Italy facts on every entity in the world

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). 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.



Southern Europe, a peninsula extending into the central Mediterranean Sea, northeast of Tunisia

Geographic coordinates

42.50° N, 12.50° E

Area 72/257

total: 301,340 sq km

land: 294,140 sq km

water: 7,200 sq km

note: includes Sardinia and Sicily

Area - comparative

almost twice the size of Georgia; slightly larger than Arizona

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


7,600 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 12 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation


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


mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m

highest point: Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) de Courmayeur 4,748 m (a secondary peak of Mont Blanc)

Natural resources

coal, 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%

arable land 22.8%; permanent crops 8.6%; permanent pasture 15.7%

forest: 31.4%

other: 21.5% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

39,500 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

191.3 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 45.41 cu km/yr (24%/43%/34%)

per capita: 789.8 cu m/yr (2008)

Natural hazards

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

volcanism: significant volcanic activity; Etna (elev. 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


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)


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)


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%

Population 24/238

61,855,120 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 13.73% (male 4,340,380/female 4,154,737)

15-24 years: 9.79% (male 3,035,586/female 3,020,584)

25-54 years: 42.74% (male 13,063,733/female 13,375,975)

55-64 years: 12.54% (male 3,756,546/female 3,997,190)

65 years and over: 21.2% (male 5,626,752/female 7,483,637) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 56.5%

youth dependency ratio: 21.5%

elderly dependency ratio: 35.1%

potential support ratio: 2.9% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 44.8 years

male: 43.7 years

female: 45.9 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 177/233

0.27% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 213/224

8.74 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 40/225

10.19 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 30/222

4.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 69% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 0.39% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

ROME (capital) 3.718 million; Milan 3.099 million; Naples 2.202 million; Turin 1.765 million; Palermo 853,000; Bergamo 840,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.75 male(s)/female

total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

30.3 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 180/184

4 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 212/224

total: 3.29 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 3.49 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 14/224

total population: 82.12 years

male: 79.48 years

female: 84.92 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 208/224

1.43 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 33/191

9.1% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

3.76 physicians/1,000 population (2012)

Hospital bed density

3.4 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source


urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population


urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 99.5% of population

rural: 99.6% of population

total: 99.5% of population


urban: 0.5% of population

rural: 0.4% of population

total: 0.5% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.28% (2013 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

122,000 (2013 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths


Obesity - adult prevalence rate 97/191

23.7% (2014)

Education expenditures 93/173

4.3% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 16 years

male: 16 years

female: 17 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 17/134

total: 40%

male: 39%

female: 41.4% (2013 est.)


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



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 (Venetia)

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)


17 March 1861 (Kingdom of Italy proclaimed; Italy was not finally unified until 1870)

National holiday

Republic Day, 2 June (1946)


previous 1848 (originally for Kingdom of Sardinia and adopted by Kingdom of Italy in 1861); latest enacted 22 December 1947, adopted 27 December 1947, entered into force 1 January 1948; amended many times, last in 2012; note - a proposed amendment that would significantly alter the parliament is slated for a referendum in 2016 (2015)

Legal system

civil law system; judicial review of legislation under certain conditions in Constitutional Court

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


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


18 years of age; universal except in senatorial elections, where minimum age is 25

Executive branch

chief of state: President Sergio MATTARELLA (3 February 2015); Giorgio NAPOLITANO resigned 14 January 2015

head of government: Prime Minister Matteo RENZI (since 22 February 2014); note - the prime minister title is President of the Council of Ministers

cabinet: Council of Ministers proposed by the prime minister and 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 scheduled for 2020); prime minister appointed by the president, confirmed by parliament

election results: Sergio MATTARELLA elected president; electoral college vote count in fourth round - 665 out of 1,009 (505-vote threshold); Matteo RENZI sworn in as prime minister on 22 February 2014

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Parlamento consists of the Senate or Senato della Repubblica (322 seats; 315 members directly elected in single- and multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms and 7 ex-officio members appointed by the president of the Republic to serve for life) and the 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 24-25 February 2013 (next to be held in 2018); Chamber of Deputies - last held on 24-25 February 2013 (next to be held in 2018)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - center-left coalition 123 (PD 111, SEL 7, SVP 2, other 3), center-right coalition 117 (PdL 98, LN 18, other 1), M5S 54, centrist coalition 19, other 2; Chamber of Deputies - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - center-left coalition 345 (PD 297, SEL 37, CD 6 SVP 5), center-right coalition 125 (PdL 98, LN 18, FdI 9), M5S 109, centrist coalition 47, other 3; note - President NAPOLITANO dissolved Parliament on 22 December 2012

