Europe :: Italy
  • Introduction :: Italy
  • Background:

    Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united under King Victor EMMANUEL II. An era of parliamentary government came to a close in the early 1920s when Benito MUSSOLINI established a Fascist dictatorship. His 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 is a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC) and its subsequent successors the EC and the EU. It has been at the forefront of European economic and political unification, joining the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999. Persistent problems include sluggish economic growth, high youth and female unemployment, organized crime, corruption, and economic disparities between southern Italy and the more prosperous north.

    ITALY SUMMARY: PDF
  • Geography :: Italy
  • Location:
    Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia
    Geographic coordinates:
    42 50 N, 12 50 E
    Map references:
    Europe
    Area:
    total: 301,340 sq km
    land: 294,140 sq km
    water: 7,200 sq km

    note: includes Sardinia and Sicily

    country comparison to the world: 73
    Area - comparative:
    almost twice the size of Georgia; slightly larger than Arizona
    Area comparison map: Area comparison map
    Land boundaries:
    total: 1,836.4 km
    border countries (6): Austria 404 km, France 476 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.4 km, San Marino 37 km, Slovenia 218 km, Switzerland 698 km
    Coastline:
    7,600 km
    Maritime claims:
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
    Climate:
    predominantly Mediterranean; alpine in far north; hot, dry in south
    Terrain:
    mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands
    Elevation:
    mean elevation: 538 m
    elevation extremes: 0 m lowest point: Mediterranean Sea
    4748 highest point: Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)
    Natural resources:
    coal, antimony, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorspar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 47.1% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 22.8% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 8.6% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 15.7% (2011 est.)
    forest: 31.4% (2011 est.)
    other: 21.5% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    39,500 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    despite a distinctive pattern with an industrial north and an agrarian south, a fairly even population distribution exists throughout most of the country, with coastal areas, the Po River Valley, and urban centers (particularly Milan, Rome, and Naples), attracting larger and denser populations
    Natural hazards:

    regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice

    volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Etna (3,330 m), which is in eruption as of 2010, is Europe's most active volcano; flank eruptions pose a threat to nearby Sicilian villages; Etna, along with the famous Vesuvius, which remains a threat to the millions of nearby residents in the Bay of Naples area, have both been deemed Decade Volcanoes by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to their explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Stromboli, on its namesake island, has also been continuously active with moderate volcanic activity; other historically active volcanoes include Campi Flegrei, Ischia, Larderello, Pantelleria, Vulcano, and Vulsini

    Environment - current issues:
    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:
    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    Geography - note:
    strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe
  • People and Society :: Italy
  • Population:
    62,246,674 (July 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 23
    Nationality:
    noun: Italian(s)
    adjective: Italian
    Ethnic groups:
    Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)
    Languages:
    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)
    Religions:
    Christian 80% (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic with very small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestants), Muslim (about 800,000 to 1 million), atheist and agnostic 20%
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 13.6% (male 4,326,862 /female 4,136,562)
    15-24 years: 9.61% (male 2,994,651 /female 2,984,172)
    25-54 years: 41.82% (male 12,845,442 /female 13,183,240)
    55-64 years: 13.29% (male 4,012,640 /female 4,261,956)
    65 years and over: 21.69% (male 5,817,819 /female 7,683,330) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 56.5 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 21.5 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 35 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 2.9 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 45.8 years
    male: 44.7 years
    female: 46.9 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Population growth rate:
    0.16% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    Birth rate:
    8.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 216
    Death rate:
    10.5 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 28
    Net migration rate:
    3.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 31
    Population distribution:
    despite a distinctive pattern with an industrial north and an agrarian south, a fairly even population distribution exists throughout most of the country, with coastal areas, the Po River Valley, and urban centers (particularly Milan, Rome, and Naples), attracting larger and denser populations
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 70.4% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 0.29% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Major urban areas - population:
    4.21 million ROME (capital), 3.132 million Milan, 2.198 million Naples, 1.786 million Turin, 874,000 Bergamo, 854,000 Palermo (2018)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Mother's mean age at first birth:
    30.7 years (2014 est.)
    Maternal mortality rate:
    4 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 178
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 3.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 3 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 82.4 years (2018 est.)
    male: 79.7 years (2018 est.)
    female: 85.2 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Total fertility rate:
    1.45 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 206
    Contraceptive prevalence rate:
    65.1% (2013)

