Facts about Monaco
- The monarchy is headed by the Sovereign Prince Albert II and is a hereditary position. The country has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi since 1297.
- The government is led by the Minister of State appointed by the Monarchy. The country follows a unicameral legislature with 24 seats that form the National Council under the authority of the monarch.
- The country is located at Latitude 43° 46’ N and Longitude 07° 25’ E. It shares a 3.4 mile land border with France on three sides with a 3.8 mile coastline facing the Mediterranean Sea to its south.
- Monaco is the world’s second smallest country, after The Vatican, covering just 0.78 square miles. With 37,308 people (2016 est.) living within the area, the city state of Monaco is the most densely populated country in the world.
- 51.1% of the population are women with men making up the remaining 48.9%. The locals, called Monégasques or Monacans, form 22.5% of the total population with others making up 77.5%.
- Other ethnic groups include French, Italian, British, Swiss, Belgian, German, Russian, Dutch, Portuguese and Greek.
Monaco is not a part of the European Union but complies with several EU formalities and procedures. It Is part of the Eurozone and its official currency is the Euro. In matters of EU VAT and Customs territory, it follows the EU regulations. Being surrounded on three sides by France, the economy is strongly influenced by France, since most goods and services along with the workforce, comes from there.
The main sectors driving the economy are tourism and banking. In 2017, Monaco’s total imports was $1.371 billion and exports at $964.6 million. The economy remains closely linked to France and the E.U. In 2015, GDP (PPP) recorded was $7.672 billion. The country enjoys a high per capita GDP of $115,700 (2015).
Major destination for sports
Despite its small size, the country is a major destination for international sport. Since 1911, Monaco has been hosting the prestigious Monte Carlo Rally that has auto enthusiasts participating from all over the world.
From 1929 onwards, Monaco has held the famous Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, one of the most challenging circuits amongst all Formula One car races.
Monaco is also home to popular teams and sports such as AS Monaco (soccer), OS Monaco (women’s soccer), Monaco Marathon, Monte-Carlo Masters (Tennis), the IAAF Diamond League, among many others.
Emergence of Monte Carlo and its impact on Monaco
With the House of Grimaldi in deep debt, the first gambling house – Le Grand Casino de Monte Carlo, opened its doors in 1858 during the reign of Charles III. The casino soon became a major draw for the money spending rich elite of Europe who began heading there in large numbers using the recently opened railway line connecting France and Monaco.
The massive revenue earned from gambling enabled the country to stop collecting taxes from its residents from 1869 onwards. This spurred the rich of Europe to migrate to Monaco which added to the country’s glamour and economy. Today, Monaco enjoys the highest GDP nominal per capita in the world.