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Monaco City Facts

A principality on the Mediterranean Sea consisting of an enclave in southeast France. Probably settled by Phoenicians, it has been ruled by the Grimaldi family since the 13th century. At various times Monaco was under the protection of Spain, Sardinia, and France but regained its sovereignty in 1861. The village of Monaco, or Monaco-Ville, is the capital. Population: 32,200 .

Mon'a·can adj. & n.

Monaco (mŏn'əkō, mōnä'kō, Fr. mônäkō') , officially Principality of Monaco, independent principality (1995 est. pop. 31,500), c.370 acres (150 hectares), on the Mediterranean Sea, an enclave within Alpes-Maritimes dept., SE France, near the Italian border. It consists of four adjoining quarters—La Condamine, the business district; Monte Carlo, the site of the famous casino; Monaco-Ville, the capital, atop a rocky promontory; and Fontvieille, an area of light industry built largely on reclaimed land.

Land and People

Monaco's beautiful location, natural harbor, exceptionally mild climate, and gambling tables in Monte Carlo make it one of the best-known resorts of the Riviera. Almost half of the mainly Roman Catholic population are French, while about 16% are citizens of Monaco and an equal number are Italian. French is the official language, but English, Italian, and Monegasque (a Romance dialect similar to Provençal) are also widely spoken.

The casino contains a theater, which houses the Monte Carlo Opera. Monaco has a 16th-century palace, a 19th-century cathedral in the Byzantine style, and a noted oceanographic museum, founded in 1910 by Prince Albert I. Auto racing is popular, and Monaco is home to both the Monte Carlo Rally and the Monaco Grand Prix. The Monte Carlo Open is a major professional tennis tournament.


Monaco has a customs union with France, and its currency is interchangeable with the French. Excise, stamp, transfer, and estate taxes are an important source of state revenue. Contrary to popular belief, the gambling casino (which is managed as a concession by a private corporation) accounts for only a small portion of government revenue, although it contributes greatly to the economy by attracting tourists. Monegasques are not admitted to the gambling tables. In addition to tourism and the foreign businesses attracted to Monaco by low corporate taxes, shipping and the manufacture of perfumes, pharmaceuticals, processed food, and precision instruments are also important.


In accordance with the 1962 constitution, Monaco is governed by the ruling prince (or princess), who is assisted by a minister of state (selected by the prince from three candidates nominated by France), a cabinet (the Council of the Crown), and the National Council, which is elected by universal suffrage every five years. The prince may initiate legislation, but all laws must be approved by the National Council. Monaco has a police force and a Royal Guard that has some 65 members. By a treaty of 1918, the succession to the throne must be approved by the French government. Should the throne become vacant for any reason, Monaco would become an autonomous state under French protection.


Probably settled by Phoenicians in ancient times, Monaco was annexed by Marseilles and Christianized in the 1st cent. A.D. In the 7th cent. it was part of the kingdom of the Lombards, and in the 8th cent. of the kingdom of Arles. It was under Muslim domination (8th cent.) after the Saracens invaded France.

Monaco was ruled by the Genovese Grimaldi family from the 13th cent. In 1731 the male line died out, but the French Goyon-Matignon family, which succeeded by marriage, assumed the name Grimaldi. Monaco was under Spanish protection from 1542 to 1641, under French protection from 1641 to 1793, annexed to France in 1793, and under Sardinian protection from 1815 to 1861. The districts of Menton and Roquebrune (long part of Monaco) were incorporated (1848) into Sardinia, which in turn ceded them to France in 1860.

Monaco again came under French protection in 1861. Until 1911, when the first constitution was promulgated, the prince was an absolute ruler. Rainier III, succeeded his grandfather, Louis II, as ruler of Monaco in 1949. In 1956, Rainier married Grace Kelly (1929–82), an American motion-picture actress, and a male heir, Albert, was born in 1958.

