Living Conditions in San Marino
In the northeastern part of the Italian Peninsula lies San Marino, one of the world’s tiny micro states surrounded entirely by the country of Italy. Its modern form has shaped since 1463 and the country has maintained its autonomy until today. In fact, it is the world’s oldest republic. Here are the top 10 facts about living conditions in San Marino.

Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in San Marino

  1. Population: As of 2019, there are 33,683 people living in San Marino. It has the fifth smallest population on Earth. Roughly 15 percent of the population are migrants and 53 percent are individuals within the working ages of 18 to 65. The nation’s official language is Italian. The poverty rate of the country is very low, so the country does not officially measure it.
  2. Education: Education is compulsory until the age of 14 and attendance is free. Almost the entire population has completed secondary school as the country has a 91 percent completion rate. Over 10 percent of government spending goes towards education. Citizens of San Marino mostly pursue college degrees in surrounding Italy or abroad.
  3. Economy:  Economic output relies heavily on finance and manufacturing. The banking sector accounts for more than half of the country’s GDP at roughly 60 percent. Corporate taxes are low in comparison to the EU and the standard of living is high.
  4. Health Care: Life expectancy in San Marino is 83.4 years old. Health care is not free, but a universal system exists parallel to a private system.  The Azienda Sanitaria Locale insurance fund provides the government system. There are six physicians for every 1,000 inhabitants as of 2014. Child mortality is extremely low with only one death in 2018.
  5. Government System: San Marino has nine municipalities and the country is a parliamentary, representative, democratic republic. The legislation is within two chambers and there are two captain regents as heads of state. The country directs foreign policy mostly towards aligning with the EU. Therefore foreign aid policy is similar to that in the European Union.
  6. Social Security: There is social insurance for the elderly and the disabled. Furthermore, there are survivorship benefits for the unemployed and the widowed even though the unemployment rate has reduced in the past years.
  7. Communications: As access to information can make a big difference in human development, an important aspect of the top 10 facts about living conditions in San Marino is the country’s access to this right. Its living standards reflect this. More than half of the population are active internet users and broadband is widely available. There are 38,000 cellphone subscriptions active today which is more than the entire population.
  8. Labor Conditions: The law forbids workplace discrimination for any reason. The state guarantees contracts and the minimum wage is 9.74 euros per hour. In general, labor conditions are safe with an eight-hour working day in guaranteed humane conditions. Meanwhile, as of 2018, the unemployment rate was only eight percent.
  9. NGOs in San Marino: There are no specific NGO projects in San Marino, but a number of NGOs do exist from time to time specially aiding in education and training as well as health. For instance, the British organization, Hope is Kindled, was present in 2006 with a project to advance health through medical and technological research.
  10. The Serene Republic: As a small enclave, San Marino does not have large natural reserves within its territory. Nonetheless, it shares the geography of surrounding Italy which is slightly mountainous and mild. It imports most of its resources and food. To be able to keep its stable political and social system while being dependant on other countries, it must be in good terms with its neighbors and the international community.

These top 10 facts about living conditions in San Marino demonstrate why this small nation has been able to maintain such serenity for more than six centuries. As a result, it has been able to ensure its citizen’s freedom and security in all aspects.

– Diego Vallejo Riofrio
Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in San Marino

San Marino is a small, landlocked country located within Italy. It is a remnant from a time when city states dotted the European landscape. San Marino is believed to be the world’s oldest surviving republic, and tourism plays the largest role in the economy. More than three million people visit the republic each year. However, the nation still struggles with poverty. Here is a look at causes of poverty in San Marino.

One of the causes of poverty in San Marino was the recession of 2008. San Marino’s economy is heavily reliant on tourism, and the recession incited a drop in tourism rates.

Although tourism is a large part of the economy, San Marino also acted as a tax haven for the wealthy people of Europe. This changed when the European Union and Italy pressured San Marino into going along with a crackdown on tax evasion and money laundering.

The United States Department of State reported that the strict regulations placed on the financial sector has led to a decrease in money laundering. There is not a large enough market for illegal goods, so most money laundering was done on the behalf of people outside of the country looking to avoid higher tax rates in their own countries.

A number of top executives at the Cassa di Risparmio della Repubblica di San Marino were arrested on money laundering charges. This was the nation’s top bank, so the arrests dealt a heavy blow to the nation’s economy. Thus, while it is good for the global economy, the inability to launder money is another one of the causes of poverty in San Marino.

The government of San Marino has taken actions in order to combat the economic downturn, which includes subsidized credit for businesses. San Marino has also taken steps to move its economic growth model away from a dependence on bank and tax secrecy.

