sovereign city-state on the French Riviera

Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco (French: Principauté de Monaco), is the second smallest country in the world after the Vatican City; approximately 39,000 people live there. It is near south-eastern France, on the Mediterranean Sea in Western Europe. French is the only official language and the most common language spoken in Monaco. Monégasque is the national language and enjoys an official status, where it is taught in schools and is compulsory. The Sovereign Prince of Monaco, who is the head of state, is Prince Albert II, whose family has ruled since 1297. The government and the prince share power. Tourism is the main industry. People in Monaco pay no income tax. Monaco is a city-state, because all its territory is urban and built-up. France, Genoa and Sardinia have ruled it at various times.

Principality of Monaco
Principauté de Monaco (French)
Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu (Monégasque)
Motto: "Deo Juvante" (Latin)
(English: "With God's Help")
Anthem: Hymne Monégasque
(English: "Hymn of Monaco")
Location of  Monaco  (green) on the European continent  (green & dark grey)
Location of  Monaco  (green)

on the European continent  (green & dark grey)

CapitalMonaco (city-state)
43°44′N 7°25′E / 43.733°N 7.417°E / 43.733; 7.417
Largest quarterMonte Carlo
Official languagesFrench[1]
Common languages
Ethnic groups
  • Monégasque
  • Monacan[c]
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary semi-constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Prince Albert II
Pierre Dartout
CurrencyEuro () (EUR)
ISO 3166 codeMC

Monte Carlo, famous for the Monte Carlo Casino and the Monte Carlo Opera, is in the north-east of the country. Monaco is famous for two car races: the Monte Carlo Rally and the Monaco Grand Prix.

A sovereign and independent state, the Principality of Monaco has borders on its land-ward side with several communes of the French Department of the Alpes-Maritimes; from west to east these are Cap d'Ail, La Turbie, Beausoleil and Roquebrune Cap Martin. Seawards, Monaco faces the Mediterranean Sea.

The population of the Principality consists of 39,102 inhabitants (2019), 5,070 of whom are Monégasques, 12,047 French and 5,000 Italian (according to the last official census in 1990).

Its surface area is 2.02 square kilometres, of which approximately 0.4 were recovered from the sea since 1980.

It lies in a narrow coastal strip which sometimes rises straight upwards with its highest point at 163 metres. Its width varies between 1,050 metres and only 350 metres. Its coastline is 4,100 metres long.

The Principality has only one commune, Monaco, whose limits are the same as those of the state.

Monaco is made of four districts: Monaco-Ville (historic seat of the Principality, on the monolith where the Prince's Palace stands), Monte Carlo (the district surrounding its Casino and Opera), La Condamine (around Port Hercules), and Fontvieille (the new industrial area built on ground reclaimed from the sea, which constitutes 0.22 square kilometres).


  1. "Constitution de la Principauté". Council of Government. Archived from the original on 22 July 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2008.