Italian Americans (italoamericani or italo-americani, ˌitaloameriˈkaːni) are Americans who have full or partial Italian ancestry. According to the Italian American Studies Association, the current population is about 18 million, an increase from 16 million in 2010, corresponding to about 5.4% of the total population of the United States. The largest concentrations of Italian Americans are in the urban Northeast and industrial Midwestern metropolitan areas, with significant communities also residing in many other major U.S. metropolitan areas.
Between 1820 and 2004, approximately 5.5 million Italians migrated to the United States during the Italian diaspora, in several distinct waves, with the greatest number arriving in the 20th century from Southern Italy. Initially, many Italian immigrants (usually single men), so-called "birds of passage", sent remittance back to their families in Italy and, eventually, returned to Italy.
Immigration began to increase during t