    note: percent of women aged 18-49

    Health expenditures:
    9.2% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Physicians density:
    4.02 physicians/1,000 population (2016)
    Hospital bed density:
    3.4 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    Drinking water source:
    improved: urban: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 100% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
    Sanitation facility access:
    improved: urban: 99.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 99.6% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 99.5% of population (2015 est.)
    unimproved: urban: 0.5% of population (2015 est.)
    rural: 0.4% of population (2015 est.)
    total: 0.5% of population (2015 est.)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    0.2% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    130,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    <1000 (2017 est.)
    Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
    19.9% (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    Education expenditures:
    4.1% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2015 est.)
    total population: 99.2% (2015 est.)
    male: 99.4% (2015 est.)
    female: 99% (2015 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 16 years (2014)
    male: 16 years (2014)
    female: 17 years (2014)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 37.8% (2016 est.)
    male: 36.5% (2016 est.)
    female: 39.6% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
  • Government :: Italy
  • Country name:
    conventional long form: Italian Republic
    conventional short form: Italy
    local long form: Repubblica Italiana
    local short form: Italia
    former: Kingdom of Italy
    etymology: derivation is unclear, but the Latin "Italia" may come from the Oscan "Viteliu" meaning "[Land] of Young Cattle" (the bull was a symbol of southern Italic tribes)
    Government type:
    parliamentary republic
    Capital:
    name: Rome
    geographic coordinates: 41 54 N, 12 29 E
    time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
    Administrative divisions:

    15 regions (regioni, singular - regione) and 5 autonomous regions (regioni autonome, singular - regione autonoma)

    regions: Abruzzo, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Emilia-Romagna, Lazio (Latium), Liguria, Lombardia, Marche, Molise, Piemonte (Piedmont), Puglia (Apulia), Toscana (Tuscany), Umbria, Veneto;

    autonomous regions: Friuli-Venezia Giulia; Sardegna (Sardinia); Sicilia (Sicily); Trentino-Alto Adige (Trentino-South Tyrol) or Trentino-Suedtirol (German); Valle d'Aosta (Aosta Valley) or Vallee d'Aoste (French)

