The Principality of Monaco is full of interesting facts and figures. Here are a few selected by French Moments…
- The area of the principality (2.02 km2) is smaller than New York’s Central Park (3.41 km2).
- The Principality is the world’s second smallest state after Vatican.
- The land border with France is 4.4 km long and the coastline 4.1 km. The width of the territory varies between 1,700 and 349 m. The Italian border is 16 km and Nice 13 km from its centre.
- The highest point of the Principality is a narrow pathway called Chemin des Révoires on the slopes of Mont Agel reaching 161 m above sea-level. The Place du Palais is situated 62 m above sea-level.
- Through land reclamation, the Principality’s area has expanded by 20%.
- The climate of Monaco is generally made up of warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Frosts and snowfalls are extremely rare.
- Sunshine averages 2,583 hours annually and the number of rainy days does not exceed 62 per year.
- The population of Monaco is of 36,950 (2013).
- Monaco provides 50,000 job positions for only 36,950 inhabitants, which means that every day there are at least from 37,000 to 80,000 people living or working in the Principality each day.
- The citizens of Monaco are a minority in their own country (21.6% of the population). As of 31 December 2013, the Monégasque population was of 8,837 people.
- The largest groups are French nationals at 28.4%, followed by Monégasque (21.6%), Italian (18.7%), British (7.5%), Belgian (2.8%), German (2.5%), Swiss (2.5%) and US nationals (1.2%). There are approximately 100 Australian nationals residing in Monaco.
- Monaco is the most densely populated country in the world.
- Life expectancy is the world’s highest at nearly 90 years.
- The official language is French but Italian, English and Monégasque are also spoken.
- Monaco’s name derives from the Greek. It was referred by the Ligurians as Monoikos (‘single house’ in Greek)
- The site was devoted to Hercules. Legend has it that he passed through the area and turned away the previous gods.
- Monaco has been in the hands of the Grimaldis since the 13th century.
- The oldest part of the Principality is the Rocher, the rocky promontory on which has been built the Prince’s Palace.
- During the French Revolution and the First Empire (1793-1814), Monaco was annexed by France.
- In 1848, Menton and Roquebrune, seceded from Monaco, which protested against a tax imposed on lemon exports. The two cities joined the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia.
- On 19 April 1956, Prince Rainier III married the American actress Grace Kelly.
- Prince Rainier III (1923-2005) and Princess Grace (1956-1982) are buried in the cathedral of Monaco.
Politics and Diplomacy
- Monaco is a constitutional monarchy with Prince Albert II as head of state.
- Monaco has a small military force although has no navy or air force. The military defence of the Principality is the responsibility of France.
- Until 2002 Monaco would have become French were the royal line to die out.
- The official religion of the Principality is Roman Catholicism although freedom of other religions is guaranteed by the constitution.
- Monaco became a full member of the United Nations in 1993 and of the Council of Europe in 2004.
- The flag has two equal horizontal bands of red and white, which are the heraldic colours of the House of Grimaldi. Except for its proportions, the flag is identical to that of Indonesia and similar to Singapore and Poland.
- Monaco’s motto is “Deo Juvante” (With the help of God).
- Monaco’s national anthem is “Hymne monégasque” (lyrics by Louis Notari, music by Charles Albrecht): Forever, in our land / One flag has flown in the wind / Forever, the colours red and white / Have symbolised our liberty / Great and small [people]have always respected them.
- The Principality’s National Day (Fête du Prince) takes place on 19 November.
- The 2012 Gross Domestic Product “per capita” was of €59,541.
- The unemployment rate is around 2%.
- The Principality has the world’s lowest poverty rate and the world’s highest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita.
- Monaco’s main sources of income include tourism, banking, cosmetics and biothermics.
- The state keeps monopolies in many sectors: tobacco, postal service, telephone network.
- The Société des Bains de Mer which manages the Monte-Carlo Casino, the Monte-Carlo Opera and the Hôtel de Paris, is Monaco’s biggest employer.
- The Principality levies no income tax on individuals.
- The Principality is not part of the European Union but does participate in certain EU policies. It shares a custom union with France.
- Monaco uses the euro as currency and has the right to mint euro coins with its own design on the national side.
- The Monaco train station is served by the SNCF, the French national rail system.
- The Riviera Express train stops services Monaco. Linking directly Moscow to Nice (3,318 kms), the train takes 52 hours to complete the journey across Russia, Belarus, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and France.
- There are 14 hotels in Monaco including 4 ‘five stars’ and 4 ‘four stars’.
- More than 7 million people visit Monaco, mostly in a one-day excursion.
- The Oceanographic Museum welcomes more than 600,000 visitors each year.
Culture and other facts
- Monaco’s tallest building is the Odeon Tower (Tour Odéon). 170 m high, the skyscraper was completed in mid-2014.
- There are seven public inclined lifts providing public transport.
- There are two marinas in Monaco: the largest is Port Hercule and the newest is Fontvieille.
- ID are checked as the citizens of Monaco are forbidden to enter the Monte Carlo Casino’s gaming rooms.
- James Bond, a fictional British spy, is often associated with the Casino de Monte-Carlo.
- The Monaco Grand Prix has been held each year in the streets of Monaco since 1929.
- The Internet country code domain is .mc
- The licence plate country code usually displayed on a small white oval sticker is MC.