Italy Education

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

Geographic coordinates:  42 50 N, 12 50 E

Map references:  Europe

total: 301,230 sq km
land: 294,020 sq km
water: 7,210 sq km
note:  includes Sardinia and Sicily

Area - comparative:  slightly larger than Arizona

Land boundaries:
total: 1,932.2 km
border countries:  Austria 430 km, France 488 km, Holy See (Vatican City) 3.2 km, San Marino 39 km, Slovenia 232 km, Switzerland 740 km
Coastline:  7,600 km

Maritime claims:
continental shelf:  200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
territorial sea: 12 nm

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) 4,807 m
Natural resources:  mercury, potash, marble, sulfur, dwindling natural gas and crude oil reserves, fish, coal, arable land

Land use:
arable land: 31%
permanent crops: 10%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 23%
other: 21% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 27,100 sq km (1993 est.)

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

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-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:  Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note: strategic location dominating central Mediterranean as well as southern sea and air approaches to Western Europe


  Background: Italy became a nation-state belatedly - in 1861 when the city-states of the peninsula and Sicily were united under King Victor EMMANUEL. The Fascist dictatorship of Benito MUSSOLINI that took over after World War I led to a disastrous alliance with Nazi Germany and Italian defeat in World War II. Revival followed. Italy was a charter member of NATO and the European Economic Community (EEC) and joined the growing political and economic unification of Western Europe, including the introduction of the euro in 1999. Persistent problems include illegal immigration, the ravages of organized crime, corruption, high unemployment, and the low incomes and technical standards of southern Italy compared with the more prosperous north.
Population: 57,634,327 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 14% (male 4,220,973; female 3,977,962)
15-64 years: 68% (male 19,413,219; female 19,596,668)
65 years and over: 18% (male 4,297,962; female 6,127,543) (2000 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.09% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 9.13 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 9.99 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 1.74 migrant(s) /1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.06 male(s) /female
under 15 years: 1.06 male(s) /female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s) /female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s) /female
total population: 0.94 male(s) /female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate:  5.92 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.03 years
male: 75.85 years
female: 82.41 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate:
1.18 children born/woman (2000 est.)

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)

Religions: predominately Roman Catholic with mature Protestant and Jewish communities and a growing Muslim immigrant community

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)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 90%(1998)
male: NA%
female: NA%
Telephones - main lines in use: 25 million (1998)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
17.7 million (1998)

Telephone system:
modern, well-developed, fast; fully automated telephone, telex, and data services
domestic: high-capacity cable and microwave radio relay trunks
international: 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; 21 submarine cables

Radio broadcast stations:
AM about 100, FM about 4,600, shortwave 9 (1998)

50.5 million (1997)

Television broadcast stations:
6,317 (of which only 117 have 2 kW or more of transmitter power) (1997)

30.3 million (1997)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) :
219 (1999)
total: 19,394 km
standard gauge: 18,071 km 1.435-m gauge; Italian Railways (FS) operates 16,014 km of the total standard gauge routes (11,322 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 112 km 1.000-m gauge (112 km electrified) ; 1,211 km 0.950-m gauge (153 km electrified) (1998)


total: 654,676 km
paved: 654,676 km (including 6,957 km of expressways)
unpaved: 0 km (1998 est.)

Waterways: 2,400 km for various types of commercial traffic, although of limited overall value

Pipelines: crude oil 1,703 km; petroleum products 2,148 km; natural gas 19,400 km
Ports and harbors:  Augusta (Sicily) , Bagnoli, Bari, Brindisi, Gela, Genoa, La Spezia, Livorno, Milazzo, Naples, Porto Foxi, Porto Torres (Sardigna) , Salerno, Savona, Taranto, Trieste, Venice

Merchant marine:
total: 427 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 6,971,578 GRT/9,635,770 DWT
ships by type: bulk 41, cargo 45, chemical tanker 73, combination ore/oil 2, container 20, liquified gas 38, livestock carrier 1, multi-functional large load carrier 1, passenger 6, petroleum tanker 87, roll-on/roll-off 58, short-sea passenger 26, specialized tanker 13, vehicle carrier 16 (1999 est.)

136 (1999 est.)

Airports - with paved runways:

total: 97
over 3,047 m:  5
2,438 to 3,047 m:  33
1,524 to 2,437 m:  16
914 to 1,523 m:  31
under 914 m:  12 (1999 est.)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 39
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 19
under 914 m: 18 (1999 est.)

Heliports: 3 (1999 est.)


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