    Independence:
    17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1871)
    National holiday:
    Republic Day, 2 June (1946)
    Constitution:
    history: previous 1848 (originally for the Kingdom of Sardinia and adopted by the Kingdom of Italy in 1861); latest enacted 22 December 1947, adopted 27 December 1947, entered into force 1 January 1948 (2017)
    amendments: proposed by both houses of Parliament; passage requires two successive debates and approval by absolute majority of each house on the second vote; a referendum is only required when requested by one-fifth of the members of either house, by voter petition, or by five Regional Councils (elected legislative assemblies of the 15 first-level administrative regions and 5 autonomous regions of Italy); referendum not required if an amendment has been approved by a two-thirds majority in each house in the second vote; amended many times, last in 2012; note - a referendum held on 4 December 2016 on constitutional amendments was defeated (2017)
    International law organization participation:
    accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
    Citizenship:
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Italy
    dual citizenship recognized: yes
    residency requirement for naturalization: 4 years for EU nationals, 5 years for refugees and specified exceptions, 10 years for all others
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age; universal except in senatorial elections, where minimum age is 25
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President Sergio MATTARELLA (since 3 February 2015)
    head of government: Prime Minister Giuseppe CONTE (since 1 June 2018); the prime minister's official title is President of the Council of Ministers
    cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, known officially as the President of the Council of Ministers and locally as the Premier; nominated by the president
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of both houses of Parliament and 58 regional representatives for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 31 January 2015 (next to be held in 2022); prime minister appointed by the president, confirmed by parliament
    election results: Sergio MATTARELLA (PD) elected president; electoral college vote count in fourth round - 665 out of 1,009 (505-vote threshold)
    Legislative branch:
    description: bicameral Parliament or Parlamento consists of:
    Senate or Senato della Repubblica (321 seats; 116 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 193 members in multi-seat constituencies and 6 members in multi-seat constituencies abroad directly elected by party-list proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms and 6 ex-officio members appointed by the president of the Republic to serve for life)
    Chamber of Deputies or Camera dei Deputati (630 seats; 629 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote and 1 member from Valle d'Aosta elected by simple majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
    elections:
    Senate - last held on 4 March 2018 (next to be held on March 2023)
    Chamber of Deputies - last held on 4 March 2018 (next to be held on March 2023); President MATTARELLA dissolved parliament on 28 December 2017, triggering an early election
    election results:
    Senate - percent of vote by party - center-right coalition 37.5% (L 17.6%, FI 14.4%, FdI 4.3%, UdC 1.2%), M5S 32.2%, center-left coalition (PD 19.1%, +E 2.3%, I 0.5%, CP 0.5%, SVP-PATT 0.4%), LeU 3.3%; seats by party - center-right coalition 77(L 37, FI 33, FdI 7), M5S 68, center-left coalition 44(PD 43, SVP-PATT 1), LeU 4; composition - men208, women 113, percent of women 35.2%

    Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - center-right coalition 37% (L 17.4%, FI 14%, FdI 4.4%, UdC 1.3%), M5S 33%, center-left coalition 22.9% (PD 18.8%, E+ 2.6%, I 0.6%, CP 0.5%, SVP-PATT 0.4%); seats by party - center-right coalition 151 (L73, FI 59, FdI 19), M5S 133, center-left coalition 88 (PD 86, SVP 2), LeU 14; composition - men 451, women 179, percent of women 28.4%; note - total Parliament percent of women 30.7%
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Supreme Court of Cassation or Corte Suprema di Cassazione consists of the first president (chief justice), deputy president, 54 justices presiding over 6 civil and 7 criminal divisions, and 288 judges; an additional 30 judges of lower courts serve as supporting judges; cases normally heard by 5-judge panels; more complex cases heard by 9-judge panels; Constitutional Court or Corte Costituzionale (consists of the court president and 14 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the High Council of the Judiciary, headed by the president of the republic; judges may serve for life; Constitutional Court judges - 5 appointed by the president, 5 elected by parliament, 5 elected by select higher courts; judges serve up to 9 years
    subordinate courts: various lower civil and criminal courts (primary and secondary tribunals, courts, and courts of appeal)
    Political parties and leaders:
    Ruling left-center-right coalition: Civic Choice or SC [Enrico ZANETTI]; Democratic Centre or CD [Bruno TABACCI]; Democratic Party or PD [Maurizio MARTINA]; Popular Alliance or AP [Angelino ALFANO] (formerly New Center-Right or NCD); Union of the Center or UdC [Pier Fernando CASSINI]; Center-right opposition: Brothers of Italy-National Alliance or FdI-AN [Giorgia MELONI, Ignazio LA RUSSA, and Guido CROSETTO]; Forza Italia or FI [Silvio BERLUSCONI] (formerly People of Freedom or PdL); Northern League (Lega Nord) or Lega [Matteo SALVINI]; Other parties and parliamentary groups: Democratic and Progressive Movement or MDP [Roberto SPERANZA]; Five Star Movement or M5S [Luigi DI MAIO]; Liberal Popular Alliance or ALA [Denis VERDINI]; Sinistra Italiani or SI [Nicola FRATOIANNI] (formerly Sinistra Ecologia Liberta or SEL); South Tyrolean People's Party or SVP [Philipp ACHAMMER]; Trentino Tyrolean Autonomist Party (Partito Autonomista Trentino Tirolese) or PATT [Franco PANIZZA, secretary]
    International organization participation:
    ADB (nonregional member), AfDB (nonregional member), Arctic Council (observer), Australia Group, BIS, BSEC (observer), CBSS (observer), CD, CDB, CE, CEI, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EITI (implementing country), EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, G-7, G-8, G-10, G-20, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Pacific Alliance (observer), Paris Club, PCA, PIF (partner), Schengen Convention, SELEC (observer), SICA (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Armando VARRICCHIO (since 2 March 2016)
    chancery: 3000 Whitehaven Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 612-4400
    FAX: [1] (202) 518-2151
    consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Houston, Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco
    consulate(s): Charlotte (NC), Cleveland (OH), Detroit (MI), Hattiesburg (MS), Honolulu (HI), New Orleans, Newark (NJ), Norfolk (VA), Pittsburgh (PA), Portland (OR), Seattle
    Diplomatic representation from the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador Lewis EISENBERG (since 4 October 2017); note - also accredited to San Marino
    embassy: Via Vittorio Veneto 121, 00187-Rome
    mailing address: PSC 59, Box 100, APO AE 09624
    telephone: [39] 06-4674-1
    FAX: [39] 06-488-2672
    consulate(s) general: Florence, Milan, Naples
    Flag description:
    three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and red; design inspired by the French flag brought to Italy by Napoleon in 1797; colors are those of Milan (red and white) combined with the green uniform color of the Milanese civic guard

