Area: 301,225 sq. km. (116,303 sq. mi.); about the size of Georgia
and Florida combined.
Cities: Capital--Rome (pop. 2.8 million). Other cities--Milan,
Terrain: Mostly rugged and mountainous.
Climate: Generally mild Mediterranean; cold northern winters.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Italian(s).
Population: 57.8 million.
Annual growth rate: .28%.
Ethnic groups: Primarily Italian, but there are small groups of
German-, French-, Slovene-, and Albanian-Italians.
Religion: Roman Catholic (majority).
Language: Italian (official).
Education: Years compulsory--18. Literacy--98%.
Health: Infant mortality rate--5.76/1,000 live births.
Life expectancy--76.08 for men; 83.0 for women.
Work force (23.8 million): Services--57.6%; industry and
commerce--28.9%; agriculture--4.2%; unemployed--9.2%.
Type: Republic since June 2, 1946.
Constitution: January 1, 1948.
Branches: Executive--president (chief of state), Council of
Ministers (cabinet), headed by the president of the council (prime
minister). Legislative--bicameral parliament: 630-member
Chamber of Deputies, 315-member Senate (plus a varying number of
"life" Senators). Judicial--independent constitutional court
and lower magistracy.
Subdivisions: 94 provinces, 20 regions.
Political parties: Forza Italia, Democratic Party of the Left,
National Alliance, Northern League, United Christian Democrats,
Democrats, Italian People's Party, Christian Democratic Center,
Socialist, Communist Renewal, Social Democratic, Republican,
Liberal, Greens, Italian Renewal.
Suffrage: Vote for House; universal over 18; vote for Senate;
universal over 18.
GDP (2002): $1.2 trillion.
Per capita income (2002): $21,500.
GDP growth: 0.9% (2003 est.); 0.4% (2002); 1.8% (2001).
Natural resources: Fish, natural gas.
Agriculture: Products--wheat, rice, grapes, olives, citrus
fruits. Industry: Types--automobiles, machinery, chemicals,
Trade (2002): Exports--$263.6 billion. Partners--EU
53%, U.S. 10%, OPEC 4%; mechanical products, textiles and apparel,
transportation equipment, metal products, chemical products, food
and agricultural products. Imports--$254.5 billion.
Partners--EU 56%, OPEC 6%, U.S. 5%; machinery and transport
equipment, foodstuffs, ferrous and nonferrous metals, wool, cotton,