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In the Romance language, Italians are a Romance ethnic group that is indigenous to the Italian geographical area and its surrounding insular regions. Italians are united by their shared culture, history, lineage, and language. While Italian nationals are technically considered citizens of the Italian Republic, regardless of their ancestry or place of residence (in practise, Italian nationality is mostly determined by bloodline), they are distinguished from ethnic Italians in general, as well as from people of Italian descent who do not hold Italian citizenship and ethnic Italians who live in territories adjacent to the European continent but do not hold Italian citizenship.

In Italy, the majority of the population are native speakers of Italian, the country's official language, or a regional dialect of Italian. Many of them, however, also speak a regional or minority language that is indigenous to Italy and whose existence precedes the formation of the national language. Even though there is some controversy about the overall number, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), there are roughly 30 languages unique to Italy, but many of these are incorrectly referred to as "Italian dialects."

Approximately 55 million Italians live in Italy, accounting for 91 percent of the Italian national population. Italian-speaking autonomous groups have been established in neighbouring countries since 2017, with about a half million in Switzerland, as well as in France, accounting for the entire population of San Marino (which has a population of 55 million). Additionally, there are Italian-speaking communities throughout the Balkans, especially in Istria, which is situated between modern Croatia and Slovenia (see: Istrian Italians), and Dalmatia, which is located between modern Croatia and Montenegro (see: Dalmatian Italians) (see: Dalmatian Italians). More than 80 million individuals outside of Italy claim full or partial Italian ancestry as a result of the widespread diaspora that resulted from Italian unification, World War I, and World War II (with over 5 million Italian nationals living outside of Italy), as well as other factors. Italian Argentines account for approximately 60% of the country's population, while Italian Uruguayans account for 33%, 15 percent of Brazilians (Italian Brazilians, the largest Italian community outside of Italy), more than 5 million Venezuelans (Italian Venezuelans), and people in other parts of Europe (e.g., Italians in Germany and Italy in the United Kingdom), the Americas (such as Italian Americans, Italian Canadians, Italian Mexicans, and Italo-Venezue

It is estimated that Italians have impacted and made significant contributions to a variety of sectors including the arts and music; science and technology; fashion; movies; food; restaurants; sports; law; finance; and business. Moreover, the Italian people are well-known for their strong sense of belonging to their home area, which manifests itself in the form of either regionalism or municipalism.