Who lives in the Vatican City?

If you’re going to the Vatican, you’ll no-doubt see many, many people there. But how many of them are actually residents of the city? Are any, besides the Pope? Do people live in the Vatican? Let’s take a look.

The Vatican is a city-state, the smallest state in the world, both in terms of area and population. Which does mean that there is a population to count here and we wouldn’t extend this courtesy if it was just the Pope. And, man, what a lonely existence that would be.

The area of the Vatican is obviously not very large at all, so accommodating a large population is impossible, but it still manages to hold 764 residents. Do note that in that survey 372 Vatican citizens were residing elsewhere, basically meaning Vatican’s diplomats residing in other countries.

In a nutshell, the population of the Vatican consists of the Pope, various religious members, people who work for the Holy See (e.g. Swiss Guard) and their families. As such, the diversity in the Vatican is quite great, with lots of nationalities and languages. As you may expect, it’s no so diverse in regards to beliefs, because every resident is a Catholic.

Unlike literally every other place in the world, citizenship is granted to those who come to the Vatican City to work for the Holy See. It is also removed once no longer necessary. Families of said workers who come to the Vatican are also granted citizenship. This does not mean, however, that all of the 764 residents have a Vatican citizenship – in fact, 518 of them do not. There are also many other people coming in to work in the Vatican who are not considered residents – they commute from Italy to the Vatican every day to work in the various sites of the Vatican.

Living in the Vatican comes with certain privileges, such as access to special duty-free shops or the opportunity to just bump into the Pope randomly, but also with restrictions. Gates to the city shut at night, opening only at 6 am. Special dress code is also required of all the residents. Don’t expect the locals to do pub crawls, basically.


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