The World Factbook (1990)/Italy



World Factbook (1990) Italy.jpg

 See regional map V


Total area: 301,230 km²; land area: 294,020 km²; includes Sardinia and Sicily

Comparative area: slightly larger than Arizona

Land boundaries: 1,902.2 km total; Austria 430 km, France 488 km, San Marino 39 km, Switzerland 740 km, Vatican City 3.2 km, Yugoslavia 202 km

Coastline: 4,996 km

Maritime claims:

Continental shelf: 200 m or to depth of exploitation
Territorial sea: 12 nm

Disputes: South Tyrol question with Austria

Climate: predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south

Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands

Natural resources: mercury, potash, marble, sulfur, dwindling natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, coal

Land use: 32% arable land; 10% permanent crops; 17% meadows and pastures; 22% forest and woodland; 19% other; includes 10% irrigated

Environment: regional risks include landslides, mudflows, snowslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding, pollution; land sinkage in Venice

Note: strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe


Population: 57,664,405 (July 1990), growth rate 0.2% (1990)

Birth rate: 10 births/1,000 population (1990)

Death rate: 9 deaths/1,000 population (1990)

Net migration rate: 1 migrant/1,000 population (1990)

Infant mortality rate: 6 deaths/1,000 live births (1990)

Life expectancy at birth: 74 years male, 81 years female (1990)

Total fertility rate: 1.4 children born/woman (1990)

Nationality: noun—Italian(s); adjective—Italian

Ethnic divisions: primarily Italian but population includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians in the south; Sicilians; Sardinians

Religion: almost 100% nominally Roman Catholic

Language: Italian; parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking; significant French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region; Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area

Literacy: 93%

Labor force: 23,670,000; 56.7% services, 37.9% industry, 5.4% agriculture (1987)

Organized labor: 40-45% of labor force (est.)


Long-form name: Italian Republic

Type: republic

Capital: Rome

Administrative divisions: 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

Independence: 17 March 1861, Kingdom of Italy proclaimed

Constitution: 1 January 1948

Legal system: based on civil law system, with ecclesiastical law influence; judicial review under certain conditions in Constitutional Court; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

National holiday: Anniversary of the Republic, 2 June (1946)

Executive branch: president, prime minister,

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament (Parlamento) consists of an upper chamber or Senate (Senato) and a lower chamber or Chamber of Deputies (Camera dei Deputati)

Judicial branch: Constitutional Court (Corte Costituzionale)

Leaders: Chief of State—President Francesco COSSIGA (since 3 July 1985);

Head of Government—Prime Minister Giulio ANDREOTTI (since 22 July 1989, heads the government for the sixth time); Deputy Prime Minister Claudio MARTELLI (since 23 July 1989)

Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Party (DC), Arnaldo Forlani (general secretary), Ciriaco De Mita (president); Communist Party (PCI), Achille Occhetto (secretary general); Socialist Party (PSI), Bettino Craxi (party secretary); Social Democratic Party (PSDI), Antonio Cariglia (party secretary); Liberal Party (PLI), Renato Altissimo (secretary general); Italian Social Movement (MSI), Giuseppe (Pino) Rauti (national secretary); Republican Party (PRI), Giorgio La Malfa (political secretary); Italy's 49th postwar government was formed on 23 July 1989, with Prime Minister Andreotti, a Christian Democrat, presiding over a five-party coalition consisting of the Christian Democrats, Socialists, Social Democrats, Republicans, and Liberals

Suffrage: universal at age 18 (except in senatorial elections, where minimum age is 25)

Elections: Senate—last held 14-15 June 1987 (next to be held by June 1992); results—DC 33.9%, PCI 28.3%, PSI 10.7%, others 27.1%; seats—(320 total, 315 elected) DC 125, PCI 100, PSI 36, others 54;

Chamber of Deputies—last held 14-15 June 1987 (next to be held by June 1992); results—DC 34.3%, PCI 26.6%, PSI 14.3%, MSI 5.9%, PRI 3.7%, PSDI 3.0%, Radicals 2.6%, Greens 2.5%, PLI 2.1%, Proletarian Democrats 1.7%, others 3.3%; seats—(630 total) DC 234, PCI 177, PSI 94, MSI 35, PRI 21, PSDI 17, Radicals 13, Greens 13, PLI 11, Proletarian Democrats 8, others 7

Communists: 1,673,751 members (1983)

Other political or pressure groups: Vatican City; three major trade union confederations (CGIL—Communist dominated, CISL—Christian Democratic, and UIL—Social Democratic, Socialist, and Republican); Italian manufacturers association (Confindustria); organized farm groups (Confcoltivatori, Confagricoltura)