Due to its low corporate taxes compared to other nations, the economy can profit from foreign investment as well. San Marino’s income tax is also about one-third the amount compared to other nations in the EU.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation (OECD) removed the small nation from its list of tax havens that have not fully complied with global tax standards in 2009. San Marino also signed tax information exchange agreements with most major nations in 2010.

Causes of poverty in San Marino are largely due to the loss of tourism and its strict regulations on the financial sector, but with its advantages for foreign investments, the small nation hopes to turn its economic woes around.

Fernando Vazquez

Photo: Flickr

What Causes Poverty in San Marino?

San Marino, which is said to be the world’s oldest republic, is a tiny country landlocked by Italy. At only 23.6 square miles, San Marino is the fifth smallest country in the world, only larger than Vatican City, Monaco, Nauru and Tuvalu. It is also one of the richest countries in the world, with an estimated 2016 GDP per capita of $59,500. Despite its wealthy status, the 2008 recession, from which the country is still recovering, has significantly increased poverty in San Marino.

San Marino’s main economic activities are tourism, banking and the manufacture and export of different goods such as clothing, ceramics, fabric, wine and spirits. As it is surrounded by Italy, most of San Marino’s economic sectors are highly supported by this nation; in fact, 90 percent of San Marino’s export market is supported by Italy. As Italy also suffered from the 2008 recession, its demand for imports from San Marino has lessened, which has in turn weakened San Marino’s economy.

After the recession, San Marino’s strong economy took a downward turn. Unemployment – which had been at its lowest in 2007 at three percent – jumped to 4.5 percent by 2009 and reached its peak of 9.2 percent in 2015. While poverty is not a major issue in San Marino compared to many other countries, the recession certainly caused a notable increase.

Although San Marino’s poverty rate is low enough that it is not necessarily significant enough to be recorded, it is likely that such a rapid increase in unemployment led to hardship for a significant portion of San Marino’s population. Increases in unemployment cause greater stress for the individual and strain the government, as it puts more pressure on the government to support those who are unemployed. Additionally, it weakens the economy further, as those who are unemployed lose purchasing power. Since San Marino’s peak unemployment in 2015, unemployment has started to drop, with the unemployment rate in 2016 at 8.6 percent.

Although the recession caused an increase in poverty, the government of San Marino has been working to curb the effects of the recession by eliminating its status as a tax haven. As other countries have bounced back from the recession, demand for goods from San Marino has increased as well. Hopefully, as more countries start recovering, this will also help San Marino’s economy recover so that progress can be made regarding its poverty rate.

Mary Kate Luft

Photo: Flickr

Human Rights in San Marino

Securing human rights in San Marino, one of the world’s oldest republics, has been a progressive and relatively successful venture. The state is a multi-party democracy where authorities maintain effective control over law enforcement.

According to the Department of State, no outrageous human rights abuses have taken place in San Marino in recent years. Although, according to various international organizations, the state still needs to reduce gender inequality and further the protection of women’s rights in particular.

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, recently congratulated the state for its success in combating violence against women during his visit in 2015.

The prevention of violence against women has been successful due to legislation passed throughout the last decade, including the “Prevention and elimination of violence against women and gender violence” in 2008. The decree to implement the law was passed in 2012, according the U.N. It also provided an assistance center for victims of violence.

Additionally, during this time, a special study group was established by the San Marino delegation which specializes in meeting the requirements of the Council of Europe Convention for preventing and combating violence against women.

Despite progress against violence, women in San Marino continue to face hurdles in practicing their human rights. According to Muižnieks, action should be taken to address the gender gap in employment and political participation, along with action to combat harmful gender stereotypes.

The commissioner suggested in 2015 that these goals regarding human rights in San Marino, particularly for women, can be achieved through increased efforts by and resources towards the Authority for Equal Opportunities in the state. He also suggested goals of gender equality could be made through the state’s ratification of the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention. San Marino ratified and entered the Istanbul Convention early in 2016, confirming its commitment to ensure human rights and women’s rights in the country.

Melanie Snyder

Hunger in San Marino
San Marino, a microstate surrounded by Italy, is known as the world’s oldest republic, dating back to the year 301. Its economy runs off of tourism, banking and the manufacturing and export of ceramics, clothing, fabrics, furniture, paints, spirits, tiles and wine. This accounts for more than half of San Marino’s GDP. With a population of less than 33,000, hunger in San Marino is not seen as a problem.

The recession of 2009 had a major impact on tourism as an economic stimulus. However, by 2016, the unemployment rate dropped from 9.3 percent to 8.5 percent by the end of the year. In comparison, the United States had a rate of 4.7 percent at the end of 2016.

San Marino, like many European countries, uses the euro as its currency. As of August 2017, the exchange rate is one euro to 1.19 USD. This means that the costs of everyday items are almost equivalent to the prices in the United States. Hunger in San Marino could be affected by the cost of living, but that is not the case.

