Population and Economy of Lazio, Italy - Passion For Italy

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Population and Economy of Lazio, Italy


The population distribution is clearly influenced by Rome, where 55% of the population is concentrated. The presence of the capital of Italy gives Latium the fourth highest density of population in the country.


In the past, the somewhat underdeveloped north of the region has undergone progressive depopulation (especially in Rieti province), and this, to a certain extent, is still continuing. By contrast, south of Rome the creation of new industrial areas (especially in the Pontine) has contributed to a marked rise in population, though urban growth occurs to the detriment of the rural areas.


The regional dialects can be identified with two fairly well-defined areas: the north-west is influenced by the southern Tuscan dialects, while the rest of the region speaks Central Italian dialects, though with marked individual linguistic characteristics (Sabine, Ciociaro and Roman).


Sociological statistics reveal a standard of living above the national average, but the north of the region is penalized by an underdeveloped economy, while the south of Latium has on an average a better standard of living.


With regard to environmental conditions, unfortunately the Thyrrenian Sea is highly polluted and environmental deterioration is found particularly in Rome where the traffic is choking the city, and the suburbs have spread in a disorganized sprawl.


The agricultural sector is characterized by farms of varying sizes and productivity which differs from one place to another. In the Rieti and Viterbo areas farms are large, while the reclaimed districts (Agro Pontino) make use of modern production techniques and holdings are smaller, becoming tiny in the rural areas of Ciociaria.


Part-time farming is a growing phenomenon carried out by workers in other forms of employment, who often spend some time growing fruit and vegetables.


The most widespread crops are cereals (wheat, maize) and vegetables in the Viterbo area, Campagna di Roma and Agro Pontino; vines are cultivated in the Colli Albani area and olives in Sabina.


There are particularly high numbers of sheep, and cattle-breeding is slowly developing. Fishing, though affected by pollution and less than optimal environmental conditions (sandy coasts, few inlets), is important on a national scale.


Industrial development in Latium is fairly recent and closely linked with the Mezzogiorno Fund, though limited, as already mentioned, to the areas south of Rome. Communications have also been an influence, favouring the areas with the best links to Rome and those near the Autostrada del Sole (motorway), especially around Frosinone. Firms are often small to medium in size and operate in the building and building materials (Rome, Civitavecchia), paper (Frosinone), petrochemical (Gaeta, Rome), textile (Frosinone), engineering (Rieti, Anagni), automobile (Cassino), food (Rome, Aprilia), electronic and electro technical (Viterbo) sectors. There is a reasonable production of electricity (nearly all thermal), one tenth of which is provided by the Foce Verde nuclear power station (near Latina).


Approximately the 73% of the working population is employed in the services sector; this is a considerable proportion, but is justified by the presence of the capital, which is the core of public administration, banking, tourism, insurance and other sectors.


The centralizing force of Rome has also influenced the communications network which tends to link each centre with the capital rather than constitute interurban communications. All the major highways (in part corresponding to the ancient Roman consular roads) converge on the metropolis, causing considerable traffic problems. The railway network is in a similar condition, though the situation is aggravated by antiquated railway lines. The busiest ports are Civitavecchia and Gaeta. There are two airports, Roma-Fiumicino, the most important in Italy, and Roma-Ciampino, for domestic flights.

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