Population of Italy 2014
Based on the total number of births, total number of deaths, net migration rate, and the population of 2013, the current population of the Italian Republic is estimated to be about 61,470,336. The Italian population makes up only 0.85% of the total world population and ranks 23rd in the population rankings, behind the United Kingdom, but ahead of Myanmar. It is also the sixth-most populous country in Europe. At the end of 2013, the population of Italy was estimated to be 61,428,753, which indicates a population growth of 41,583 people or a population growth rate of 0.068% since the start of 2014. Based on the total land area and the total population, the population density of Italy is estimated to be about 203.99 people per square kilometer or 528.34 people per square mile.
Geography of Italy 2014
Italy has a total area of 301,338 square kilometers or 116,347 square miles. The country comprises the Italian peninsula and numerous islands. The largest islands of Italy are Sicily and Sardinia. The Italian peninsula borders France, Austria, Slovenia, and Switzerland. The Apennine Mountains run from the north to the south through the center of the country. The highest point in Italy and the European Union is located in the Apennine Mountains: Mont Blanc, which reaches 4,810 meters or 15,782 feet. The Alps run across the northern part of the country. The longest river in the country is the Po River, which stretches from the northern border by France across the center through to the Adriatic Sea for 652 kilometers or 405 miles. There are fourteen total volcanoes in Italy; however, only four are active: Etna, Stromboli, Vulcano, Vesuvius, which is the only active volcano on mainland Europe and is notorious for the destruction of the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Government of Italy 2014
Since June 2, 1946, as the result of a constitutional referendum, the government of Italy has been a unitary, parliamentary republic. Anti-fascist representatives framed the Constitution after the Italian Civil War ended. Now, there exist three branches to the government: executive, legislative, and judicial. The executive branch consists of the President, Prime Minister, and the Council of Ministers. As of May 15, 2006, the President is Giorgio Napolitano. The President is elected by a joint session of the Italian Parliament for a seven-year term and serves as the Head of State. He or she appoints the Prime Minister after a vote of confidence from the Parliament. The Prime Minister is considered the Head of Government, along with the President of the Council of Ministers. The Council of Ministers must give a vote of approval for any sort of executive action that the Prime Minister attempts. He or she also does not have the ability to dissolve Parliament. As of February 22, 2014, the Prime Minister is Matteo Renzi. The legislative branch is considered to be perfectly bicameral, which means that each house has equal powers. The two houses are the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate of the Republic. Lastly, the highest court in the judicial branch is the Supreme Court of Cassation, while the Constitutional Court of Italy decides the constitutionality of laws ever since World War II.
Economy of Italy 2014
The Italian economy is a market economy, and as of 2012, it was the ninth-largest economy in the world and the fifth-largest economy in Europe in terms of nominal Gross Domestic Product. In terms of Purchasing Power Parity, it was the tenth largest in the world and the fourth largest in Europe. Before World War II, the country was predominantly an agricultural based economy. However, now it is a very industrialized country that profits from many different industries. The business sector is considered highly innovative and influential. The major portions of the business sector are the small and medium sized corporations, instead of globally multinational organizations. Most of Italy’s trading exports are to Germany and France and it was the seventh largest exporter in the world in 2009. Despite these positive aspects of the economy, Italy has the second highest debt ratio in Europe next to Greece. In 2010, the public debt stood for 116% of the Gross Domestic Product. Also, by the end of January 2014, the unemployment rate of Italy stood at 12.9%, an increase from 12.7% in December of 2013. Lastly, there is a major economic divide between the north and south in Italy. The north represents a demographic that lies above the per-capita GDP of the European Union, while the south lies quite below the per-capita GDP of the European Union.
Education in Italy 2014
The government mandates that all students from ages six to sixteen attend school. The education system is broken up into five different stages: kindergarten, primary school, lower secondary school, upper secondary school, and university. Kindergarten is non-compulsory and lasts for three years before primary school begins (ages three to six). Primary school lasts for five years and consists of a standard curriculum, regardless of whether or not a student attends a private or public institution. Students must take courses in Italian, English, mathematics, natural sciences, history, geography, and many other subjects. The lower secondary school lasts three years, where the students add to their studies from primary school with technology and linguistic studies. They must study a language other than Italian and English. At the end of their three years, the students must pass an exam in order to proceed with their education journey. Upper secondary depends on the subject and activity that a student wishes to study. Some students study languages, some students study natural sciences, and some study the arts. Some also participate in a vocational track, which helps them prepare for a career. Because education is only required until age sixteen, students only need to complete three years of the upper secondary level. They tend to enter the university level at age nineteen, compared to other countries where the age is eighteen. Lastly, the literacy rate among both females and males is 99.9%. The net enrollment ratio of males in secondary school is 93.9%, while the net enrollment rate of females in secondary school is 94.1%.
Italy’s Low Birthrate Problem
Health Care in Italy 2014
Italy has been highly regarded for their health and health care system. As of 2013, the life expectancy was 82.2 years, which gives it the eighth largest life expectancy in the world. Its health care system is considered to be the second best system in the world and has the third best performance in the world. In 1978, the government established a universal health care system, which covers all citizens and is funded through tax revenue. The Ministry of Health administers the universal health system. Doctors are paid through the National Health Service and each family is assigned a family doctor. However, if a family is dissatisfied with the assigned doctor, they may choose to visit another one. Surgeries and any sort of hospitalization are completely covered by the universal coverage. As a result, waiting times for surgeries could be as long as a couple of months, especially in the larger, more populated cities. Prescriptions must be granted by a doctor, and any prescription granted by the family doctor tend to be subsidized by the National Health Service, making the patient only liable to pay for a co-pay. Lastly, as of 2012, the under-five mortality rate is 4 deaths per 1,000 children, and the infant mortality rate is 3 deaths per 1,000 infants.