The World Factbook (1982)/Vatican City

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The World Factbook (1982)
by the Central Intelligence Agency
Vatican City


World Factbook (1982) Vatican City.jpg
(See reference map V)


0.438 km2

Land boundaries: 3 km


Population: 1,000 (July 1980), average annual growth rate 0.0%

Ethnic divisions: primarily Italians but also many other nationalities

Religion: Roman Catholic

Language: Italian, Latin, and various modern languages

Literacy: virtually complete

Labor force: approx. 700; Vatican City employees divided into three categories—executives, officeworkers, and salaried employees

Organized labor: none


Official name: State of the Vatican City

Type: monarchical-sacerdotal state

Capital: Vatican City

Political subdivisions: Vatican City includes St. Peter's, the Vatican Palace and Museum, and neighboring buildings covering more than 13 acres; 13 buildings in Rome, although outside the boundaries, enjoy extraterritorial rights

Legal system: Canon law; constitutional laws of 1929 serve some of the functions of a constitution

National holiday: 30 June

Branches: the Pope possesses full executive, legislative, and judicial powers; he delegates these powers to the governor of Vatican City, who is subject to pontifical appointment and recall; high Vatican offices include the Secretariat of State, the College of Cardinals (chief papal advisers), the Roman Curia (which carries on the central administration of the Roman Catholic Church), the Presidence of the Prefecture for the Economy, and the synod of bishops (created in 1965)

Government leader: Supreme Pontiff, JOHN PAUL II (Karol WOJTYŁA, elected Pope 16 October 1978)

Suffrage: limited to cardinals less than 80 in age

Elections: Supreme Pontiff elected for life by College of Cardinals

Communists: none known

Other political or pressure groups: none (exclusive of influence exercised by other church officers in universal Roman Catholic Church)

Member: IAEA; ITU, IWC—International Wheat Council, UPU, WTO; permanent observer status at FAO, OAS, UN, and UNESCO


The Vatican City, seat of the Holy See, is supported financially by contributions (known as Peter's pence) from Roman Catholics throughout the world; some income derived from sale of Vatican postage stamps and tourist mementos, fees for admission to Vatican museums, and sale of publications; industrial activity consists solely of printing and production of a small amount of mosaics and staff uniforms; the banking and financial activities of the Vatican are worldwide; the Institute for Religious Agencies carries out fiscal operations and invests and transfers funds of Roman Catholic religious communities throughout the world; the Cardinal's Commission controls the administration of ordinary assets of the Holy See and a Special Administration manages the Holy See's capital assets

Electric power: 2100 kW (standby) capacity (1981); all power is imported from Italy


Railroads: none

Highways: none (city streets)

Civil air: no major transport aircraft

Airfields: none

Telecommunications: 2 AM stations and 2 FM stations; 2,000-line automatic telephone exchange


Defense is responsibility of Italy