In 1962 serious economic disagreements arose between France and Monaco, and new fiscal agreements (1963) severely curtailed the right of French citizens to use Monaco as a tax haven. The Monaco government also came into conflict with Aristotle Onassis, who owned majority interests in most businesses there; Monaco purchased his interests in 1967. Relations with France again became acrimonious in 2000 when Monaco was accused of being a center for money-laundering and France threatened to force the principality to tighten the regulation of its banks. Rainier died in 2005 and was succeeded as ruler by his son, Albert II.




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Last updated August 24, 2005 15:09 (EST)



Local Time: Aug 24, 9:32 PM

Monaco (mon-uh-koh, muh-nah-koh)


Constitutional monarchy on the French Riviera.


  • Its casino at Monte Carlo, luxury hotels, and spectacular scenery make Monaco a popular resort.

  • The American actress Grace Kelly married Monaco's ruler, Prince Rainier III, in 1956. Princess Grace died in 1982.

  • Monaco

    The international dialing code for Monaco is:   377




    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.



    Western Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea on the southern coast of France, near the border with Italy

    Geographic coordinates:

    43 44 N, 7 24 E

    Map references:



    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:


    Land use:

    arable land: 0%
    permanent crops: 0%
    other: 100% (urban area) (1998 est.)

    Irrigated land:

    NA sq km

    Natural hazards:


    Environment - current issues:


    Environment - international agreements:

    party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
    signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

    Geography - note:

    second-smallest independent state in the world (after Holy See); almost entirely urban



    32,130 (July 2003 est.)

    Age structure:

    0-14 years: 15.5% (male 2,551; female 2,445)
    15-64 years: 62.1% (male 9,814; female 10,130)
    65 years and over: 22.4% (male 2,937; female 4,253) (2003 est.)

    Median age:

    total: 45 years
    male: 43 years
    female: 47 years (2002)

    Population growth rate:

    0.44% (2003 est.)

    Birth rate:

    9.46 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)

    Death rate:

    12.82 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)

    Net migration rate:

    7.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)

    Sex ratio:

    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
    under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
    15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2003 est.)

    Infant mortality rate:

    total: 5.63 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 4.69 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
    male: 6.52 deaths/1,000 live births

    Life expectancy at birth:

    total population: 79.27 years
    male: 75.37 years
    female: 83.37 years (2003 est.)

    Total fertility rate:

    1.76 children born/woman (2003 est.)

    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:


    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:


    HIV/AIDS - deaths:



    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


    definition: NA
    total population: 99%
    male: NA%
    female: NA%


    Country name:

    conventional long form: Principality of Monaco
    conventional short form: Monaco
    local short form: 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 RAINIER III (since 9 May 1949); Heir Apparent Prince ALBERT Alexandre Louis Pierre, son of the monarch (born 14 March 1958)
    elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; minister of state appointed by the monarch from a list of three French national candidates presented by the French Government
    cabinet: Council of Government is under the authority of the monarch
    head of government: Minister of State Patrick LECLERCQ (since 5 January 2000)

    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)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - UNAM 21, UND 3
    elections: last held 9 February 2003 (next to be held NA February 2008)

    Judicial branch:

    Supreme Court or Tribunal Supreme (judges appointed by the monarch on the basis of nominations by the National Council)

    Political parties and leaders:

    National and Democratic Union or UND [Jean-Louis CAMPORA]; Union for Monaco or UPM (including National Union for the Future of Monaco or UNAM [leader NA]

    Political pressure groups and leaders:


    International organization participation:


    Diplomatic representation in the US:

    Monaco does not have an embassy in the US
    consulate(s) general: New York

    Diplomatic representation from the US:

    the US does not have an embassy in Monaco; the US Consul General in Marseille (France) is accredited to Monaco

    Flag description:

    two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; similar to the flag of Indonesia which is longer and the flag of Poland which is white (top) and red


    Economy - overview:

    Monaco, situated on the French Mediterranean coast, is a popular resort, attracting tourists to its casino and pleasant climate. In 2001, a major new construction project will extend the pier used by cruise ships in the main harbor. The principality 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. Monaco does not publish national income figures; the estimates below are extremely rough.


    purchasing power parity - $870 million (1999 est.)

