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people in Utah claimed some Italian ancestry, with about 3,000 being recent immigrants. The percentage of Italian Americans in Utah is about 2.3 percentItalian Americans (Italian: italoamericani or italo-americani, [ˌiːtaloameriˈkaːni]) are citizens of the United States of America who are of Italian descent. The majority of Italian Americans reside in the urban Northeast and in urban industrial Midwestern metropolitan areas, with smaller communities residing in virtually all major metropolitan areas.About 5.5 million Italians immigrated to the United States from 1820 to 2004, in several distinct waves, with the majority of Italian immigrants to the United States arriving in the 20th century from Southern Italy.In 1870, prior to the large wave of Italian immigrants to the United States, there were fewer than 25,000 Italian immigrants in America, many of them Northern Italian refugees from the wars that accompanied the Risorgimento—the struggle for Italian unification and independence from foreign rule which ended in 1870.Durng the 1870s immigration began to increase during the 1870s, when more than twice as many Italians immigrated than during the five previous decades combined. The 1870s were followed by the greatest surge of immigration, which occurred between 1880 and 1914 and brought more than 4 million Italians to the United States, the largest number coming from the Southern Italian regions of Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily, which were still mainly rural and agricultural and where much of the populace had been impoverished by centuries of foreign misrule and the heavy tax burdens levied after Italian unification in 1861. This period of large-scale immigration ended abruptly with the onset of World War I in 1914 and, except for one year (1922), never fully resumed. Further immigration was greatly limited by several laws Congress passed in the 1920s aimed at restricting immigration from Italy and other Southern European countries, as well as Eastern European countries.Following the unification, the unitary Italian state initially encouraged emigration to relieve economic pressures in the South. After the American Civil War, which resulted in over a half million killed or wounded, immigrant workers were recruited from Italy and elsewhere to fill the labor shortage caused by the war. In the United States, most Italians began their new lives as manual laborers in eastern cities, mining camps and farms. The descendants of the Italian immigrants gradually rose from a lower economic class in the first generation to a level comparable to the national average by 1970. The Italian community has often been characterized by strong ties to family, the Catholic Church, fraternal organizations and political parties.