Back to top

Italy, 1858 (Annual Register)

Chronicle, The Annual Register or a View of the History and Politics of the Year 1859 (London: F. & J. Rivington, 1860), 73.

(F)rom Annuario Statistico-Italiano for 1858:— "The population of Italy amounts to no less than 27,107,047 inhabitants. They are divided into 15 circumscriptions—eight, containing 19,013,304 souls, are under Italian Governments; and seven, with a population of 7,193,743, obey foreign rule. Italy contains 110 provinces and 10,012 communes, and is one of the countries in which the largest cities and towns are to be found, 19 of them having more than 50,000 inhabitants, and 8 — Rome, Naples, Palermo, Venice, Florence, Milan, Genoa, and Turin —exceed 100,000.  Almost all the population are Roman Catholics; the number of those who profess other Christian creeds only amounting to 36,670, and the Jews to 41,497.  The births far exceed the deaths; the increase in the population is particularly remarkable in Sicily and Tuscany, where it may double in 73 years. Italy alone has very nearly one-half as many bishoprics as there are in the whole of Europe; 256 out of 535. The average is 90,000 Catholics for each diocess, and in the Roman States there is one bishop for every 400,000 souls. The regular and secular clergy of both sexes count in Italy 189,000, and they are, as compared with the number of the population, as 1 to 142. The clergy are more numerous in Sicily than in any other part of Italy, or perhaps in the world, the number of priests, monks, or nuns, being 33,266, or 1 out of 69 inhabitants. There are nearly 300 journals published in Italy, of which number 117 are in the Sardinian States, although they contain only one-fifth of the total population. About the middle of 1858, Italy possessed 1757 kilometres (five-eighths of a mile each) of railways completed, 2339 in course of construction, and 634 for which concessions had been granted. One of the principal branches of industry is the production of silk, and in ordinary years the value of that article is from 200,000,000 f. to 230,000,000 f..  Lombardy alone, which is only the fifteenth-part of Italy, produces one-third. The revenues of the different Italian States amount to about 600,000,000f. and the expenses to 640,000,000f. The public debt is 2,000,000,000f. Commerce is active, but business is much impaired by the high tariffs in many of the States, and by the lines of Custom-houses. The mercantile-marine of Italy is more numerous, in proportion to the extent of country, than that of any other nation in Europe, England excepted."


How to Cite This Page: "Italy, 1858 (Annual Register)," House Divided: The Civil War Research Engine at Dickinson College,