Area: 0.44 sq km
Population: 618 inhab. (census 2019)
Density: 1 404.55 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 42° N; long. 12° E
Currency: euro (100 cents)
Head of State: Pope Francis, 266th Pontiff, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in Buenos Aires (Argentina) on 17 December 1936, elected as pope following the fifth ballot on 13 March 2013
Holy See Secretary of State: Cardinal Pietro Parolin, appointed on 31 August 2013, in office since 15 October 2013
Member of Council of Europe observer, OAS observer, OSCE, UN permanent observer, WTO observer
International license plate code V
International dialling code 0039
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .va
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October
Annual average temperature (°C) Vatican 15.6
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Vatican 7.5/24.5
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Vatican 9/4
Annual average precipitation (mm) Vatican 830
Days of rainfall (annual average) Vatican 81
Politics and current affairs
Pope Francis continues to reform the Church and work on the themes of environmental protection and the rights of migrants and the marginalized. His actions have been resisted by those within the church and many political players abroad.
An enclave within the City of Rome, just beyond the right bank of the River Tiber. It lies on the Vatican Hill which reaches its peak at 77 m, and includes Saint Peter’s Square. There are certain other areas outside the limits of the city which are considered to be Vatican territory, most notably the papal basilicas in Rome of Saint Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore), Saint John Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterano) and Saint Paul Outside the Walls (San Paolo fuori le Mura), and the palace and villas of Castel Gandolfo (the pope’s summer residence).
The Vatican City State came into existence as a result of the Lateran Treaty of 11 February 1929, under which Italy recognized the Holy See (a term covering the papacy and the key institutions of the Catholic Church) as the property of the Vatican which had the exclusive right of sovereignty, and it has remained this way until today.
The Vatican is distinct from the Holy See, but both are indissolubly united in the person of the Supreme Pontiff, who is the Head of State, and who governs through a State Pontifical Commission of five cardinals, appointed by him for a five-year term and led by the President of the Governorate of Vatican City State (Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, since 1 October 2011). The judicial system is based on a single judge, a tribunal, a court of appeal and a court of cassation. Both bodies are recognized as sovereign subjects under International law. The safety of the pope and the papal buildings is the joint responsibility of the Italian police force and the Swiss Guard, a military corps founded in 1506.
The Supreme Pontiff
is elected by those cardinals who are under eighty years old, in a secret conclave, with a need for a majority of two thirds of the votes. The maximum number of cardinals allowed in the conclave is fixed at 120.
The College of Cardinals
(in August 2019 there were 219 cardinals, of which 120 are electors) is divided into three orders: Bishops; Priests and Deacons, and they are chosen by the Pope from those who have already been ordained priests. These members preside over the different congregations and run the church when there is a vacancy. The head of the College of Cardinals is the Dean, who is the oldest Bishop.
The Roman Curia
is the combination of organizations which run the Church and consists of the Secretariat of State, the Congregations, the Pontifical Councils, the Tribunals, the Offices and the Pontifical Commission, plus the Pontifical Committees and Commissions of Cardinals. The Secretariat of State is divided into the section for general affairs and the one which deals with relations with foreign states.
There are nine Congregations, which are commissions led by Cardinals: for the Doctrine of the Faith; for the Oriental churches; for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; for the Causes of Saints; for Bishops; for the Evangelization of Peoples; for the Clergy; for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and the Congregation for Catholic Education.
There are five Pontifical Councils: for Promoting Christian Unity; for Legislative Texts; for Culture; for Interreligious Dialogue; for Promoting New Evangelization. Throughout his time as pope, Francis suppressed seven councils, merging them with the new structure of the Roman curia.
There are three Tribunals: the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature and the Tribunal of the Rota Romana. There are three Offices: the Apostolic Camera, the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, and the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
There are six Pontifical Commissions: for Sacred Archaeology; the Pontifical Biblical Commission, the International Theological Commission, the Interdicasterial Commission for the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Commission for Latin America, and the Ecclesia Dei Commission.
|Population at latest census||890||pop.||1948 (census)|
|Population growth rate||-0.05||%||2015-2020|
The Vatican does not have a tax system and does not publish any details of its economy or its financial activities.
The main sources of income are the IOR (Institute for Religious Works) and the voluntary contributions of citizens and institutions, and profits coming from its investments, which are managed by the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. The Vatican produces its own coins and postage stamps. Monetary union with Italy meant the effective adoption of the Euro (29 December 2000).