Vatican City State facts and figures

Vatican City State (holy sea)

Popes in their secular role ruled portions of the Italian peninsula for more than a thousand years until the mid 19th century, when many of the Papal States were seized by the newly united Kingdom of Italy. In 1870, the pope’s holdings were further circumscribed when Rome itself was annexed. Disputes between a series of “prisoner” popes and Italy were resolved in 1929 by three Lateran Treaties, which established the independent state of Vatican City and granted Roman Catholicism special status in Italy. In 1984, a concordat between the Holy See and Italy modified certain of the
earlier treaty provisions, including the primacy of Roman Catholicism as the Italian state religion. Present concerns of the Holy See include the failing health of Pope John Paul II, interreligious dialogue and reconciliation, and the application of church doctrine in an era of rapid change and globalization. About 1 billion people worldwide profess the Catholic faith.


Southern Europe, an enclave of Rome (Italy)


total: 0.44 sq km

water: 0 sq km

land: 0.44 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 3.2 km

border countries: Italy 3.2 km


temperate; mild, rainy winters (September to mid-May) with hot, dry summers
(May to September)


low hill

Land use:

arable land: 0%

permanent crops: 0%

other: 100% (urban area) (1998 est.)


911 (July 2003 est.)


noun: none

adjective: none


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