02/26/2011 General information about Italy


Country name:

conventional long form: Italian Republic

conventional short form: Italy

local long form: Repubblica Italiana

local short form: Italia

former: Kingdom of Italy

Government type: republic

Capital: Rome

geographic coordinates: 41 54 N, 12 29 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

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)

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

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

Area: total: 301,340 sq km country comparison to the world: 71

land: 294,140 sq km water: 7,200 sq km

Land boundaries: total: 1,899.2 km border countries: Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 199 km, Switzerland 740 km Coastline: 7,600 km Maritime claims: territorial sea: 12 nm continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate: predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south Terrain: mostly rugged and mountainous; some plains, coastal lowlands

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

Natural hazards: regional risks include landslides, mudflows, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, flooding; land subsidence in Venice volcanism: Italy experiences significant volcanic activity; Etna (elev. 3,330 m, 10,925 ft), 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

Population: 58,090,681 (July 2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 23

Age structure: 0-14 years: 13.5% (male 4,056,156/female 3,814,070) 15-64 years: 66.3% (male 19,530,696/female 18,981,084) 65 years and over: 20.2% (male 4,903,762/female 6,840,444) (2010 est.) Median age: total: 43.7 years male: 42.3 years female: 45.3 years (2010 est.)

Population growth rate: -0.075% (2010 est.) country comparison to the world: 208

Languages: 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)

Airports: 132 (2010) country comparison to the world: 44

Airports - with paved runways: total: 101 over 3,047 m: 9 2,438 to 3,047 m: 30 1,524 to 2,437 m: 18 914 to 1,523 m: 31 under 914 m: 13 (2010)

Airports - with unpaved runways: total: 31 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 11 under 914 m: 19 (2010)

Heliports: 6 (2010)

Railways: total: 19,729 km country comparison to the world: 15 standard gauge: 18,317 km 1.435-m gauge (12,458 km electrified) narrow gauge: 123 km 1.000-m gauge (123 km electrified); 1,058 km 0.950-m gauge (151 km electrified); 231 km 0.850-m gauge (2008)

Roadways: total: 487,700 km country comparison to the world: 13 paved: 487,700 km (includes 6,700 km of expressways) (2007)

Waterways: 2,400 km country comparison to the world: 38 note: used for commercial traffic; of limited overall value compared to road and rail (2008)

Merchant marine: total: 667 country comparison to the world: 17 by type: bulk carrier 81, cargo 47, carrier 1, chemical tanker 169, container 22, liquefied gas 25, passenger 23, passenger/cargo 160, petroleum tanker 56, refrigerated cargo 4, roll on/roll off 34, specialized tanker 11, vehicle carrier 34 foreign-owned: 78 (Denmark 4, France 2, Germany 1, Greece 8, Luxembourg 12, Nigeria 1, Norway 6, Sweden 1, Switzerland 6, Taiwan 11, Turkey 3, UK 2, US 21) registered in other countries: 213 (Bahamas 5, Belize 3, Cayman Islands 6, Cyprus 6, Georgia 2, Gibraltar 4, Greece 5, Kiribati 1, Liberia 48, Malta 52, Marshall Islands 1, Netherlands 9, Norway 3, Panama 23, Portugal 10, Russia 9, Saint Kitts and Nevis 1, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5, Singapore 3, Slovakia 2, Spain 1, Sweden 5, Turkey 2, UK 4, unknown (2010)

Ports and terminals: Augusta, Cagliari, Genoa, Livorno, Santa Panagia (Melilli), Taranto, Trieste, Veni

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