Statistical information Holy See 1996Holy%20See

Map of Holy See | Geography | People | Government | Economy | Energy | Communication
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Holy See in the World
Holy See in the World


Holy See - Introduction 1996
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Background: Popes in their secular role ruled much of the Italian peninsula, including Rome, for about a thousand years, until 1870. A dispute between a series of popes and Italy was settled in 1929 by treaties that recognized the Vatican City as an independent sovereignty and gave Roman Catholicism special status in Italy. The US established formal diplomatic relationships with the Vatican in 1984. Present issues in the Vatican concern the ill health of Pope John Paul II, who turned 76 on 20 May 1996, inter-religious dialogue and reconciliation, and the adjustment of church doctrine in an era of rapid change. About 1 billion people worldwide profess the Roman Catholic faith.

Holy See - Geography 1996
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Location: Southern Europe, an enclave of Rome (Italy)

Geographic coordinates

Map reference

Total: 0.44 km²
Land: 0.44 km²
Comparative: about 0.7 times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC

Land boundaries: Total 3.2 km, Italy 3.2 km

Coastline: 0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims: None; landlocked

Climate: Temperate; mild, rainy winters (September to mid-May) with hot, dry summers (May to September)

Low hill lowest point: 19 m
Highest point: 75 m


Natural resources: None
Land use

Land use
Arable land: 0%
Permanent crops: 0%
Permanent pastures: 0%
Forests and woodland: 0%
Other: 100%

Irrigated land: 0 km²

Major rivers

Major watersheds area km²

Total water withdrawal

Total renewable water resources

Natural hazards


Holy See - People 1996
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840 (July 1996 est.)
830 (July 1995 est.)

Growth rate:
1.15% (1996 est.)
1.15% (1995 est.)

Noun: none
Adjective: none

Ethnic groups: Italians, Swiss

Languages: Italian, Latin, various other languages

Religions: Roman Catholic

Demographic profile
Age structure

Age structure

Dependency ratios

Median age

Population growth rate:
1.15% (1996 est.)
1.15% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: NA

Death rate: NA

Net migration rate: NA Infant Mortality Rate:NA

Population distribution


Major urban areas

Current issues: NA
Current issues Natural hazards: NA
International agreements: signed, but not ratified_Air Pollution, Environmental Modification
International agreements note: Urban; landlocked; enclave of Rome, Italy; world's smallest state; outside the Vatican City, 13 buildings in Rome and Castel Gandolfo (the pope's summer residence) enjoy extraterritorial rights

Air pollutants

Sex ratio

Mothers mean age at first birth

Maternal mortality ratio

Infant mortality rate

Life expectancy at birth: NA

Total fertility rate: NA

Contraceptive prevalence rate

Drinking water source

Current health expenditure

Physicians density

Hospital bed density

Sanitation facility access


Major infectious diseases

Obesity adult prevalence rate

Alcohol consumption

Tobacco use

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

Education expenditures


School life expectancy primary to tertiary education

Youth unemployment

Holy See - Government 1996
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Country name
Conventional long form: The Holy See (State of the Vatican City)
Conventional short form: Holy See (Vatican City)
Local long form: Santa Sede (Stato della Citta del Vaticano)
Local short form: Santa Sede (Citta del Vaticano)

Government type: Monarchical-sacerdotal state

Capital: Vatican City

Administrative divisions

Dependent areas

Independence: 11 February 1929 (from Italy)

National holiday: Installation Day of the Pope, 22 October (1978) (John Paul II)
Note: Pope John Paul II was elected on 16 October 1978

Constitution: Apostolic Constitution of 1967 (effective 1 March 1968)

Legal system: NA

International law organization participation


Suffrage: Limited to cardinals less than 80 years old

Executive branch
Chief of state: Pope JOHN PAUL II (Karol WOJTYLA; since 16 October 1978); election last held 16 October 1978 (next to be held after the death of the current pope); results_Karol WOJTYLA was elected for life by the College of Cardinals
Head of government: Secretary of State Archbishop Angelo Cardinal SODANO (since NA 1991)
Cabinet: Pontifical Commission; appointed by Pope

Legislative branch: Unicameral Pontifical Commission

Judicial branch: None; normally handled by Italy

Political parties and leaders

International organization participation: IAEA, ICFTU, INTELSAT, IOM (observer), ITU, OAS (observer), OSCE, UN (observer), UNCTAD, UNHCR, UPU, WIPO, WToO (observer)

Diplomatic representation

Flag descriptionflag of Holy%20See: Two vertical bands of yellow (hoist side) and white with the crossed keys of Saint Peter and the papal miter centered in the white band

National symbols

National anthem

National heritage

Holy See - Economy 1996
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Economy overview: This unique, noncommercial economy is supported financially by contributions (known as Peter's Pence) from Roman Catholics throughout the world, the sale of postage stamps and tourist mementos, fees for admission to museums, and the sale of publications. The incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to, or somewhat better than, those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome.

Real gdp purchasing power parity

Real gdp growth rate

Real gdp per capita ppp

Gross national saving
Gdp composition by sector of origin

Gdp composition by end use

Gdp composition by sector of origin

Agriculture products

Printing and production of a small amount of mosaics and staff uniforms
Worldwide banking and financial activities

Industrial production growth rate

Labor force: NA
Note: dignitaries, priests, nuns, guards and 3,000 layworkers who live outside the Vatican
Labor force

Unemployment rate

Youth unemployment

Population below poverty line

Gini index

Household income or consumption by percentage share

Distribution of family income gini index

Revenues: $175.5 million (1994), $169 million (1993)
Expenditures: $175 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1994), $167.5 million, including capital expenditures of NA (1993)

Public debt

Taxes and other revenues


Fiscal year: Calendar year

Current account balance

Inflation rate consumer prices

Central bank discount rate

Commercial bank prime lending rate

Stock of narrow money

Stock of broad money

Stock of domestic credit

Market value of publicly traded shares

Current account balance



Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

Debt external

Stock of direct foreign investment at home

Stock of direct foreign investment abroad

Exchange rates: Vatican lire (VLit) per US$1_1,583.8 (January 1996), 1,629.6 (1995), 1,612.4 (1994), 1,573.7 (1993), 1,232.4 (1992), 1,240.6 (1991), 1,198.1 (1990; note_the Vatican lira is at par with the Italian lira which circulates freely

Holy See - Energy 1996
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Electricity access

Electricity production: power supplied by Italy

Electricity consumption
Per capita: NA kWh (1992)

Electricity exports

Electricity imports

Electricity installed generating capacity

Electricity transmission distribution losses

Electricity generation sources


Refined petroleum

Natural gas

Carbon dioxide emissions

Energy consumption per capita

Holy See - Communication 1996
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Telephones fixed lines

Telephones mobile cellular

Telephone system: 2,000 telephones; automatic exchange
Local: NA
Intercity: tied into Italian system
International: uses Italian system

Broadcast media

Internet country code

Internet users

Broadband fixed subscriptions

Holy See - Military 1996
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Military expenditures

Military and security forces

Military service age and obligation

Terrorist groups

Holy See - Transportation 1996
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National air transport system

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix


Airports with paved runways

Airports with unpaved runways






Merchant marine

Ports and terminals

Holy See - Transnational issues 1996
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Disputes international

Refugees and internally displaced persons

Illicit drugs

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