The Human Truth Foundation

Vatican City (State of the Vatican City)

By Vexen Crabtree 2013



Vatican City
State of the Vatican City
StatusIndependent State
CapitalVatican City
Land Area
Life Expectancy
ISO3166-1 CodesVA, VAT, 3361
Internet Domain.va2
CurrencyEuro (EUR)3

1. Overview

#christianity #italy

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 religious freedom, threats against minority Christian communities in Africa and the Middle East, international development, interreligious dialogue and reconciliation, and the application of church doctrine in an era of rapid change and globalization. About 1.2 billion people worldwide profess the Catholic faith.

CIA's The World Factbook (2013)5

Book CoverThe Vatican, at a mere 0.44 sq km, may be the world´s smallest soverign state, but it boasts some of Italy´s most celebrated masterpieces. Ensconced in the centre of the Italian capital Rome and enshrined in a bevy of sacrosanct traditions and rituals, the Vatican City is one of those rare places that must be visited to be believed. This is the seat of the Catholic Church, ruled with absolute authority by the Pope, who lives in a palace with over a thousand rooms and is protected by a hundred single Swiss men in ceremonious red, yellow and blue costume.

The city was established by the 1929 Lateran Treaty, and is the modern vestige of the Papal States, the fiefdom that ruled Rome and much of central Italy until the Italian reunification in 1861. The Vatican´s association with Christianity dates to the 1st century, when St Peter was crucified in Nero´s Circus. To commemorate this, the emperor Constantine commissioned a basilica to be built on the site where the saint was buried.

The glory of St Peter´s Basilica, however, is only the beginning of the wealth of treasures that await deep inside the bowels of the Vatican Museums.

"The World" by Lonely Planet (2014)6

2. Politics and Freedom


Nominal Commitment to HR (2009)7
Pos.Higher is better
3Costa Rica23
157Solomon Islands10
159Vatican City10
World Avg15.1

3. Gender Equality

#politics #women

Year Women Can Vote8
Pos.Lower is better
1New Zealand1893
188Saudi Arabia0
189Vatican City0
World Avg1930

Women have far fewer political rights than men, and are prevented from voting and standing for election.


4. More Charts and Comparisons to Other Countries

There isn't much information in the database for Vatican City, most likely because it is either a part of another country (i.e., a territory or posession) and therefore most international statistics are counted for the country as a whole, or, this is such an exotic place that little data exists about it.

Current edition: 2013 May 01
Last Modified: 2017 Jun 21
Parent page: Compare International Statistics by Region and Continent

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#christianity #homosexuality #human_rights #italy #politics #women

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References: (What's this?)

(2013) World Factbook. The USA Government's Central Intelligence Agency (USA CIA) publishes The World Factbook, and the online version is frequently updated.

Lonely Planet
(2014) The World. Subtitled: "A Traveller's Guide to the Planet". Published by Lonely Planet, London, UK. Each chapter is devoted to a specific country and includes a list of the most interesting places to visit and a few other cultural notes.


  1. International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard ISO3166-1, on, accessed 2013 May 01.^
  2. Top level domains (TLDs) are managed by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) on^
  3. According to ISO4217.^
  4. According to ITU-T.^
  5. CIA (2013). Https:// accessed 2014 Apr 27.^
  6. Lonely Planet (2014). Chapter "Vatican City".^
  7. Max possible=24. Total amount of treaties ratified. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL School of Public Policy, London, UK, at accessed 2011 Apr 30.^
  8. "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life: 2.9. Women Stand for Election & Vote" by Vexen Crabtree (2019)^
  9. Sources:^

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