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The reverse side of the Vatican euro depicting Pope Benedict XVI.

The unique, noncommercial economy of Vatican City is supported financially by contributions (known as Peter's Pence) from Roman Catholics throughout the world, the sale of postage stamps and tourist mementos, fees for admission to museums, and the sale of publications.

The Vatican has its own financial system and banks, with interests worldwide. The incomes of lay workers are sensibly better than those of correspondent counterparts who work in the city of Rome. Living standards may be different, at least in their public evidence, due to particular sober lifestyle required.

The Vatican has often been accused by critics of being excessively wealthy, for example in Avro Manhattan's The Vatican Billions, however the papal state has previously run budget deficits and obtains much of its money from international donations such as Peter's Pence.

In response to demands by activists that the Vatican should sell its artistic artifacts and give them to the poor, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes asserted that the Church has the duty to conserve the works of art in the name of the Italian state and cannot sell them. [1]

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Labor force: NA

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture NA%, industry NA%, services NA%; note - dignitaries, priests, nuns, guards, and 3,000 lay workers live outside the Vatican

revenues: $371.97 million (2007)
expenditures: $386.27 million (2007) [2]

A souvenir shop on the roof of St. Peter's Basilica

Industries: printing and production of a small amount of mosaics and staff uniforms; worldwide banking and financial activities

Electricity - production: 0 kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: NA kWh; note - electricity supplied by Italy

Economic aid - donor

Currency: Since 2002, the Vatican euro. Previously, 1 Vatican lira (VLit) = 100 centesimi. Vatican depends on Italy for practical production of banknotes, stamps and other valuable titles. Due to its rarity, Vatican euro coins are highly sought by collectors.

Exchange rates: euros per US$1 - 0.9867 (January 2000), 0.9386 (1999); Vatican lire (VLit) per US$1 - 1,688.7 (January 1998), 1,736.2 (1998), 1,703.1 (1997), 1,542.9 (1996), 1,628.9 (1995); note - the Vatican lira is at par with the Italian lira which circulates freely; now this turned into euro equivalence.

Fiscal year: calendar year




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