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Countries of the World: Holy See
Resources about Holy See including maps, facts about the land, people, history, government, political conditions, and economy.

Economy of Holy See Budget: Revenues (2008; latest year for which figures are available)--253 million (approx. $344 million); expenditures (2008)--254 million (approx. $345.5 million). Industries: Worldwide banking and financial activities; printing; production of coins, medals, postage stamps, a small amount of mosaics, and staff uniforms. This unique, noncommercial economy is also supported financially by contributions (known as Peter's Pence) from Catholics throughout the world, the sale of postage stamps and tourist mementos, fees from admissions to museums, and the sale of publications. The incomes and living standards of lay workers are comparable to, or somewhat better than, those of counterparts who work in the city of Rome.

Geography and People of Holy See Area: Total of 0.44 sq. km. (109 acres). Population (April 2009): Approximately 800 (citizens and residents). Ethnic groups: Italian, Swiss, other. Religion: Catholic. Languages: Italian, Latin, French, various others. Literacy: 100%. Work force: 3,000 lay workers (reside outside the Vatican).

Government of Holy See Type: Papacy; ecclesiastical, governmental, and administrative capital of the Catholic Church. Independence: Sovereign entity since medieval times (Lateran Pacts creating Vatican City State and confirming independence and sovereignty of the Holy See signed with Italy on February 11, 1929). Suffrage: Limited to Cardinals less than 80 years old.

Map of Holy See This Map of Holy See shows the borders of the country. (Maps from the U.S. State Department)

Official Name of Holy See The Official Name of Holy See is the Holy See. (Facts from the U.S. State Department)

Profile of Holy See Note: The Holy See is the universal government of the Catholic Church and operates from the Vatican City State, a sovereign, independent territory of 0.44 square kilometers (0.17 square miles). The Pope is the ruler of both the Vatican City State and the Holy See. The Holy See, as the supreme body of government of the Catholic Church, is a sovereign juridical entity under international law.

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