Italy

Country Summary

Introduction

Background

Italy became a nation-state in 1861 when the regional states of the peninsula, along with Sardinia and Sicily, were united. Italy is a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC) and its subsequent successors the EC and the EU. At the forefront of European economic and political unification, Italy joined the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999.

Geography

Area

total: 301,340 sq km
land: 294,140 sq km
water: 7,200 sq km

Climate

predominantly Mediterranean; alpine in far north; hot, dry in south

Natural resources

coal, antimony, mercury, zinc, potash, marble, barite, asbestos, pumice, fluorspar, feldspar, pyrite (sulfur), natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, arable land

People and Society

Population

61,021,855 (2023 est.)

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 80.8% (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic with very small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestants), Muslim 4.9%, unaffiliated 13.4%, other 0.9% (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

-0.11% (2023 est.)

Government

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Rome

Executive branch

chief of state: President Sergio MATTARELLA (since 3 February 2015)
head of government: Prime Minister Giorgia MELONI (since 22 October 2022); the prime minister's official title is President of the Council of Ministers; Deputy Prime Ministers Matteo SALVINI and Antonio TAIANI (since 22 October 2022); the deputy prime ministers' official titles are Vice Presidents of the Council of Ministers

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlamento consists of:
Senate or Senato della Repubblica (200 elected seats; 122 members in multi-seat constituencies directly elected by proportional representation vote, 74 members in single-seat constituencies directly elected by plurality vote, and 4 members in multi-seat constituencies abroad directly elected by proportional representation vote; all members serve 5-year terms)
Chamber of Deputies or Camera dei Deputati (400 seats; 245 members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; 147 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by plurality vote and 8 members in multi-seat constituencies abroad directly elected by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)

Economy

Economic overview

core EU economy; strong services, manufacturing, and tourism sectors; hard hit by COVID-19 disruptions but starting to recover; large EU exporter but data skews due to inflated port entry valuation; corruption somewhat stymies foreign direct investment

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$2.478 trillion (2021 est.)
$2.322 trillion (2020 est.)
$2.553 trillion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$41,900 (2021 est.)
$39,100 (2020 est.)
$42,700 (2019 est.)

Agricultural products

milk, grapes, wheat, maize, tomatoes, apples, olives, sugar beets, oranges, rice

Industries

tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, ceramics

Exports

$687.948 billion (2021 est.)
$559.952 billion (2020 est.)
$636.153 billion (2019 est.)

Exports - partners

Germany 12%, France 11%, United States 10%, United Kingdom 5%, Spain 5%, Switzerland 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

packaged medicines, cars and vehicle parts, refined petroleum, vaccines and cultures, jewelry, valves (2021)

Imports

$637.934 billion (2021 est.)
$490.684 billion (2020 est.)
$568.796 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - partners

Germany 16%, France 9%, China 7%, Spain 5%, Netherlands 5%, Belgium 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, cars, packaged medicines, natural gas, refined petroleum (2019)

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -
Exchange rates:
0.845 (2021 est.)
0.876 (2020 est.)
0.893 (2019 est.)
0.847 (2018 est.)
0.885 (2017 est.)


Page last updated: Tuesday, February 27, 2024