The average monthly salary after taxes is about 2,445 euros. The cost of living in San Marino is relatively inexpensive, with prices averaging about 600 euros per month for apartment rent, while grocery costs remain low. The cost of living can be compared to that of small cities in the U.S.

In 2010, it was reported that the percentage of overweight females in San Marino was 67.4 percent, while the male percentage was 60.5. This data shows that hunger in San Marino is not a problem; rather, overeating and unhealthy diets are more of a problem for the country.

On Monday, October 16th, the Republic of San Marino is going to celebrate World Food Day, which is organized yearly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It celebrates the anniversary of its founding and raises awareness on the world hunger problem. Despite not having hunger problems of its own, San Marino makes sure to advocate for other countries which do deal with severe hunger.

Stefanie Podosek

Photo: Flickr

Water Quality in San MarinoSan Marino, a small republic located in southern Europe, is one of several European microstates. The smallest independent state in Europe after Vatican City and Monaco, San Marino covers only 24 square miles and is landlocked by the Republic of Italy.

San Marino is a large political player in the international community, with diplomatic ties to more than 70 countries. Not only a member of the United Nations and World Health Organization, San Marino is also active in the International Court of Justice, UNESCO, the International Monetary Fund, the International Red Cross Organization, the Council of Europe, and many others. Moreover, although it is not a formal member of the European Union, it has official relations with the multinational entity.

Unsurprisingly, water quality in San Marino is not a cause for concern. Not only does the country have a large tourism industry, but it also has one of the most stable economies in the world and is regarded as one of the wealthiest in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. According to the Central Intelligence Agency World Fact Book, San Marino’s GDP per capita was $59,500 in 2016, a growth of 0.5 percent from 2015.

High water quality in San Marino is just one of many factors that contribute to a high quality of life and long lifespan. Statistics from a 2009 World Health Organisation report list the average life expectancy for a newborn male as 81, which has increased since then.

San Marino’s water resources are drawn from one of four rivers, including the San Marino River, the Ausa River, the Fiumicello River and the Marano River. These rivers also play an important role in shaping the geography and political relationships of the country with itsneighborr Italy. The course of the San Marino River, for instance, creates a natural boundary.

The preservation of high water quality in San Marino is rooted in the country’s legal system, which began on October 8, 1600. “Maleficiorum”, the third of six governmental books comprising the country’s constitution, pays special attention to preventing the pollution of water sources.

Today, San Marino’s environmental issues are limited primarily to air pollution and urbanization which has invaded rural farmlands. As environmental policy continues to progress, the focus will largely lie in controlling these areas.

Katherine Wang

Photo: Flickr

10 Facts About San Marino Refugees
San Marino is a small country ensconced by its neighboring country, Italy. It is considered to be the world’s oldest surviving republic. Its population is a little over 30,000. The refugee population in the area is small, which makes it a low concern for the region. However, previous years reveal higher numbers of refugees.

The refugee population in the area is small, which makes it a low concern for the region. However, previous years reveal higher numbers of refugees.

Here are 10 facts about refugees in San Marino.

  1. Refugees in San Marino have come from Italy, Czech Republic, Brazil and even Mexico in the past.
  2. During World War II, San Marino, who was neutral during the war, hosted approximately 100,000 refugees from Italy.
  3. Between 1998 and 2000, the refugee population in San Marino was four. In the years following San Marino did not see its refugee population exceed this number.
  4. Currently, there is only one reported case of a refugee in San Marino, making the region’s refugee population at one.
  5. San Marino is not included in the Geneva Convention of 1951 or the Protocol of 1967. However, the government still has a system in place for protecting refugees. This means that the San Marino government can protect refugees at risk of persecution based on race, religion, social group affiliation, political opinions and more.
  6. By action of the cabinet, the government can grant refugee status or asylum to those seeking refuge in San Marino. Requests for asylum are rare.
  7. Laws in San Marino allow for foreign travel, emigration and repatriation. The country’s government follows suit with the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees by providing assistance to asylum seekers and people who are considered stateless. This is also reflective of policies from other comparative humanitarian organizations.
  8. According to the Council of Europe Development Bank, as of 2015 San Marino contributed 20,000 euros to the Bank’s Migrant and Refugee Fund. This contribution was a sign of solidarity with San Marino’s support of European social cohesion and refugees in the area, according to the Bank’s report.
  9. According to a report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, requests for softer citizenship requirements have been declined in the past, making it difficult for refugees to eventually obtain citizenship.
  10. More than one million migrants and refugees landed in European countries. By comparison, the refugee population in San Marino is a mere fraction of a percentage of that total. While there are numerous facts about San Marino refugees, these are 10 facts about San Marino refugees that are important to know.

