Italy Country Overview
Where is Italy located? The Italian Republic, with its capital in Rome, is a European republic lying largely on the Apennine Peninsula, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. Italy is on the time zone map, like a large part of the other European countries, in a time zone called “Central European Time Zone” (CET) which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time, which means that the clocks there show it 1 hour later is than on those of the world clock. In summer, the time is changed to daylight saving time, which then causes a time difference of 2 hours to world time.
As of 2023, the latest population of Italy is 62,402,659, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||0.11%|
|Birth rate||8.60 births per 1,000 people|
|Overall life expectancy||81.95 years|
|Men life expectancy||79.32 years|
|Women life expectancy||84.73 years|
|65 years and above||21.69%|
|Median age||44.80 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||0.93|
|Population density||207.08 residents per km²|
|94.1% Italians, 1.6 million Sardinians, 750,000 Rhaeto-Romans (Friulians and 30,000 Ladins), 300,000 German-speakers (Trentino-South Tyrol), 200,000 Franco-Provençals (Aosta Valley and Piedmont), 90,000 Albanians (Calabria), 53,000 Slo|
|Catholics (Roman Catholic) 83.2%; Non-denominational 16.2%; Others 0.6|
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.883|
|HDI ranking||29th out of 194|
People in Italy
60 million people live in Italy. 71 percent of them live in cities. A particularly large number of people live in the north, in the region around Milan (Milano). There is a lot of industry there and that is why many Italians moved there from the south of the country between 1951 and 1974. Other centers are Rome and Naples. The population density is quite high with 200 residents per square kilometer.
92 percent of the population of Italy are Italians. The rest have immigrated from other countries. These come mainly from Romania, Albania and Morocco. Then come China, Ukraine and the Philippines as countries of origin. The number of foreigners living in Italy has been increasing since the 1990s. Conversely, many Italians also live abroad, most of them in Argentina or Germany, others in Switzerland, France and Brazil.
Every woman in Italy has an average of 1.47 children. The population has aged in the last few decades, but the birth rate has been rising again for several years. Nevertheless, 22 percent of the population is older than 65 years. The average age is 46.5 years.
Life expectancy is high. It is currently 85.3 years for women and 79.8 years for men. This puts Italy in 17th place worldwide (Germany ranks 37th).
Languages in Italy
The official language in Italy is Italian. There are also several regional official languages. German and Ladin are spoken in the Trentino-South Tyrol region. French is spoken in the Aosta Valley and Slovenian in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region. All of these regions are located in northern Italy in the border regions with Austria, France and Switzerland as well as Slovenia.
Other languages are spoken by smaller minorities. These include, for example, Albanian, Furlan (language in Friuli), Greek (in Apulia and Calabria) and Sardinian (in Sardinia).
Italian is one of the Romance languages. It is thus related to Spanish, Portuguese and French. The Romance languages developed from Latin, more precisely from spoken Latin, which differed from written Latin. The minorities in Italy also usually speak Italian, which they then learn as a second language.
You probably know some Italian words, for example spaghetti. This word clearly shows that a g is pronounced like g when followed by an h. A g before e or i is pronounced like dsch. It is similar with c: It is either pronounced like k or (before e and i) like ch.
The word gnocchi is pronounced like njocki, because gn is pronounced like nj. It is similar with gl: it becomes lj, for example figlio (son) is pronounced like filjo. Sch is pronounced like sk.
Can you think of more Italian words?
Religions in Italy
The majority of the people – 85 percent – belong to the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church has its center in the Vatican within Rome. Its head, the Pope, has his seat here. Italy is a country dominated by Catholicism.
Minorities of the population are supporters of the Orthodox Church (1.1 million people), Jehovah’s Witnesses (250,000), Protestants (550,000) and Muslims (1.3 million). However, several million profess no faith at all.