Monaco, located on the Mediterranean coast, has an economy primarily geared toward finance, commerce, and tourism. Low taxes have drawn many foreign companies to Monaco; the companies' production accounts for around 50% of the €593 million annual government income (2002). The enterprises pay a 33.33% tax only if more than 25% of their revenue is generated abroad. Ever since Monaco's famed casino opened in 1856, the tourism industry has been booming. It currently accounts for close to 25% of the annual revenue.
Customs, postal services, telecommunications, and banking in Monaco are governed by an economic and customs union with France. The official currency is the euro.
Though official economic statistics are not published, 2006 estimates placed the gross domestic product at $976.3 million and the per capita income at $30,000. Monaco does not publish the figures for unemployment, but in 2005 the rate was estimated to be at 0%.
Monaco is noted for its activity in the field of marine sciences. Its Oceanographic Museum, formerly directed by Jacques Cousteau, is one of the most renowned institutions of its kind in the world. Monaco imports and exports products and services from all over the world. There is no commercial agriculture in Monaco.
GDP: Monaco does not publish economic figures such as gross domestic product, though estimates placed purchasing power parity GDP at $976.3 million in 2006.
Avg. annual growth rate (2003 est.): 1.89%.
Per capita purchasing power parity GDP (2006 est.): $30,000.
Work force (2003, 41,708): Private sector--37,949. Public sector--3,759. Services--83.5%. Banking--23.43%. Tourism and hotel--11.64%. Retail--4.92%. Construction and public works--32.02%. Industry--6.98%.
Agricultural products: None.
Industry: Types--tourism, construction, chemicals, food products, plastics, precision instruments, cosmetics, ceramics.
Trade: Imports (2005)--$916.1 million. Exports (2005)--$716.3 million. Note: full customs integration with France, which collects and rebates Monegasque trade duties; also participates in EU market system through customs union with France.
Currency: Monaco, along with France and the other 11 members of the European Monetary Union (EMU), adopted the euro (€) as its official currency on January 1, 2002. As in other EMU states, euros minted in Monaco have special Monegasque features on one side of the coin.
The Principality of Monaco is the second-smallest independent state in the world, after Vatican City. It is located on the Mediterranean coast, 18 kilometers (11 mi.) east of Nice, France, and is surrounded on three sides by France. Monaco is divided into four sections: Monaco-Ville, 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; and Fontvieille, a newly constructed area reclaimed from the sea.
The principality is noted for its beautiful natural scenery and mild, sunny climate. The average minimum temperature in January and February is 8o C (47o F); in July and August the average maximum temperature is 26o C (78o F).
Area: 1.95 sq. km. (0.8 sq. mi); about the size of New York City's Central Park.
Cities: Capital -- Monaco-Ville, pop. 1,151 (1990).
Monaco has been governed as a constitutional monarchy since 1911, with the Prince as chief of state. The executive branch consists of a Minister of State (head of government), who presides over a five-member Council of Government (cabinet). The Minister of State, who is a French citizen appointed by the Prince for a 3-year term from among several senior French civil servants proposed by the French Government, is responsible for foreign relations. As the Prince's representative, the Minister of State also directs the executive services, commands the police, and presides (with voting powers) over the Council of Government. The five members of the Council are respectively responsible for internal affairs, external affairs, the environment, finance and economy, and social affairs and health.
Under the 1962 constitution, the Prince shares his power with the unicameral National Council. Sixteen of the 24 members of this legislative body are elected by list majority system, and 8 by proportional representation to serve 5-year terms. The elections were last held in February 2008. If the Prince dissolves the National Council, new elections must be held within 3 months. Usually meeting twice annually, the Council votes on the budget and endorses laws proposed by the Prince.
Ordinances passed by the National Council are debated in the Council of Government, as are the ministerial decrees signed by the Minister of State. Once approved, the ordinances must be submitted to the Prince within 80 days for his signature, which makes them legally enforceable. If he does not express opposition within 10 days of submission, they become valid.
Judicial power is invested in the Prince, who delegates judicial procedures to the various courts, which dispense justice in his name. The independence of the judges is guaranteed by the constitution. The Supreme Court is composed of five chief members and two assistant judges named by the Prince on the basis of nominations by the National Council and other government bodies. The Supreme Court is the highest court for judicial appeals and also interprets the constitution when necessary. Monaco's legal system, closely related to that of France, is patterned after the Napoleonic Code.
The principality's local affairs (the administration of the four quarters of Monaco-Ville, La Condamine, Monte Carlo, and Fontvieille) are directed by the Communal Council, which consists of 15 elected members and is presided over by the Mayor.
Type: Constitutional monarchy.
Constitution: December 17, 1962 (amended in April 2002).
Founded in 1215 as a colony of Genoa, Monaco has been ruled by the House of Grimaldi since 1297, except when under French control from 1789 to 1814. Designated as a protectorate of Sardinia from 1815 until 1860 by the Treaty of Vienna, Monaco's sovereignty was recognized 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, formally noted in the Treaty of Versailles, established that Monegasque policy would be aligned with French political, military, and economic interests.
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. It joined the Council of Europe in 2004.
Three months after the death of his father, Prince Rainier III, on April 6, Prince Albert II formally acceded to the throne on July 12, 2005.
In July 2006, Monaco's population was estimated at 32,543, with an estimated average growth rate for 2007 of 0.386%.
French is the official language; English, Italian, and Monegasque (a blend of French and Italian) also are spoken. The literacy rate is 99%. Roman Catholicism is the official religion, with freedom of other religions guaranteed by the constitution.
Nationality: Noun and adjective--Monegasque.
Population (July 2006 est.): 32,543.
Annual growth rate (2007 est.): 0.386%.
Ethnic groups (2007): French 47%, Italian 16%, Monegasque 16%, other 21%.
Religions: Roman Catholic 90%, other 10%.
Languages: French (official), English, Italian, and Monegasque.
Education: Years compulsory--10, ages 6-16. Attendance--99%. Literacy--99%.
Health (2007 est.): Infant mortality--5.27 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy--75.99 yrs. male; 83.85 yrs. female. Birth rate (2007 est.)--9.12 births/1,000 population. Death rate (2006 est.)--12.92 deaths/1,000 population.