20+ Interesting Facts About Monaco

  1. Monaco is a microstate in Europe. It has a land border with France from three sides and a small coastline with the Mediterranean Sea.
  2. Monaco is one of the only three remaining sovereign principalities in the world. The other two are Andorra and Liechtenstein. The prince is the head of this constitutional monarchy in Europe.
  3. The foundation of Monaco took place in the 6th century BC as a Greek colony. It derives its name from two Greek words: monos (single) and oikos (house).
  4. The Grimaldi family took control of Monaco in 1297 from Genoa. During their rule, they received protection from France, Spain (1524-1641), and Sardinia (1815-1861).
  5. The French Revolutionary regime annexed Monaco in 1793. The Grimaldi regained the sovereignty of Monaco in 1814 after the fall of Napoleon I.
  6. Menton and Roquebrune remained part of Monaco for centuries. However, the principality lost control of these neighboring towns in 1848 and later ceded them to France under the terms of a treaty in 1861.
  7. Monaco became an independent country under the protection of France in 1861 after the Franco-Monegasque treaty. It joined the UN in 1993 and initiated direct diplomatic relations with other countries in 2005 after the amendment in the 1918 Franco-Monegasque treaty.
  8. Monaco gained international attention in 1954 when Prince Rainier III married famous American actress Grace Kelly. They had three children, including the current Prince Albert II. Kelly died in 1982 after a car accident. A street named after her, Avenue Princesse Grace, was once the most expensive in the world. Prince Rainier died 23 years later, in 2005, but never remarried. 
    Monaco's Prince Rainier III and his wife Grace Kelly
    Monaco gained international attention after Prince Rainier's marriage

  9. Monaco has the shortest coastline in the world. Despite land reclamation by this European country, its coastline is a mere 5.6 km (3.5 miles) long. (Source)
  10. Monaco is the most densely populated country in the world. It is the second-smallest sovereign state (nearly 2 square km) after Vatican City. However, there were around 40,000 people residing in this city-state in 2021, making its population density almost 25,000 inhabitants per square km. (Source)
  11. Monaco has the highest GDP per capita in the world. It measures the overall position of a country’s economy and industry. (Source)
  12. Monaco is a favorite destination for wealthy people from around the globe due to its status as a tax haven. Nearly 65% of its residents are millionaires. The Monaco Yacht Show is one of the world’s greatest concentrations of wealth, as the worth of the largest of these yachts is more than the annual GDP of some small countries. (Source)
  13. There are only three billionaires in Monaco. However, its rate of billionaires (78.74 billionaires per one million people) is the highest in the world. (Source)
  14. The Odeon Tower Penthouse in Monaco is the most expensive ($440 million worth). The price of the second-most expensive penthouse in London is nearly half of its cost. (Source)
  15. Tourism is the top industry of Monaco due to casinos and its pleasant weather. Other profitable sectors are banking and insurance due to its fame as a tax haven.
  16. Charles III, former prince of Monaco, established the first casino in 1965 to avoid bankruptcy of its principality. The experiment proved so successful that he abolished taxation on citizens by 1969, and the country is still a tax haven. The current casino, Casino de Monte-Carlo, was founded in 1878 but is open only to non-citizens.
  17. The popularity of Casino de Monte-Carlo motivated Hollywood films related to gambling, especially the James Bond series. It inspired the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale (1953), and was also the location for two films: Never Say Never Again (1983) and GoldenEye (1995).
  18. Monaco has no regular military because its defense is the responsibility of France. However, there are separate forces for civil defense and protecting the palace. A large national police force maintains public order in the principality.
  19. Monaco has the world’s highest life expectancy. The life expectancy at birth for people in this microstate is almost 90 years due to its overall high quality of life. (Source)
  20. Monaco is an ethnically diverse country. Its majority population has French, Monegasques (or Monacans), Italian, and British roots. French is the official language, while people from major ethnic groups speak their respective languages.
  21. Nearly 90% of people in Monaco follow Christianity. The majority of these are adherents of Roman Catholicism, the official religion.
  22. Monaco’s flag is almost identical to the Indonesian flag, as both have two horizontal stripes of red over white. The only difference between these flags is their dimensions. The height-to-width ratio of Monaco’s flag is 4:5 compared to the ratio of 2:3 for the Indonesian flag.
  23. Monaco is among a few countries without a UNESCO World Heritage site. The country’s small area is a major factor behind the absence of any cultural or natural heritage site.

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