    note: similar to the flag of Mexico, which is longer, uses darker shades of red and green, and has its coat of arms centered on the white band; 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

    National symbol(s):
    white, five-pointed star (Stella d'Italia); national colors: red, white, green
    National anthem:
    name: "Il Canto degli Italiani" (The Song of the Italians)
    lyrics/music: Goffredo MAMELI/Michele NOVARO

    note: adopted 1946; the anthem, originally written in 1847, is also known as "L'Inno di Mameli" (Mameli's Hymn), and "Fratelli D'Italia" (Brothers of Italy)

  • Economy :: Italy
  • Economy - overview:

    Italy’s economy comprises a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, highly subsidized, agricultural south, with a legacy of unemployment and underdevelopment. The Italian economy is driven in large part by the manufacture of high-quality consumer goods produced by small and medium-sized enterprises, many of them family-owned. Italy also has a sizable underground economy, which by some estimates accounts for as much as 17% of GDP. These activities are most common within the agriculture, construction, and service sectors.

    Italy is the third-largest economy in the euro zone, but its exceptionally high public debt and structural impediments to growth have rendered it vulnerable to scrutiny by financial markets. Public debt has increased steadily since 2007, reaching 131% of GDP in 2017. Investor concerns about Italy and the broader euro-zone crisis eased in 2013, bringing down Italy's borrowing costs on sovereign government debt from euro-era records. The government still faces pressure from investors and European partners to sustain its efforts to address Italy's longstanding structural economic problems, including labor market inefficiencies, a sluggish judicial system, and a weak banking sector. Italy’s economy returned to modest growth in late 2014 for the first time since 2011. In 2015-16, Italy’s economy grew at about 1% each year, and in 2017 growth accelerated to 1.5% of GDP. In 2017, overall unemployment was 11.4%, but youth unemployment remained high at 37.1%. GDP growth is projected to slow slightly in 2018.