    GDP - per capita:

    purchasing power parity - $27,000 (1999 est.)

    Population below poverty line:


    Household income or consumption by percentage share:

    lowest 10%: NA%
    highest 10%: NA%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices):


    Labor force:

    30,540 (January 1994)

    Unemployment rate:

    3.1% (1998)


    revenues: $518 million
    expenditures: $531 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995)


    tourism, construction, small-scale industrial and consumer products

    Industrial production growth rate:


    Electricity - consumption:

    NA kWh

    Agriculture - products:



    $NA; full customs integration with France, which collects and rebates Monegasque trade duties; also participates in EU market system through customs union with France


    $NA; full customs integration with France, which collects and rebates Monegasque trade duties; also participates in EU market system through customs union with France

    Debt - external:


    Economic aid - recipient:



    euro (EUR)

    Currency code:


    Exchange rates:

    euros per US dollar - 1.0626 1.0626 (2002), 1.1175 (2001), 1.0854 (2000), 0.9386 (1999); French francs per US dollar - 5.8995 (1998)

    Fiscal year:

    calendar year


    Telephones - main lines in use:

    31,027 (1995)

    Telephones - mobile cellular:


    Telephone system:

    general assessment: modern automatic telephone system
    domestic: NA
    international: no satellite earth stations; connected by cable into the French communications system

    Radio broadcast stations:

    AM 1, FM NA, shortwave 8 (1998)

    Television broadcast stations:

    5 (1998)

    Internet country code:


    Internet Service Providers (ISPs):

    2 (2000)

    Internet users:




    total: 1.7 km
    standard gauge: 1.7 km 1.435-m gauge (2002)


    total: 50 km
    paved: 50 km
    unpaved: 0 km (2001)



    Ports and harbors:


    Merchant marine:

    none (2002 est.)


    none; linked to airport in Nice, France, by helicopter service (2002)


    1 (shuttle service between the international airport at Nice, France, and Monaco's heliport at Fontvieille) (2002)


    Military - note:

    defense is the responsibility of France

    Transnational Issues

    Disputes - international:


    Note: click on a word meaning below to see its connections and related words.

    The noun Monaco has one meaning:

    Meaning #1: a constitutional monarchy in a tiny enclave on the French Riviera
      Synonym: Principality of Monaco


    The Principality of Monaco or Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco or Monaco; Monegasque: Munegu or Principatu de Munegu) is a city state and the second-smallest country in the world, wedged in between the Mediterranean Sea and France along the French Riviera or Côte d'Azur (The Blue Coast). Consisting mostly of just the old city of Monaco and later built-up areas, it is also the most densely populated country in the world1, and one of the European microstates.

    Principauté de Monaco

    Flag of Monaco

    Monaco: Coat of Arms

    (In Detail)

    National motto: Deo Juvante
    (English: With God's Help)

    Location of Monaco

    Official language





    Albert II

    Minister of state:

    Jean-Paul Proust

     - Total
     - % water

    Ranked 256th
    1.95 km²

     - Total (2000)
     - Density

    Ranked 188th


    8 January 1297


    Euro (€)1

    Time zone
     - in summer

    CET (UTC+1)
    CEST (UTC+2)

    National anthem

    Hymne Monégasque

    Internet TLD


    Calling Code


    1 Prior to 1999: French franc.


    Main article: History of Monaco

    Monaco derives its name from the nearby Greek colony, Monoikos, founded in the 6th century BC by the Phoceans. According to an ancient myth, Hercules passed through the Monaco area. A temple was constructed there by Phoceans, the temple of Hercules Monoikos (Μόνοικος means single house or single temple).

    Monaco was re-founded in 1215 as a colony of Genoa. Monaco has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi since 1297, when François Grimaldi seized the fortress protecting the famous rock while dressed up as a Franciscan monk; the only exception to this was from 1789 to 1814, when Monaco was under French control. Designated as a protectorate of Sardinia from 1815 until 1860 by the Congress of Vienna, Monaco's sovereignty was recognised by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861.

