the overseas offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Embassies, Consulates, and Italian Cultural Institutes), the central offices of the Ministry dealing with the teaching of Italian, and the Dante Society Alighieri.
The statistics reflect the 2015/2016 academic year and (without any claim to completeness) are the result of painstaking work at both a central and peripheral level, aimed at identifying Italian language and cultural learners worldwide.
Even this year, the data on the “structured” teaching of Italian (Italian Cultural Institutes, Italian state and accredited private schools, Italian departments in foreign schools, European schools, public and private foreign schools, universities, non-profit companies providing Italian courses, and branches of the Dante Alighieri Society) have been included, to the extent possible to verify, with other types of bodies teaching Italian (cultural associations, local language schools, public schools, third age universities, etc.), who do not benefit from Italian or local government contributions, and therefore are not easily measurable, but which in fact reinforce and extend the promotion of our language and culture worldwide.
The figures reflect a reality in constant evolution and are therefore considered non-conclusive.
To accomplish this update, the data collection methods were further improved, and efforts were made to avoid double counting and inaccuracies in the allocation of students to different learning contexts, by cross-checking the information sources and reviewing the situation country by country using data from previous academic years.
In the general summary, countries where Italian is an official language, like Switzerland and San Marino, are not included.