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Located in Southern Europe as the peninsula surrounded by the central Mediterranean Sea, the Italian Republic became a nation-state in 1861. Parliamentary government ceased when a Fascist dictatorship was established by the 1920s. However, World War II left Italy in a state of despair and economic revival was greatly needed; a democratic republic ensued as well as membership to NATO and the European Economic Community. Compared to the wealthy and stable northern Italy, the south suffers from illegal immigrations, crime, corruption, unemployment, slow economic growth, poor income distribution, and few technical advances.


predominantly Mediterranean; Alpine in far north; hot, dry in south

  • Italian (official)
  • German (parts of Trentino-Alto Adige region are predominantly German speaking)
  • French (small French-speaking minority in Valle d'Aosta region)
  • Slovene (Slovene-speaking minority in the Trieste-Gorizia area)
Infant Mortality Rate[1]
Per Capita Health Expenditure[2]

More Information


  1. CIA World Factbook
  2. WHO Global Health Atlas

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