Popes in their secular role ruled portions of the Italian peninsula for more than a thousand years until the mid-19th century, when many of the Papal States were seized by the newly United Kingdom of Italy. In 1870, the pope's holdings were further circumscribed when Rome itself was annexed.



total: 0 sq km

land: 0.44 sq km

water: 0 sq km


temperate; mild, rainy winters (September to May) with hot, dry summers (May to September)

Natural resources


People and Society


1,000 (2022 est.)

Ethnic groups

Italian, Swiss, Argentinian, and other nationalities from around the world (2017)


Italian, Latin, French, various other languages


Roman Catholic

Population growth rate

0% (2014 est.)


Government type

ecclesiastical elective monarchy; self-described as an "absolute monarchy"


name: Vatican City

Executive branch

chief of state: Pope FRANCIS (since 13 March 2013)

head of government: President of the Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City and President of the Governorate of the Vatican City State is Fernando VERGEZ ALZAGA (since 1 October 2021)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Pontifical Commission for the State of Vatican City or Pontificia Commissione per lo Stato della Citta del Vaticano (7 seats; the president of the Governorate of Vatican City State and 6 cardinals appointed by the pope to serve 5-year terms)


Economic overview

limited, tourism-based economy; euro user but issues commemorative stamps and coins; solar energy producer; some printing industry to support museums and religious needs


printing; production of coins, medals, postage stamps; mosaics, staff uniforms; worldwide banking and financial activities

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

Page last updated: Thursday, December 15, 2022