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   Italy Country Guide

Flag of Italy 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 is 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 sluggish economic growth, high youth and female unemployment, organized crime, corruption, and economic disparities between southern Italy and the more prosperous north.

Map of Italy Full Name: Republic of Italy
Area: 301,230 sq km (land: 294,020 sq km, water: 7,210 sq km) - note: includes Sardinia and Sicily
Population: 62,007,540 (July 2016 est.)
Capital City: Rome

People: Italian (includes small clusters of German-, French-, and Slovene-Italians in the north and Albanian-Italians and Greek-Italians in the south)
Language: 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)
Religion: Christian 80% (overwhelmingly Roman Catholic with very small groups of Jehovah's Witnesses and Protestants), Muslim (about 800,000 to 1 million), atheist and agnostic 20%%

Government Type: Parliamentary Republic
Chief of State President Sergio MATTARELLA (since 3 February 2015)
Head of Government: Prime Minister Paolo GENTILONI (since 12 December 2016); note - Prime Minister Matteo RENZI (since 22 February 2014) resigned 12 December 2016; the prime minister's official title is President of the Council of Ministers

GDP: $US 2.221 trillion (2016 est.)
GDP per Capita: $US 36,300 (2016 est.)
Inflation: -0.2% (2016 est.)
Unemployment: 11.4% (2016 est.)
Industries: Tourism, machinery, iron and steel, chemicals, food processing, textiles, motor vehicles, clothing, footwear, ceramics
Currency: Euro (€ - EUR)

Member of EU: Yes

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Info provided by the CIA World Factbook
Updated 2/2017
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