Of a total of 802,785 foreign pupils studying in Italian schools over the past academic year, 51.7 percent of the children were born in the country.
They are currently not allowed to apply for Italian citizenship until they are 18, although under government proposals Italian-born pupils will have the opportunity to become citizens as children.
Pupils without Italian citizenship represent just 9.0 percent of the total, although the overall number of foreign children in schools grew by 2.1 percent in a year. The number of foreign pupils born in Italy jumped by 11.8 percent, according to the education ministry figures.
The children’s parents are predominantly from Romania, Albania, Morocco and China, while families from the Philippines, Moldova, India, Ukraine and Peru also feature among the top nationalities.
Schools in the northern region of Lombardy teach the most foreign pupils, with 30 percent of students in Pioltello, Milan province, having non-Italian citizenships.
The central regions of Emilia Romagna and Umbria also host a high proportion of foreign students, the education ministry said.