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  Transnational Issues

In general, information available as of 1 January 2002
was used in the preparation of The World Factbook 2002.

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

Map of Italy

Legend: Definition Definition Field Listing Field Listing
   Introduction    Italy
Definition Field Listing
Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany led to Italy's defeat in World War II. A democratic republic replaced the monarchy in 1946 and economic revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC). It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the European Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, the ravages of organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.
   Geography    Italy
Definition Field Listing
Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
42 50 N, 12 50 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
total: 301,230 sq km
note: includes Sardinia and Sicily
water: 7,210 sq km
land: 294,020 sq km
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly larger than Arizona
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
total: 1,932.2 km
border countries: Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km
Definition Field Listing
7,600 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 NM
Definition Field Listing
predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
Definition Field Listing
mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
mercury, potash, marble, sulfur, natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, coal, arable land
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 28.07%
permanent crops: 9.25%
other: 62.68% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
26,980 sq km (1998 est.)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
air pollution from industrial emissions such as sulfur dioxide; coastal and inland rivers polluted from industrial and agricultural effluents; acid rain damaging lakes; inadequate industrial waste treatment and disposal facilities
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe
   People    Italy
Definition Field Listing
57,715,625 (July 2002 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 14.1% (male 4,198,569; female 3,954,159)
15-64 years: 67.3% (male 19,334,208; female 19,492,048)
65 years and over: 18.6% (male 4,436,073; female 6,300,568) (2002 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.05% (2002 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing
8.93 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing
10.13 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.73 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing
5.76 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing
total population: 79.25 years
female: 82.63 years (2002 est.)
male: 76.08 years
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing
1.19 children born/woman (2002 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.35% (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing
95,000 (1999 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing
1,000 (1999 est.)
Definition Field Listing
noun: Italian(s)
adjective: Italian
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)
Definition Field Listing
predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community
Definition Field Listing
Italian (official), German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking), French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region), Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 98% (1998)
male: NA%
female: NA%
   Government    Italy
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: Italian Republic
conventional short form: Italy
local long form: Repubblica Italiana
former: Kingdom of Italy
local short form: Italia
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
Definition Field Listing
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
20 regions (regioni, singular - regione); Abruzzi, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Lazio, Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte, Puglia, Sardegna, Sicilia, Toscana, Trentino-Alto Adige, Umbria, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto
Definition Field Listing
17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Republic Day, 2 June (1946)
Definition Field Listing
1 January 1948
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on civil law system; appeals treated as new trials; judicial review under certain conditions in Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age; universal (except in senatorial elections, where minimum age is 25)
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President Carlo Azeglio CIAMPI (since 13 May 1999)
elections: president elected by an electoral college consisting of both houses of Parliament and 58 regional representatives for a seven-year term; election last held 13 May 1999 (next to be held NA May 2006); prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed by Parliament
head of government: Prime Minister (referred to in Italy as the president of the Council of Ministers) Silvio BERLUSCONI (since 10 June 2001)
cabinet: Council of Ministers nominated by the prime minister and approved by the president
election results: Carlo Azeglio CIAMPI elected president; percent of electoral college vote - 70%
note: a five-party government coalition includes Forza Italia, National Alliance, Northern League, Democratic Christian Center, United Christian Democrats
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
