Also known as Holy See, the Vatican City is Europe’s last single monarchy and the world’s smallest country. The pope is the country’s chief commander, and also heads the Roman Catholic Church.
Key figures and facts
- Capital: Vatican City
- Ethnic groups: Italians, Swiss, Argentines, and other nationalities from around the world (2017)
- Language: Italian, Latin, French and others
- Religion: Roman Catholic Christianity
- Population: 1,000 (2017)
- Control Form: Ecclesiastical Monarchy
- Area: 0.44 km²
- Currency: euro
The official language of the Vatican is Italian, while Latin is the official language of the Holy See. French is used as a diplomatic language, while the Swiss Guard uses German.
The language situation in the Vatican City is characterized by a great diversity. There are no primary schools in the Vatican as found in other states, and therefore no teaching language. A majority of the inhabitants speak Italian as their mother tongue, and Italian is the dominant language in daily life.
The official websites are available in Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Latin, Chinese and Arabic. The Pope’s official monthly publication , Acta Apostolicae Sedis, comes out in Latin with a supplement in Italian (Supplemento per le leggi e disposizioni dello Stato della Città del Vaticano).
The daily newspaper L’Osservatore romano is only available in Italian, but has its own weekly editions in English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Malayalam. In addition, a monthly edition is published in Polish.
The Vatican Radio Station (Radio Vaticana) broadcasts in about 40 languages.