    The Prince of Monaco was an absolute ruler until a constitution was promulgated in 1911. In July 1918, a treaty was signed providing for limited French protection over Monaco. The treaty, written into the Treaty of Versailles, established that Monegasque policy would be aligned with French political, military, and economic interests.

    Prince Rainier III acceded to the throne following the death of his grandfather, Prince Louis II, in 1949. A new constitution, proclaimed in 1962, abolished capital punishment, provided for female suffrage, and established a Supreme Court to guarantee fundamental liberties. In 1993, Monaco became an official member of the United Nations with full voting rights.

    In 2002, a new treaty between France and Monaco clarifies that if there are no heirs to carry on the dynasty, the Principality will remain an independent nation rather than revert to the French. Monaco's military defense, however, is still the responsibility of France.

    Prince Albert, Marquis of Baux took over the royal duties on 31 March 2005 because his father Prince Rainier III was too ill to exercise his royal functions. On 6 April 2005 Prince Rainier died and Prince Albert succeeded him as Albert II of Monaco.

    See: List of the Princes of Monaco


    Main article: Politics of Monaco

    Monaco has been governed as a constitutional monarchy since 1911, with the Prince as head of state. The executive branch consists of a Minister of State (the head of government), who presides over a four-member Council of Government (the cabinet). The Minister of State is a French citizen appointed by the Prince from among candidates proposed by the French Government. Under the 1962 constitution, the Prince shares his power with the unicameral National Council (parliament). The 24 members of this legislative body are elected from lists by universal suffrage for 5-year terms.

    The principality's local affairs are directed by the Communal Council, which consists of 15 elected members and is presided over by the Mayor.


    Main article: Geography of Monaco

    Map of Monaco


    Map of Monaco

    The Principality of Monaco is the second-smallest independent state in the world, after Vatican City. It is located on the Mediterranean coast, 18 kilometres east of Nice and near the Italian border, and is surrounded on three sides by France. It consists of a narrow strip along the coast at the bottom of the foothills of the Alps and its highest point is "Le Rocher" at 140 m.

    Monaco is divided into seven sections or quarters (quartiers): Monaco-Ville, the capital, the old city on a rocky promontory extending into the Mediterranean; La Condamine, the section along the port; Monte Carlo, the principal residential and resort area with the casino; Fontvieille, a newly constructed area reclaimed from the sea; Moneghetti, on the western border with Cap d`Ail; Larvotto Terano, located northeast of Monte Carlo, with its sea club; and Saint Roman, a small community neighboring Larvotto Terano.

    The principality is noted for its beautiful natural scenery and mild, sunny climate. The average minimum temperature in January and February is 8° C (47° F); in July and August the average maximum temperature is 26° C (78° F).


    Monaco city and harbour view


    Monaco city and harbour view

    Main article: Economy of Monaco

    One of Monaco's main sources of income is tourism; each year many are attracted to its casino and pleasant climate. In 2001, a major new construction project extended the pier used by cruise ships in the main harbour. The Principality has successfully sought to diversify into services and small, high-value-added, nonpolluting industries.

    The state has no income tax for individuals. The state retains monopolies in numerous sectors, including tobacco and the postal service. The telephone network used to be owned by the state. Now Monaco Telecom is 49% owned by Cable and Wireless, 45% by the state and 6% by Compagnie Monégasque de Banque, but is still a monopoly. Living standards are high, roughly comparable to those in prosperous French metropolitan areas.

    The lack of personal income tax has led to a considerable number of wealthy "tax refugee" residents from European countries, who earn the majority of their income from activity outside Monaco; celebrities like Formula One drivers attract most of the attention but the majority of them are businesspeople.