    GDP (purchasing power parity):
    $2.317 trillion (2017 est.)
    $2.282 trillion (2016 est.)
    $2.263 trillion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 12
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $1.939 trillion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    1.5% (2017 est.)
    0.9% (2016 est.)
    1% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $38,200 (2017 est.)
    $37,600 (2016 est.)
    $37,200 (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 50
    Gross national saving:
    20.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
    19.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
    18.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 61% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 18.6% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 17.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: -0.2% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 31.4% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -28.3% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 2.1% (2017 est.)
    industry: 23.9% (2017 est.)
    services: 73.9% (2017 est.)
    Agriculture - products:
    fruits, vegetables, grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives; beef, dairy products; fish
    Industries:
    tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, ceramics
    Industrial production growth rate:
    2.1% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 128
    Labor force:
    25.94 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 3.9%
    industry: 28.3%
    services: 67.8% (2011)
    Unemployment rate:
    11.3% (2017 est.)
    11.7% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 153
    Population below poverty line:
    29.9% (2012 est.)
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: 26.8% (2000)
    highest 10%: 26.8% (2000)
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    31.9 (2012 est.)
    27.3 (1995)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Budget:
    revenues: 903.3 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 948.1 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    46.6% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    -2.3% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    Public debt:
    131.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    132% of GDP (2016 est.)

    note: Italy reports its data on public debt according to guidelines set out in the Maastricht Treaty; general government gross debt is defined in the Maastricht Treaty as consolidated general government gross debt at nominal value, outstanding at the end of the year, in the following categories of government liabilities (as defined in ESA95): currency and deposits (AF.2), securities other than shares excluding financial derivatives (AF.3, excluding AF.34), and loans (AF.4); the general government sector comprises central, state, and local government and social security funds

    country comparison to the world: 5
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    1.3% (2017 est.)
    -0.1% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    Central bank discount rate:
    0.25% (31 December 2013)
    0.75% (31 December 2012)

    note: this is the European Central Bank's rate on the marginal lending facility, which offers overnight credit to banks in the euro area

    country comparison to the world: 139
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    3% (31 December 2017 est.)
    3.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Stock of narrow money:
    $1.347 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.101 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)

    note: see entry for the European Union for money supply for the entire euro area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 18 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money circulating within their own borders