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Cassation 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

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by the Superior Council of the Judiciary, headed by the president of the republic, to serve NA terms; 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 [Matteo RENZI]

The New Center-Right or NCD [Angelino ALFANO]

Union of the Center or UdC [Pier Fernando CASINI]

Center-right opposition:

Brothers of Italy-National Alliance or FdI-AN [Giorgia MELONI, Ignazio LA RUSSA, and Guido CROSETTO]

Forza Italia [Silvio BERLUSCONI] (formerly PdL)

Northern League or LN [Matteo SALVINI]

other minor parties

Other parties:

Civil Revolution or RC [Antonio INGROIA]

Five Star Movment or M5S [Beppe GRILLO]

South Tyrolean People's Party or SVP [Philipp ACHAMMER]

Political pressure groups and leaders

manufacturers and merchants associations: Confcommercio


organized farm groups: Confcoltivatori


major trade union confederations: Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro or CGIL [Susanna CAMUSSO] (left wing)

Confederazione Italiana dei Sindacati Lavoratori or CISL [Raffaele BONANNI] (Roman Catholic centrist)

Unione Italiana del Lavoro or UIL [Luigi ANGELETTI] (lay centrist)

other: Roman Catholic Church

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

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 - overview

Italy has a diversified economy, which is divided into a developed industrial north, dominated by private companies, and a less-developed, highly subsidized, agricultural south, where unemployment is higher. 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, topping 135% of GDP in 2015, but 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 long-standing structural impediments to growth, such as labor market inefficiencies and tax evasion. In 2014 economic growth and labor market conditions continued to deteriorate, with overall unemployment rising to 12.7% and youth unemployment around 40%, but Italy began to recover in 2015, with marginal growth and a slight reduction in unemployment.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 13/230

$2.174 trillion (2015 est.)

$2.156 trillion (2014 est.)

$2.166 trillion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$1.819 trillion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 188/225

0.8% (2015 est.)

-0.4% (2014 est.)

-1.7% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 49/230

$35,800 (2015 est.)

$35,500 (2014 est.)

$35,600 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 95/179

18.3% of GDP (2015 est.)

18.4% of GDP (2014 est.)

18.2% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 60.7%

government consumption: 19.4%

investment in fixed capital: 16.7%

investment in inventories: -0.2%

exports of goods and services: 30.1%

imports of goods and services: -26.7%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 2.2%

industry: 23.6%

services: 74.2% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

fruits, vegetables, grapes, potatoes, sugar beets, soybeans, grain, olives; beef, dairy products; fish


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

Industrial production growth rate 157/202

0.6% (2015 est.)

Labor force 27/233

25.54 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 3.9%

industry: 28.3%

services: 67.8% (2011)

Unemployment rate 134/207

12.2% (2015 est.)

12.7% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

29.9% (2012 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.3%

highest 10%: 26.8% (2000)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 113/144

31.9 (2012 est.)

27.3 (1995)


revenues: $876 billion

expenditures: $930.5 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 19/219

48.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 111/220

-3% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 5/176

135.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

132% of GDP (2014 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 the central government, state government, local government and social security funds

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 47/226

0.3% (2015 est.)

0.2% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 134/156

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

Commercial bank prime lending rate 158/184

4.3% (31 December 2015 est.)

4.87% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 6/192

$1.1 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$999 billion (31 December 2014 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

Stock of broad money 8/193

$2.134 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

$2.284 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 8/191

$3.096 trillion (31 December 2015 est.)

$3.39 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 23/121

$480.5 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$431.5 billion (31 December 2011)

$318.1 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 11/197

$36.98 billion (2015 est.)

$41.11 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 10/224

$454.6 billion (2015 est.)

$513.7 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

engineering products, textiles and clothing, production machinery, motor vehicles, transport equipment, chemicals; foodstuffs, beverages, and tobacco; minerals, nonferrous metals

Exports - partners

Germany 12.8%, France 10.7%, US 7.2%, UK 5.3%, Switzerland 4.7%, Spain 4.6% (2014)

Imports 14/223

$389.2 billion (2015 est.)