    In 2000 a report ( by French parliamentarians Arnaud Montebourg and Vincent Peillon alleged that Monaco has lax policies with respect to money laundering, including within its famed casino, and that the government of Monaco puts political pressure on the judiciary so that alleged crimes are not properly investigated. The government of Monaco ( ordered reports to OECD and FATF suggesting most of these allegations to be untrue.

    Monaco is not a member of the European Union, but is very closely linked to it via a customs union with France and as such its currency is the same as France's: the euro. Monaco has acquired the right to mint euro coins with Monegasque designs on their national side.


    Main article: Demographics of Monaco

    In addition to being the most densely-populated country in the world 1, Monaco is also the second smallest country in the world, beaten only by Vatican City. See List of countries by population density.

    Monaco's population is unusual in that the native Monegasques are a minority in their own country. The largest proportion of residents are French nationals (47%), while Monegasque and Italian nationals represent 16% each, and the remaining 21% belong to one of the other 125 nationalities that make up Monaco's international population.

    French is the only official language, but English, Italian, and the local Monegasque language (a descendant of Genoese) are also spoken. The literacy rate is 99%. Roman Catholicism is the official religion, with freedom of other religions guaranteed by the constitution.


    Main article: Culture of Monaco

    List of famous Monegasque people

    Music of Monaco

    Opera de Monte Carlo


    1. Although Macau is more densely populated, by virtue of the fact that Macau is now part of China, Monaco is now the most densely populated country in the world.

    Miscellaneous topics

    Communications in Monaco

    Transportation in Monaco

    Foreign relations of Monaco

    Military of Monaco

    Grand Prix of Monaco

    Monte Carlo Rally

    AS Monaco FC

    Stade Louis II, the home stadium of AS Monaco

    Oceanographic Museum

    External links ( Official governmental portal.

    In the House of Grimaldi (

    Monaco Net ( - Monaco Portail (information, list of websites, etc.).

    I Love Monte Carlo ( - Monaco and Monte Carlo Guide - information, map, history, culture, tourism, politics, economy and finance

    Monaco Paper Money ( - 1920 Emergency Issues

    Monte Carlo photo gallery (

    Monte Carlo from the Royal Palace - Fullscreen 360 degree Quicktime VR Panorama (

    Countries in Europe

    Albania | Andorra | Austria | Azerbaijan1 | Belarus | Belgium | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria | Croatia | Cyprus2 | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Finland | France | Germany | Greece | Hungary | Iceland | Ireland | Italy | Latvia | Liechtenstein | Lithuania | Luxembourg | Macedonia | Malta | Moldova | Monaco | Netherlands | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Romania | Russia1 | San Marino | Serbia and Montenegro | Slovakia | Slovenia | Spain | Sweden | Switzerland | Turkey1 | Ukraine | United Kingdom | Vatican City

    Dependencies: Akrotiri and Dhekelia2 | Faroe Islands | Gibraltar | Guernsey | Jan Mayen | Jersey | Isle of Man | Svalbard

    1. Country partly in Asia. 2. Usually assigned to Asia geographically, but often considered European for cultural and historical reasons.

    Countries in the Mediterranean

    Albania | Algeria | Bosnia and Herzegovina | Bulgaria1 | Croatia | Cyprus | Egypt | France | Gaza Strip | Greece | Israel | Italy | Lebanon | Libya | Malta | Monaco | Morocco | Portugal1 | Romania1 | Serbia and Montenegro | Slovenia | Spain | Syria | Tunisia | Turkey

    1. Does not border the Mediterranean, but is technically Mediterranean in its climate, fauna and flora.

    This entry is from Wikipedia, the leading user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors (see full disclaimer)

    Translations for: Monaco

    Português (Portuguese)
    n. - Mônaco

    Español (Spanish)
    n. - Mónaco

    中国话 (Simplified Chinese)
    n. - 摩纳哥

    中國話 (Traditional Chinese)
    n. - 摩納哥

    עברית‬ (Hebrew)
    n. - ‮מונקו‬

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    Best of the Web

    Some good "Monaco" pages on the web:

    City Map

    World Leaders


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