    country comparison to the world: 6
    Stock of broad money:
    $1.347 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.101 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $3.422 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $3.024 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $587.3 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $615.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    $480.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Current account balance:
    $53.42 billion (2017 est.)
    $47.64 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Exports:
    $496.3 billion (2017 est.)
    $454.1 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Exports - partners:
    Germany 12.5%, France 10.3%, US 9%, Spain 5.2%, UK 5.2%, Switzerland 4.6% (2017)
    Exports - commodities:
    engineering products, textiles and clothing, production machinery, motor vehicles, transport equipment, chemicals; foodstuffs, beverages, and tobacco; minerals, nonferrous metals
    Imports:
    $432.9 billion (2017 est.)
    $389.8 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Imports - commodities:
    engineering products, chemicals, transport equipment, energy products, minerals and nonferrous metals, textiles and clothing; food, beverages, tobacco
    Imports - partners:
    Germany 16.3%, France 8.8%, China 7.1%, Netherlands 5.6%, Spain 5.3%, Belgium 4.5% (2017)
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $151.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $130.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    Debt - external:
    $2.444 trillion (31 March 2016 est.)
    $2.3 trillion (31 March 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 9
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $552.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $471.7 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $671.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $584.1 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Exchange rates:
    euros (EUR) per US dollar -
    0.885 (2017 est.)
    0.903 (2016 est.)
    0.9214 (2015 est.)
    0.885 (2014 est.)
    0.7634 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Italy
  • Electricity access:
    electrification - total population: 100% (2016)
    Electricity - production:
    275.3 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Electricity - consumption:
    293.5 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Electricity - exports:
    6.155 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 30
    Electricity - imports:
    43.18 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    114.2 million kW (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 10
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    54% of total installed capacity (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    14% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 106
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    32% of total installed capacity (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Crude oil - production:
    77,530 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Crude oil - exports:
    13,790 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 57
    Crude oil - imports:
    1.341 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 7
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    487.8 million bbl (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    1.607 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    1.236 million bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    615,900 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 13
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    422,500 bbl/day (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Natural gas - production:
    5.55 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 50
    Natural gas - consumption:
    75.15 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 11
    Natural gas - exports:
    271.8 million cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Natural gas - imports:
    69.66 billion cu m (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 5
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    38.11 billion cu m (1 January 2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    351 million Mt (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
  • Communications :: Italy
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 20,700,659 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 83,871,543 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 135 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 19
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: modern, well-developed, fast; fully automated telephone, telex, and data services (2015)
    domestic: high-capacity cable and microwave radio relay trunks (2015)
    international: country code - 39; a series of submarine cables provide links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, North Africa, and US; 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 (2015)
    Broadcast media:
    two Italian media giants dominate - the publicly owned Radiotelevisione Italiana (RAI) with 3 national terrestrial stations and privately owned Mediaset with 3 national terrestrial stations; a large number of private stations and Sky Italia - a satellite TV network; RAI operates 3 AM/FM nationwide radio stations; about 1,300 commercial radio stations (2007)
    Internet country code:
    .it
    Internet users:
    total: 38,025,661 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 61.3% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 16,586,376 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 27 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
  • Transportation :: Italy
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 9 (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 382 (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 26,036,010 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 945,433,732 mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    I (2016)
    Airports:
    129 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 45
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 98 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 9 (2017)
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 31 (2017)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 18 (2017)
    914 to 1,523 m: 29 (2017)
    under 914 m: 11 (2017)
    Airports - with unpaved runways:
    total: 31 (2013)
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)
    914 to 1,523 m: 10 (2013)
    under 914 m: 20 (2013)
    Heliports:
    5 (2013)
    Pipelines:
    20223 km gas, 1393 km oil, 1574 km refined products (2013)
    Railways:
    total: 20,182 km (2014)
    standard gauge: 18,770.1 km 1.435-m gauge (12,893.6 km electrified) (2014)
    narrow gauge: 122.3 km 1.000-m gauge (122.3 km electrified) (2014)
    1289.3 0.950-m gauge (151.3 km electrified)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    Roadways:
    total: 487,700 km (2007)
    paved: 487,700 km (includes 6,700 km of expressways) (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    Waterways:
    2,400 km (used for commercial traffic; of limited overall value compared to road and rail) (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 36
    Merchant marine:
    total: 1,430 (2017)
    by type: bulk carrier 65, container ship 10, general cargo 145, oil tanker 135, other 1075 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Augusta, Cagliari, Genoa, Livorno, Taranto, Trieste, Venice
    oil terminal(s): Melilli (Santa Panagia) oil terminal, Sarroch oil terminal
    container port(s) (TEUs): Genoa (2,297,917), Gioia Tauro (2,797,000) (2016)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): La Spezia, Panigaglia, Porto Levante
  • Military and Security :: Italy
  • Military expenditures:
    1.12% of GDP (2017)
    1.51% of GDP (2016)
    1.39% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    Military branches:
    Italian Armed Forces: Army (Esercito Italiano, EI), Navy (Marina Militare Italiana, MMI), Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana, AMI), Carabinieri Corps (Arma dei Carabinieri, CC), Financial Guard (Guardia di Finanza) (2015)
    Military service age and obligation:
    18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in any military branch; Italian citizenship required; 1-year service obligation (2013)
  • Transnational Issues :: Italy
  • Disputes - international:
    Italy's long coastline and developed economy entices tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from southeastern Europe and northern Africa
    Refugees and internally displaced persons:
    refugees (country of origin): 16,033 (Afghanistan), 14,336 (Somalia), 14,247 (Nigeria), 13,412 (Pakistan), 11,327 (Mali), 10,049 (Eritrea), 7,723 (Gambia), 5,805 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2016), 12,535 (Ukraine) (2018) note - estimate represents asylum applicants since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis in 2014 to September 2017
    stateless persons: 715 (2017)

    note: 477,658 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals by sea (January 2015-November 2018); hosts an estimated 155,619 migrants and asylum seekers as of the end of September 2018; 119,369 arrivals in 2017

    Illicit drugs:
    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