bicameral Parliament or Parlamento consists of the Senate or Senato della Repubblica (315 seats elected by popular vote of which 232 are directly elected and 83 are elected by regional proportional representation; in addition, there are a small number of senators-for-life including former presidents of the republic; members serve five-year terms) and the Chamber of Deputies or Camera dei Deputati (630 seats; 475 are directly elected, 155 by regional proportional representation; members serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held 13 May 2001 (next to be held NA 2006); Chamber of Deputies - last held 13 May 2001 (next to be held NA 2006)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - House of Liberties 177 (Forza Italia 82, National Alliance 46, CCD-CDU 29, Northern League 17, others 3), Olive Tree 128 (Democrats of the Left 62, Daisy Alliance 42, Sunflower Alliance 16, Italian Communist Party 3, independents 5), non-affiliated with either coalition 10, senators for life 9; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - House of Liberties 367 (Forza Italia 189, National Alliance 96, CCD-CDU 40, Northern League 30, others 12), Olive Tree 248 (Democrats of the Left 138, Daisy Alliance 76, Sunflower Alliance 18, Italian Communist Party 9, independents 7), non-affiliated with either coalition 15
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Constitutional Court or Corte Costituzionale (composed of 15 judges: one-third appointed by the president, one-third elected by Parliament, one-third elected by the ordinary and administrative Supreme Courts)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Center-Left Olive Tree Coalition [Francesco RUTELLI] - Democrats of the Left, Daisy Alliance (including Italian Popular Party, Italian Renewal, Union of Democrats for Europe, The Democrats), Sunflower Alliance (including Green Federation, Italian Democratic Socialists), Italian Communist Party; Center-Right Freedom House Coalition [Silvio BERLUSCONI] (formerly House of Liberties and Freedom Alliance) - Forza Italia, National Alliance, The Whiteflower Alliance (includes Christian Democratic Center, United Christian Democrats), Northern League; Christian Democratic Center or CCD [Marco FOLLINI]; Communist Party or PdCI [Oliviero DILIBERTO]; Democrats of the Left or DS [Piero FASSINO]; Forza Italia or FI [Silvio BERLUSCONI]; Green Federation [Alfonso Pecoraro SCANIO]; Italian Communist Party or PdCI [Oliviero DILIBERTO]; Italian Popular Party or PPI [Pierluigi CASTAGNETTI]; Italian Renewal or RI [Lamberto DINI]; Italian Social Democrats or SDI [Enrico BOSELLI]; Socialist Movement-Tricolor Flame or MS-Fiamma [Pino RAUTI]; National Alliance or AN [Gianfranco FINI]; Northern League or NL [Umberto BOSSI]; Southern Tyrols People's Party or SVP (German speakers) [Siegfried BRUGGER]; Sunflower Alliance (includes Green Federation, Italian Social Democrats); The Daisy Alliance (includes Italian Popular Party, Italian Renewal, Union of Democrats for Europe, The Democrats); The Democrats [Arturo PARISI]; The Radicals (formerly Pannella Reformers and Autonomous List) [Marco PANNELLA]; The Whiteflower Alliance (includes Christian Democratic Center, United Christian Democrats); Union of Democrats for Europe or UDEUR [Clemente MASTELLA]; United Christian Democrats or CDU [Rocco BUTTIGLIONE]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Italian manufacturers and merchants associations (Confindustria, Confcommercio); organized farm groups (Confcoltivatori, Confagricoltura); Roman Catholic Church; three major trade union confederations (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro or CGIL [Sergio COFFERATI] which is left wing, Confederazione Italiana dei Sindacati Lavoratori or CISL [Savino PEZZOTTA] which is Roman Catholic centrist, and Unione Italiana del Lavoro or UIL [Pietro LARIZZA] which is lay centrist)
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Ferdinando SALLEO
consulate(s): Detroit
consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco
FAX: [1] (202) 518-2151
telephone: [1] (202) 612-4400
chancery: 3000 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
chief of mission: Ambassador Melvin SEMBLER
embassy: Via Vittorio Veneto 119/A, 00187-Rome
mailing address: PSC 59, Box 100, APO AE 09624
telephone: [39] (06) 46741
FAX: [39] (06) 488-2672, 4674-2356
consulate(s) general: Florence, Milan, Naples
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; similar to the flag of Ireland, which is longer and is green (hoist side), white, and orange; also similar to the flag of the Cote d'Ivoire, which has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green
note: inspired by the French flag brought to Italy by Napoleon in 1797
   Economy    Italy
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Italy has a diversified industrial economy with roughly the same total and per capita output as France and the UK. This capitalistic economy remains divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less developed agricultural south, with 20% unemployment. Most raw materials needed by industry and more than 75% of energy requirements are imported. Over the past decade, Italy has pursued a tight fiscal policy in order to meet the requirements of the Economic and Monetary Unions and has benefited from lower interest and inflation rates. The current government has enacted numerous short-term reforms aimed at improving competitiveness and long-term growth. Rome has moved slowly, however, on implementing needed structural reforms, such as lightening the high tax burden and overhauling Italy's rigid labor market and over-generous pension system, because of the current economic slowdown and opposition from labor unions.
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $1.438 trillion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.4% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
Definition Field Listing
purchasing power parity - $25,000 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 2%
industry: 30%
services: 68% (2001 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 27% (2000)
Distribution of family income - Gini index:
Definition Field Listing
27 (1995)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing
2.4% (2002)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing
23.6 million (2001 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
services 63%, industry 32%, agriculture 5% (2001)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing
9.1% (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $504 billion
