General information: The popes, as secular rulers, ruled over much of the Italian peninsula, including Rome, for over a thousand years until 1870, when the Papal State was incorporated into the new Kingdom of Italy. Disputes between several “captive” popes and Italy were settled in 1929 by three Lateran agreements, according to which an independent state of the Vatican was formed from part of the former papal possessions and Catholicism in Italy was given a special status. In 1984, in a concordat between the Vatican and Italy, some articles were changed, including the primacy of Catholicism as the main state religion of Italy. The current problems of the Vatican are the deteriorating health of Pope John Paul II, the achievement of inter-religious dialogue and reconciliation, the adaptation of church teaching to the era of rapid change and globalization.
Location: Southern Europe, within the borders of Rome (Italy).
Geographic coordinates: 41° 54′ N. sh., 12° 27 in.
Reference map: Europe.
Area: total: 0.44 km2; land surface area: 0.44 km2; water surface area: 0 km2
Comparative area: 0.7 of the area of the Mall Park in Washington, DC.
Land borders: total: 3.2 km; with neighboring states: with Italy 3.2 km.
Coastline: 0 km (landlocked).
Maritime claims: none (landlocked).
Climate: temperate; short rainy winters (September to mid-May) with hot dry summers (May to September).
Relief: slightly hilly.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: unnamed point 19 m; highest point: unnamed point 75 m.
Natural resources: none.
Land use: arable land: 0%; cultivated land: 0%; pasture: 0%; forests and plantations: 0%; others: 100% (urban area).
Irrigated land: 0 sq. km. (1993).
Natural hazards: no data available.
Current environmental issues: no data available.
International agreements on environmental protection: participant: no; signed but not ratified: Air Pollution, Environmental Change.
Note to the section “Geography”: located in Rome, Italy; the smallest state in the world; outside the Vatican, 13 buildings in Rome and the castle of Gandolfo (the summer residence of the popes) have extraterritorial rights.
Population: 890 people (July 2001 est.).
Population growth: 1.15% (2001 est.).
Total fertility rate:
Proportion of adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: none; adjective: no.
Ethnic groups: Italians, Swiss and others.
Languages): Italian, Latin, French and other languages.
Literacy: definition: no data; for the general population: 100%; men: no data; women: no data.
Common long form: Holy See (Vatican City State);
Common short form: Holy See (Vatican); local long form: Santa Sede (Stato della Citta del Vaticano); local short form: Santa Sede (Citta del Vaticano).
State structure: theocratic monarchy. See politicsezine.com to know more about Vatican State Political System.
Independence: since February 11, 1929 (Italy recognized the sovereignty of the Vatican).
National holiday: Accession Day of Pope JOHN PAUL II, October 22 (1978). |
Constitution: Apostolic Constitution 1967 (effective March 1, 1968).
Legal system: no data.
Suffrage: the established limit for the appointment of cardinals is 80 years.
chief of state: Pope JOHN PAUL II (JOHN: PAUL II) (since 16 October 1978);
head of government: Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo SODANO (Angelo SODA-NO) (since 2 December 1990);
Government: papal council appointed by the pope; elections: the pope is elected for life by the college of cardinals; elections last held 16 October 1978 (next to be held after the death of the reigning pope); the secretary of state is appointed by the pope; election results: Karol WOJTYLA elected pope.
Legislature: unicameral Pontifical Council.
Judicial branch: No; usually go to the Italian courts.
Political parties and leaders: no.
Political influence groups and their leaders: none (only the influence of the ministers of the church).
Participation in international organizations: CE (observer), IAEA, ICFTU, Intelsat, IOM (observer), ITU, NAM (guest), OAS (observer), OPCW, OSCE, UN (observer), UNCTAD, UNHCR, UPU, WHO ( observer), WIPO, WToO (observer), WTrO (observer).
Diplomatic Representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele MONTALVO; office: 3339 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 333-7121.
US Diplomatic Mission: head of mission: ambassador – the position is vacant; embassy: Villa Domiziana, Via delle Terme Decia-ne26, 00153 Rome; mailing address: PSC 59, Box F, APO AE 09624; phone:  (06) 4674-3428; fax:  (06) 5758346.
Description of the flag: two vertical stripes of yellow (from the side of the staff) and white with crossed keys of St. Peter and the papal miter in the center of the white stripe.