$448.4 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

engineering products, chemicals, transport equipment, energy products, minerals and nonferrous metals, textiles and clothing; food, beverages, tobacco

Imports - partners

Germany 16.1%, France 9%, China 7.3%, Netherlands 5.8%, Spain 5%, Belgium 4.5% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 18/170

$142.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$145.5 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Debt - external 9/206

$2.459 trillion (31 December 2014 est.)

$2.635 trillion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 17/120

$505 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$490.2 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 15/105

$692.6 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$664.9 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.89 (2015 est.)

0.75 (2014 est.)

0.76 (2013 est.)

0.78 (2012 est.)

0.72 (2011 est.)


Electricity - production 13/220

281 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 13/219

303.1 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 43/218

2.178 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - imports 3/219

44.33 billion kWh (2013 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 10/214

124.2 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 138/214

58.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 113/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 112/214

11.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 10/212

23.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 43/214

105,700 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 54/214

28,770 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports 8/214

1.346 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 50/215

544.5 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 13/214

1.506 million bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 18/212

1.235 million bbl/day (2014 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 16/214

461,600 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 27/213

260,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Natural gas - production 47/216

7.149 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 13/215

61.91 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - exports 43/215

237 million cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - imports 6/214

55.76 billion cu m (2014 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 61/212

59.43 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 18/212

385.8 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 15/219

total subscriptions: 20.57 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 33 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 18/217

total: 94.2 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 153 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: modern, well-developed, fast; fully automated telephone, telex, and data services

domestic: high-capacity cable and microwave radio relay trunks

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 (2011)

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; some 1,300 commercial radio stations (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM about 100, FM about 4,600, shortwave 9 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

358 (plus 4,728 repeaters) (1995)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 4/232

25.662 million (2012)

Internet users 18/217

total: 37 million

percent of population: 59.9% (2014 est.)


Airports 45/236

129 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 98

over 3,047 m: 9

2,438 to 3,047 m: 31

1,524 to 2,437 m: 18

914 to 1,523 m: 29

under 914 m: 11 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 31

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 10

under 914 m: 20 (2013)


5 (2013)


gas 20,223 km; oil 1,393 km; refined products 1,574 km (2013)

Railways 13/136

total: 20,181.7 km

standard gauge: 18,770.1 km 1.435-m gauge (12,893.6 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 122.3 km 1.000-m gauge (122.3 km electrified); 1,289.3 km 0.950-m gauge (151.3 km electrified) (2014)

Roadways 15/223

total: 487,700 km

paved: 487,700 km (includes 6,700 km of expressways) (2007)

Waterways 36/107

2,400 km (used for commercial traffic; of limited overall value compared to road and rail) (2012)

Merchant marine 17/156

total: 681

by type: bulk carrier 105, cargo 42, carrier 1, chemical tanker 164, container 21, liquefied gas 28, passenger 25, passenger/cargo 154, petroleum tanker 59, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 39, specialized tanker 9, vehicle carrier 30

foreign-owned: 90 (Denmark 4, France 2, Greece 7, Luxembourg 14, Netherlands 2, Nigeria 1, Norway 6, Singapore 1, Sweden 1, Switzerland 13, Taiwan 10, Turkey 4, UK 2, US 23)

registered in other countries: 201 (Bahamas 1, Belize 3, Cayman Islands 7, Cyprus 6, Georgia 2, Gibraltar 4, Greece 5, Liberia 47, Malta 45, Marshall Islands 1, Morocco 1, Netherlands 6, Panama 25, Portugal 12, Russia 14, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 4, Singapore 5, Slovakia 2, Spain 1, Sweden 5, Turkey 1, UK 3, unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Augusta, Cagliari, Genoa, Livorno, Taranto, Trieste, Venice

oil terminals: Melilli (Santa Panagia) oil terminal, Sarroch oil terminal

container port(s) (TEUs): Genoa (1,847,648), Gioia Tauro (2,264,798), La Spezia (1,307,274)

LNG terminal(s) (import): La Spezia, Panigaglia, Porto Levante

Military and Security

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)

Military expenditures 52/132

1.1% of GDP (2014)

1.2% of GDP (2013)

1.3% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

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): 13,357 (Eritrea); 12,213 (Somalia); 8,991 (Afghanistan); 6,293 (Nigeria); 5,764 (Pakistan); 5,552 (Mali) (2014)

stateless persons: 813 (2014)

note: 159,740 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals by sea (January 2016)

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