Universities : About Italy
Italy :: ECONOMY
The Italian economy has changed dramatically since the end of World War II. From an agriculturally based economy, it has developed into an industrial state ranked as the world's seventh-largest market economy. Italy belongs to the Group of Eight (G-8) industrialized nations; it is a member of the European Union and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Italy was a founding member of the European Community--now the European Union (EU). Italy was admitted to the United Nations in 1955 and is a member and strong supporter of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization (GATT/WTO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the Council of Europe.
Italy has a capitalist economy with high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita and developed infrastructure. According to the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the CIA World Factbook, in 2010 Italy was the eighth-largest economy in the world and the fourth-largest in Europe in terms of nominal GDP, and the tenth-largest economy in the world and fifth-largest in Europe in terms of PPP (purchasing power parity) GDP. Italy is member of the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations, the European Union and the OECD.
301,225 sq. km. (116,303 sq. mi.); about the size of Georgia and Florida combined
Population (January 2011 est.): 60.6 million. Annual population growth rate (2010 est.): 0.04%, mostly due to immigration.Ethnic groups: Primarily Italian, but there are small groups of German-, French-, Slovene-, and Albanian-Italians.
Language: Italian (official).
Roman Catholic (majority).
Roman Catholicism is by far the largest religion in the country, although the Catholic Church is no longer officially the state religion. The proportion of Italians that identify themselves as Roman Catholic is 87.8%, although only about one-third of these described themselves as active members (36.8%). Most Italians believe in God, or a form of a spiritual life force. According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005: 74% of Italian citizens responded that 'they believe there is a God', 16% answered that 'they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force' and 6% answered that 'they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force'.
Euro (€)2 (EUR
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Italy has a largely temperate climate with regional variations. In summer the north is warm with occasional rainfall, the central region is humid and the south scorches under the dry heat. In winter, conditions in Milan, Turin and Venice are dominated by cold, damp and fog and Tuscany's winter temperatures approach freezing, while temperatures in the south of the country are more favourable averaging 50-60'F (10-20'C). Most people visit Italy between June and August, however, the best time to visit is in spring (April-May) and autumn (September-October) when the weather is good and the tourists are few! The sea is warm enough for swimming between June and September. Most Italians take their vacation in August and many shops and restaurants are closed during this period. The ski season runs between December and April.