Though the refugee population in the country is minute these 10 facts about refugees in San Marino are important to achieving a deeper understanding the European refugee crisis as a whole.

Leah Potter
Photo: Flickr

5 Facts About Education in San MarinoFounded in 301 AD, San Marino is one of the world’s oldest republics while also being the smallest independent nation in Europe. The estimated population of San Marino is 30,000. Located in Central Italy, San Marino is blessed with an immense amount of beauty ranging from Mount Titano of the Apennine Mountains, to the Adriatic Sea, which is visible from the northeastern side of the country.
Although San Marino is small in size, it has proven to be successful as a sovereign state. San Marino has flourished with a tourism sector responsible for 50 percent of the national income, social development programs that encourage equal employment opportunities for women, and education in San Marino is mandatory for children from the ages of six to 14.

Here are five facts about education in San Marino.

  1. Education in San Marino has a similar curriculum to Italy. Children are able to attend nursing schools as early as three months, and attend kindergarten schools at the age of three.  By age six, children must enroll in one of the 14 primary schools San Marino offers. After five years of primary school, secondary schools consist of 32 hours of class each week, from Monday to Saturday. Children who finish secondary schooling have the choice to enter high school, which introduces students to a variety of courses, including humanities, modern language, and economics and management. All schooling from nursery school to high school is free.
  2. According to the World Bank, San Marino primary schools subscribe to smaller classroom sizes, with six students per teacher. This is one of the lowest student to teacher ratios in the world, and half the size of the median for other Southern European countries. San Marino credits its small classroom sizes with the success of its students’ high grades, supported by the 98 percent literacy rate among adults.
  3. The majority of students who graduate from secondary school pursue enrollment at universities in Italy, all of which recognize San Marino diplomas as respectable education accomplishments. The University of the Republic of San Marino is the country’s only higher learning institution, but it also has a number of vocational training institutes. Established in 1980, these vocational training institutes take an non-traditional approach to education, specializing in a prioritized curriculum that focuses on communications, historical studies, biomedical studies and civil engineering.

  4. Citizens in San Marino who aim to become teachers must take various courses, including psychology and general culture. According to a 2012 survey conducted by NationMaster, San Marino has 8.03 primary teachers per 1000 citizens, ranking 22 in the world.

  5. San Marino was one of the many European countries positively impacted by an educational reform called The Bologna Process. Proposed in 1998, it initially consisted of France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom in pursuing higher education reform. Since then, The Bologna Process has established 49 higher education systems and admitted 48 other European countries, including San Marino. Among the advancements in education provided by the Bologna Process, it also helped improve the economic and social development of San Marino.
Although education in San Marino has proven to be successful with required schooling and an adult literacy rate of 98 percent, there is still room to make improvements. Education in San Marino has maintained a level of excellence that has paved the way for an optimistic future.
– Patrick Greeley
Photo: Flickr


San Marino, a small, independent republic inside Italy has had its fair share of economic struggle. The Great Recession’s effects on San Marino began in earnest during 2009 and has had a major impact on the tourism drive in the Republic of San Marino. Since San Marino heavily relies on tourism as an economic stimulus, the drop in traffic increased the poverty in San Marino.

As a measure to boost the economy, the Italian government began cracking down on people who had been using San Marino’s banks as tax havens. Italian celebrities and other non-residents of San Marino took advantage its low tax rate of 17 percent and the secrecy policies implemented by San Marino banks. This allowed them to hide their money, thus avoiding their home country’s taxes.

Multiple members of San Marino’s most important bank, Cassa di Risparmio della Repubblica di San Marino, were arrested on laundering charges. San Marino has signed several transparency agreements with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and is reported to have displayed dedication to the OECD’s standards.

While the elimination of tax havens is positive for global economic growth, it had a negative immediate impact on poverty in San Marino. The San Marino economy relied heavily on its status as a tax haven.

The Republic has made economic improvements in recent years. The GDP has grown by about one percent primarily due to an increase in the demand for domestic goods. The International Monetary and Financial Committee reports that unemployment rate in San Marino dropped from 9.3 percent in 2013 to 8.5 percent at the end of 2016. To put things into perspective, the U.S. had an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent at the end of 2016.

The Republic plans to implement a freeze on the 2017 budget which is estimated to save 2 million euros as well as the addition of value-added tax in 2019.

Although much more progress has yet to be made in the Republic of San Marino, its cooperation with the OECD and the steady growth it has made in the past few years promise economic strength for the tiny republic. It is hopeful that poverty in San Marino and the unemployment rate will decrease in kind over the years to come.

Emma Tennyson

Photo: Flickr