Milan Population 2017

The urban area of Milan has a population of 3.1 million in 2016, while the city proper is estimated to have a population of around 1.7 million. The metropolitan area has an even larger population, with some estimates placing it as high as 10 million people. Milan has become renowned around the world as a global city that leads the world in sectors including tourism, fashion, manufacturing, education and the arts.

Milan Demographics

Industrialization during the post-war years led to a population boom that put the Milan city population at a record high of 1,743,427 in 1973, a number that is matched in 2016. The larger urban area boasts a population of over 3 million, while the metropolitan area has an estimated population of 7 to 10 million.

According to Istat information in 2011, over 200,000 residents within the city limits are foreigners. The city is no stranger to influxes of immigrants, having seen over 400,000 people arrive throughout the 1950s through 1970s and experiencing additional immigrant growth during the late 1980s through the 1990s. Much of the immigration has been attributed to the rapid industrialization and public works of the city.

Milan has the largest community of Chinese in the country, with approximately 21,000 Chinese residents last recorded in 2011. There are also a growing number of Filipinos and Sri Lankans migrating to Milan, with 2014 estimates putting their numbers at 42,236 and 16,023, respectively. Other immigrants include those coming from Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The population of Milan is primarily Catholic, although there are also large communities of Buddhists, Jews, Muslims and Protestants. The city is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milan and has its own rites – the Ambrosian Rite – that differs from traditional Catholicism.

The city has seen population declines over the last few decades, most recently due to the financial crisis of the 1990s and declines in industries including textiles and steel production. However, the last official census taken in 2013 showed that there was a population increase of 7% compared to the last census, indicating that Milan is rebounding from these past issues.

Milan History

The history of the settlement of Milan dates back to 600 BC. Early settlement of the area was founded by the Gauls, a Celtic group. During the emperor Augustus’ reign, the already powerful city began gaining increasing power and prestige before becoming a part of the Western Roman Empire. The city was attacked by Attila the Hun in 452 and again in 539 by the Goths, but by the second half of the 10th century, the area had bounced back from the attacks.

Over the next thousands of years, Milan faced multiple conflicts and power struggles but always remained or regained its power as one of the world’s most powerful cities. Rapid industrialization throughout the 1800s and 1900s led to population growth and the city’s role as Italy’s leading financial center. The post-war economic boom led to the construction of skyscrapers and an increase in market capitalization in the stock exchange. The city has not been without controversy and hard times, however, as street violence and terrorism in the 1960s and 1970s and a financial crisis in the 1990s plagued the city.

In the 1980s, fashion powerhouses including Versace and Armani led to Milan becoming one of the fashion capitals of the world, and Milan Fashion Week continues to be one of the most exciting and anticipated events in the world of fashion. In the late 21st century, Milan has undergone redevelopments including the construction of new business districts and development of revenue sources including tourism, logistics, transport, fashion design, finance and banking, to name a few.

Milan Population Growth

Milan has been plagued with decades of a declining population, in part due to the financial crisis and industry declines. However, the city is showing slow signs of growth, with city limits of 1.7 million matching the record-high from years ago. The urban population is expected to see slow but progressive growth over the years, with a 2020 estimated population of 3.124 million and a population of 3.16 million in 2030.

Milan Population in 2017 Source: Daniel Libeskind Studio

Milan Population Data (Urban Area)

Year Population Growth Rate (%) Growth
1950 1,883,000 0.00% 0
1955 2,099,000 11.50% 216,000
1960 2,395,000 14.10% 296,000
1965 2,695,000 12.50% 300,000
1970 3,017,000 11.90% 322,000
1975 3,133,000 3.80% 116,000
1980 3,168,000 1.10% 35,000
1985 3,128,000 -1.30% -40,000
1990 3,063,000 -2.10% -65,000
1995 3,020,000 -1.40% -43,000
2000 2,985,000 -1.20% -35,000
2005 3,010,000 0.80% 25,000
2010 3,056,000 1.50% 46,000
2015 3,099,000 1.40% 43,000
2017 3,109,000 0.30% 10,000
2020 3,124,000 0.50% 15,000
2025 3,142,000 0.60% 18,000
2030 3,162,000 0.60% 20,000
Milan Population Growth

Milan's 2017 population is now estimated at 3,109,000. In 1950, the population of Milan was 1,883,000. Milan has grown by 10,000 in the last year, which represents a 0.30% change. These population estimates and projections come from the latest revision of the UN World Urbanization Prospects. These estimates represent the Urban agglomeration of Milan, which typically includes Milan's population in addition to adjacent suburban areas.