Diplomatic representation: Ambassador Rinaldo PETRIGNANI; Chancery at 1601 Fuller Street NW, Washington DC 20009; telephone (202) 328-5500; there are Italian Consulates General in Boston, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Consulates in Detroit and Newark (New Jersey); US—Ambassador Peter F. SECCHIA; Embassy at Via Veneto 119/A, 00187-Rome (mailing address is APO New York 09794); telephone [39](6) 46741; there are US Consulates General in Florence, Genoa, Milan, Naples, and Palermo (Sicily)

Flag: 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 Ivory Coast which has the colors reversed—orange (hoist side), white, and green


Overview: Since World War II the economy has changed from one based on agriculture into a ranking industrial economy, with approximately the same total and per capita output as France and the UK. The country is still divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by large private companies and state enterprises and an undeveloped agricultural south. Services account for 58% of GDP, industry 37%, and agriculture 5%. Most raw materials needed by industry and over 75% of energy requirements must be imported. The economic recovery that began in mid-1983 has continued through 1989, with the economy growing at an annual average rate of 3%. For the 1990s, Italy faces the problems of refurbishing a tottering communications system, curbing the increasing pollution in major industrial centers, and adjusting to the new competitive forces accompanying the ongoing economic integration of the European Community.

GDP: $803.3 billion, per capita $14,000; real growth rate 3.3% (1989 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 6.6% (1989 est.)

Unemployment rate: 11.9% (1989)

Budget: revenues $355 billion; expenditures $448 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1989)

Exports: $141.6 billion (f.o.b., 1989); commodities—textiles, wearing apparel, metals, transportation equipment, chemicals; partners—EC 57%, US 9%, OPEC 4%

Imports: $143.1 billion (f.o.b., 1989); commodities—petroleum, industrial machinery, chemicals, metals, food, agricultural products; partners—EC 57%, OPEC 6%, US 6%

External debt: NA

Industrial production: growth rate 2.9% (1989)

Electricity: 56,022,000 kW capacity; 201,400 million kWh produced, 3,500 kWh per capita (1989)

Industries: machinery and transportation equipment, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles

Agriculture: accounts for about 5% of GNP and 5% of the work force; self-sufficient in foods other than meat and dairy products; principal crops—fruits, vegetables, grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives; fish catch of 554,000 metric tons in 1987

Aid: donor—ODA and OOF commitments (1970-87), $18.7 billion

Currency: Italian lira (plural—lire); 1 Italian lira (Lit) = 100 centesimi

Exchange rates: Italian lire (Lit) per US$1—1,262.5 (January 1990), 1,372.1 (1989), 1,301.6 (1988), 1,296.1 (1987), 1,490.8 (1986), 1,909.4 (1985)

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 20,011 km total; 16,066 km 1.435-meter government-owned standard gauge (8,999 km electrified); 3,945 km privately owned—2,100km 1.435-meter standard gauge (1,155 km electrified) and 1,845 km 0.950-meter narrow gauge (380 km electrified)

Highways: 294,410 km total; autostrada 5,900 km, state highways 45,170 km, provincial highways 101,680 km, communal highways 141,660 km; 260,500 km concrete, bituminous, or stone block, 26,900 km gravel and crushed stone, 7,010 km earth

Inland waterways: 2,400 km for various types of commercial traffic, although of limited overall value

Pipelines: crude oil, 1,703 km; refined products, 2,148 km; natural gas, 19,400 km

Ports: Cagliari (Sardinia), Genoa, La Spezia, Livorno, Naples, Palermo (Sicily), Taranto, Trieste, Venice

Merchant marine: 547 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,871,505 GRT/10,805,368 DWT; includes 6 passenger, 41 short-sea passenger, 100 cargo, 5 refrigerated cargo, 22 container, 72 roll-on/roll-off cargo, 4 vehicle carrier, 1 multi-function large-load carrier, 2 livestock carrier, 147 petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) tanker, 37 chemical tanker, 29 liquefied gas, 8 specialized tanker, 16 combination ore/oil, 55 bulk, 2 combination bulk

Civil air: 132 major transport aircraft

Airports: 143 total, 138 usable; 88 with permanent-surface runways; 2 with runways over 3,659 m; 35 with runways 2,440-3,659 m; 42 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: well engineered, constructed, and operated; 28,000,000 telephones; stations—144 AM, 54 (over 1,800 repeaters) FM, 135 (over 1,300 repeaters) TV; 22 submarine cables; communication satellite earth stations operating in INTELSAT 3 Atlantic Ocean and 2 Indian Ocean, INMARSAT, and EUTELSAT systems

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force

Military manpower: males 15-49, 14,721,704; 12,855,022 fit for military service; 430,782 reach military age (18) annually

Defense expenditures: 2.4% of GDP, or $19 billion (1989 est.)