Facts about Monaco

World Facts Index

The Genoese built a fortress on the site of present-day Monaco in 1215. The current ruling Grimaldi family secured control in the late 13th century, and a principality was established in 1338. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with a railroad linkup to France and the opening of a casino. Since then, the principality's mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world famous as a tourist and recreation center.

Geography of Monaco

Western Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea on the southern coast of France, near the border with Italy
43 44 N, 7 24 E
total: 1.95 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 1.95 sq km
Area comparative:
about three times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
total: 4.4 km
border countries: France 4.4 km
4.1 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 NM
Mediterranean with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers
hilly, rugged, rocky
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point: Mont Agel 140 m
Natural resources:
Geography - note:
second-smallest independent state in the world (after Holy See); almost entirely urban

Population of Monaco

32,796 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 15.2% (male 2,539/female 2,417)
15-64 years: 62.1% (male 9,959/female 10,266)
65 years and over: 22.6% (male 3,015/female 4,347)
Median age:
45.4 years
Growth rate:
Infant mortality:
5.35 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.69 years
male: 75.85 years
female: 83.74 years
Fertility rate:
1.76 children born/woman
noun: Monegasque(s) or Monacan(s)
adjective: Monegasque or Monacan
Ethnic groups:
French 47%, Monegasque 16%, Italian 16%, other 21%
Roman Catholic 90%
French (official), English, Italian, Monegasque


Country name:
conventional long form: Principality of Monaco
local long form: Principaute de Monaco
Government type:
constitutional monarchy
Administrative divisions:
none; there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are four quarters (quartiers, singular - quartier); Fontvieille, La Condamine, Monaco-Ville, Monte-Carlo
1419 (beginning of the rule by the House of Grimaldi)
National holiday:
National Day (Prince of Monaco Holiday), 19 November
17 December 1962
Legal system:
based on French law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
21 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: Prince ALBERT II (since 6 April 2005)
head of government: Minister of State Jean-Paul PROUST (since 1 June 2005)
cabinet: Council of Government is under the authority of the monarch
elections: the monarchy is hereditary; minister of state appointed by the monarch from a list of three French national candidates presented by the French Government.
Legislative branch:
unicameral National Council or Conseil National (24 seats; 16 members elected by list majority system, 8 by proportional representation; to serve five-year terms)
Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Tribunal Supreme (judges appointed by the monarch on the basis of nominations by the National Council)


Monaco, bordering France on the Mediterranean coast, is a popular resort, attracting tourists to its casino and pleasant climate. The principality also is a major banking center and has successfully sought to diversify into services and small, high-value-added, nonpolluting industries. The state has no income tax and low business taxes and thrives as a tax haven both for individuals who have established residence and for foreign companies that have set up businesses and offices. The state retains monopolies in a number of sectors, including tobacco, the telephone network, and the postal service. Living standards are high, roughly comparable to those in prosperous French metropolitan areas.

$976.3 million
note: Monaco does not publish national income figures; the estimates are extremely rough (2006 est.)
GDP per capita:
Labor force:
note: includes workers from all foreign countries 
revenues: $719.2 million
expenditures: $864.1 million 
tourism, construction, small-scale industrial and consumer products
full customs integration with France, which collects and rebates Monegasque trade duties; also participates in EU market system through customs union with France
full customs integration with France, which collects and rebates Monegasque trade duties; also participates in EU market system through customs union with France
euro (EUR)

SOURCES: The CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State, Area Handbook of the US Library of Congress

Copyright 2004 - 2008 worldfacts.us