Vatican City 2003

Vatican City Border Map

In 2003, Vatican City was the smallest sovereign state in the world located within the city of Rome. It had a population of around 800 people and its citizens enjoyed a high degree of freedom with many rights such as freedom of speech, expression, movement, assembly and association protected by law. According to computergees, Vatican City was an absolute monarchy with the Pope as its head. Its economy was based on tourism and ceremonial activities as well as some manufacturing activities. In terms of culture, the citizens of Vatican City were proud to uphold their traditional Catholic values while embracing modernity in many aspects of life. Music festivals featuring both traditional Catholic music styles like Gregorian chants and Baroque music as well as contemporary international artists took place throughout the year. Italian cuisine featured dishes like Pizza and Pasta that were popular amongst locals and visitors alike. Sports such as football (soccer) were also popular in 2003 with fans regularly attending matches throughout the year to cheer on their favorite teams.

Yearbook 2003

Vatican City. In April, Pope John Paul II attacked “liberal practices” around communion. The Pope forbade Catholics and Protestants from taking Catholic communion together, and he emphasized in the same document that only clergy can give the Catholic Communion. In addition, remarried people would be excluded from the sacrament.

Country data

Area: 0.44 km2 (world ranking: 196)

Residents: 800

1818 per km2 (as of 2017, world ranking: 196)


Official languages: Latin, Italian, German

Gross domestic

product Gross national product (GNP, per resident and year)

Currency: 1 euro (Euro) = 100 cents


Lilienthalstr. 3a, 10965 Berlin
Telephone 030 616240,
Fax 030 61624300

Head of State: Franziskus, Head of Government: Pietro Parolin

National holiday: 13.3. (Election of Francis 2013)

Administrative structure

State and form of government
Basic Law of 2001
Absolute Monarchy
Pontifical Commission (legislation) appointed every 5 years by the Pope
Election of the Pope by the cardinals entitled to vote (July 2nd, 2018: 125; voting age up to 80 years)

Population: as of 2010: approx. 800 residents, of which approx 450 people with Vatican citizenship

Cities (with population)

Religions: Catholicism is an official religion (as of 2006)

Languages: Latin, Italian, German (official language of the Swiss Guard)

In July, the Vatican City released a document condemning partnerships between people of the same sex as “unnatural, harmful and immoral”. The document was intended to generate public opinion against the legalization of gay marriage in the countries of the world. The Vatican City was met by sharp criticism from several directions for the document, which was termed a violation of human rights. According to, Vatican City Independence Day is February 11. The Vatican State’s statement was described, among other things. as a “homophobic crusade”.

On October 16, it was celebrated that John Paul II had sat for a quarter of a century on the Holy See. In connection with the celebration, the 1997 deceased nun Mother Teresa was declared Blessed.


The climate of the Vatican City is typically Mediterranean, dry in summer (arid) and humid in winter (humid). Dry summers and wet winters mean average temperatures of 25 ° C in July and 8 ° C in January. The annual precipitation is 850 mm.

Vatican City Border Map

Vatican City Encyclopedia

The State of the Catholic Church

Although it is the smallest state in the world, Vatican City counts a lot on the international scene. As the seat of the Catholic Church, in fact, its political role – as well as religious and moral – is very relevant: the scarce extension and the very few residents do not matter, if we consider how many people in the world recognize its authority.

The capital of the pope

The condition of the Vatican City as a state is quite exceptional: it has a tiny territory (0.44 km2) and consequently an extremely small population (900 residents).

The real state is made up of the basilica of St. Peter and the palaces that rise next to it, around a hill – the Vatican, in fact – on the edge of the historic center of Rome. One of these buildings houses the Vatican Museums, one of the most important art collections in the world; another the extraordinary Vatican Library and archives, more than millennial; finally, other buildings house the head of the Vatican City State, that is, the pope, and the offices for the moral and material administration of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church is a very ancient institution, complex and articulated, with representatives and organizations in every place where the faithful exist.

From the Vatican, Catholics around the world – about one billion – receive indications on ethical and religious questions: the influence of the Vatican therefore extends to a large part of the world, and its international role is greater than that of many states.

A small territory where the pope is still king

On September 20, 1870, the Italian army entered Rome putting an end to the Papal State and the temporal power of the popes. From that moment until the signing of the Lateran Pacts in 1929 the popes who succeeded the papal throne did not recognize the Italian state and considered themselves prisoners in the Vatican palaces. In 1874 Pius IX forbade Italian Catholics to participate in political life and to collaborate with the “usurper” state.

On 11 February 1929 the fascist government struck an agreement with the Holy See (concordat), with which the conflict between the Kingdom of Italy and the popes (the famous ‘Roman question’) ended. With the signing of the Lateran Pacts the Vatican City State was born and the pope formally assumed the title of sovereign. By yielding to the Holy See the sovereignty of this small territory located in the center of Rome, Italy it guaranteed the new state the most complete freedom from any interference and the pope absolute independence as the spiritual head of Catholicism. For his part, the pontiff recognized the Kingdom of Italy with Rome as its capital. Among the clauses of the concordat (the Pacts, in fact, consisted of a treaty and an concordat), it should be remembered that which establishes the recognition by Italy of the Catholic religion as a state religion and consequently the importance given to teaching of Catholic doctrine in school. In 1984 the then president of the council, the socialist Bettino Craxi, entered into a new concordat with the Holy See which canceled some rules established in 1929 considered anachronistic. For the magnificence of its artistic heritage, in 1960 the Vatican City was registered in the International Register of Cultural Heritage under Special Protection, established by UNESCO. Neutral and extraneous to any war conflict, the Vatican is not part of the United Nations, but – by virtue of its spiritual prestige – enjoys high esteem throughout the world.