expenditures: $517 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (2001 est.)
Definition Field Listing
tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, ceramics
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
-2.8% (2002)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing
257.41 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source:
Definition Field Listing
fossil fuel: 80%
hydro: 17%
other: 3% (2000)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing
283.74 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
484 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
44.831 billion kWh (2000)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
fruits, vegetables, grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives; beef, dairy products; fish
Definition Field Listing
$259.2 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
engineering products, textiles and clothing, production machinery, motor vehicles, transport equipment, chemicals; food, beverages and tobacco; minerals and nonferrous metals
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
EU 53.8% (Germany 14.5%, France 12.2%, UK 6.7%, Spain 6.1%), US 9.7% (2001)
Definition Field Listing
$238.2 billion f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
engineering products, chemicals, transport equipment, energy products, minerals and nonferrous metals, textiles and clothing; food, beverages and tobacco
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
EU 56.5% (Germany 17.7%, France 11.1%, Netherlands 6.2%, UK 5.1%), US 4.9% (2001)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing
Economic aid - donor:
Definition Field Listing
ODA, $1 billion (2002 est.)
Definition Field Listing
euro (EUR); Italian lira (ITL)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries
Currency code:
Definition Field Listing
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
euros per US dollar - 1.1324 (January 2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); Italian lire per US dollar - 1,688.7 (January 1999), 1,736.2 (1998), 1,703.1 (1997)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
calendar year
   Communications    Italy
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing
25 million (1999)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing
20.5 million (1999)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: modern, well developed, fast; fully automated telephone, telex, and data services
domestic: high-capacity cable and microwave radio relay trunks
international: satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (with a total of 5 antennas - 3 for Atlantic Ocean and 2 for Indian Ocean), 1 Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region), and NA Eutelsat; 21 submarine cables
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM about 100, FM about 4,600, shortwave 9 (1998)
Definition Field Listing
50.5 million (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
358 (plus 4,728 repeaters) (1995)
Definition Field Listing
30.3 million (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Definition Field Listing
93 (Italy and Holy See) (2000)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing
19.25 million (2001)
   Transportation    Italy
Definition Field Listing
total: 19,786 km
standard gauge: 18,761 km 1.435-m gauge (11,251 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 113 km 1.000-m gauge (113 km electrified); 912 km 0.950-m gauge (192 km electrified) (2001)
Definition Field Listing
total: 668,669 km
paved: 668,669 km (including 6,460 km of expressways)
unpaved: 0 km (2001)
Definition Field Listing
2,400 km
note: serves various types of commercial traffic, although of limited overall value (2002)
Definition Field Listing
crude oil 1,703 km; petroleum products 2,148 km; natural gas 19,400 km
Ports and harbors:
Definition Field Listing
Augusta (Sicily), Bagnoli, Bari, Brindisi, Gela, Genoa, La Spezia, Livorno, Milazzo, Naples, Porto Foxi, Porto Torres (Sardinia), Salerno, Savona, Taranto, Trieste, Venice (2001)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing
total: 467 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 8,499,248 GRT/10,383,988 DWT
note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Croatia 1, Denmark 4, France 1, Greece 3, Man, Isle of 1, Monaco 7, Netherlands 6, Norway 1, Panama 2, Spain 1, Switzerland 1, Taiwan 15, Turkey 1, United Kingdom 6, United States 12 (2002 est.)
ships by type: bulk 45, cargo 41, chemical tanker 91, combination ore/oil 4, container 24, liquefied gas 37, multi-functional large-load carrier 1, passenger 15, petroleum tanker 80, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 70, short-sea passenger 27, specialized tanker 12, vehicle carrier 16
Definition Field Listing
135 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 96
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 34
914 to 1,523 m: 30
under 914 m: 12 (2002)
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 38
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 18
under 914 m: 18 (2002)
Definition Field Listing
4 (2002)
   Military    Italy
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy, Air Force, Carabinieri
Military manpower - military age:
Definition Field Listing
18 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 14,184,307 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 15-49: 12,157,753 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males: 304,369 (2002 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing
$20.2 billion (2002)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing
1.64% (2002)
   Transnational Issues    Italy
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
Croatia and Italy are still trying to resolve bilateral property and ethnic minority rights dating from World War II
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
important gateway for and consumer of Latin American cocaine and Southwest Asian heroin entering the European market; money laundering by organized crime and from smuggling

This page was last updated on 19 March 2003

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