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People and Society






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 was 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 illegal immigration, organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, sluggish economic growth, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the prosperous north.


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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% (overwhelming Roman Catholic with very small groups of Jehova Witnesses and Protestants), Muslims NEGL (about 700,000 but growing), Atheists and Agnostics 20%

Population World Ranking: 23
61,261,254 (July 2012 est.)

Age structure
0-14 years
13.8% (male 4,315,292/female 4,124,624)
15-64 years
65.9% (male 19,888,901/female 20,330,495)
65 years and over
20.3% (male 5,248,418/female 7,109,074) (2011 est.)

Median age
Total 43.8 years
Male 42.7 years
Female 45 years (2012 est.)

Population growth rate World Ranking: 157
0.38% (2012 est.)

Birth rate World Ranking: 207
9.06 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Death rate World Ranking: 56
9.93 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)

Net migration rate World Ranking: 22
4.67 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)

Urban population 68% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization
0.5% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major cities - population
ROME (capital) 3.357 million; Milan 2.962 million; Naples 2.27 million; Turin 1.662 million; Palermo 872,000 (2009)

Sex ratio
At birth 1.06 male(s)/female
Under 15 years 1.05 male(s)/female
15-64 years 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over 0.74 male(s)/female
Total population
0.93 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate World Ranking: 180
4 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)

Infant mortality rate World Ranking: 214
Total 3.36 deaths/1,000 live births
Male 3.56 deaths/1,000 live births
3.14 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)

Life expectancy at birth World Ranking: 10
Total population 81.86 years
Male 79.24 years
Female 84.63 years (2012 est.)

Total fertility rate World Ranking: 201
1.4 children born/woman (2012 est.)

Health expenditures World Ranking: 135
5.1% of GDP (2009)

Physicians density
4.242 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density
3.7 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Hiv/aids - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 83
0.3% (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - people living with hiv/aids World Ranking: 34
140,000 (2009 est.)

Hiv/aids - deaths World Ranking: 78
Fewer than 1,000 (2009 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate World Ranking: 56
9.8% (2005)

Education expenditures World Ranking: 90
4.3% of GDP (2007)

Age 15 and over can read and write
Total population 98.4%
Male 98.8%
Female 98% (2001 census)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)
Total 16 years
Male 16 years
Female 17 years (2008)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 World Ranking: 27
Total 25.4%
Male 23.3%
Female 28.7% (2009)


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  Italy (Rome):

  GPS points from Italy (Rome)

Monte Capin Di Ponente Italy (general)

Valle Benedetta Tuscany

Bel Colle Trentino-alto Adige

Cascina Grossa Piedmont

Cupramontana Italy (general)
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