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Facts and Figure

Origin of the name:

from the "Itali" population living in the present-day Calabria (the tip of the Italian peninsula) in the first millennium BC.

Official name:



301.260 squared kilometres, 125.470 squared kilometres of which are hills and mountains


20 regions, five of which with special autonomy status

Capital city:


Major cities:

Milan, Rome, Turin and Naples


about 57 million inhabitants. Italy has the third largest European population with the majority living in the North of the country

Ethnic composition:

Italian (includes small cluster of German, French and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian–Italians and Greek-Italians in the South).

Official language:


Other languages spoken:

German (parts of the Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking); French (small French speaking minority in Valle d’Aosta region) and Slovene in the Trieste-Gorizia area.


84% Roman Catholic; 16% other including Jewish, Muslim, and Protestant.

Education and Literacy:

education is free and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 154. The adult literacy rate is 97 %

Labour force:

24.000.000 of which services account for 60%, industry and commerce 33%. Unemployment is currently around 11%.


a parliamentary republic; the head of state is the president

President of the Republic in 2006:

Giorgio Napolitano

Head of Government in 2006:

Romano Prodi