The Genoese built a fortress on the site of present-day Monaco in 1215. The current ruling Grimaldi family secured control in the late 13th century, and a principality was established in 1338. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with a railroad linkup to France and the opening of a casino. Since then, the principality’s mild climate, splendid scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world famous as a tourist and recreation center.


Location: Western Europe, bordering the Mediterranean Sea on the southern coast of France, near the border with Italy
Geographic coordinates: 43 44 N, 7 24 E
Population: 30,510 (July 2012 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 12.3% (male 1,930/female 1,841)

15-64 years: 60.8% (male 9,317/female 9,249)

65 years and over: 26.9% (male 3,640/female 4,562) (2011 est.)

Country name: conventional long form: Principality of Monaco

conventional short form: Monaco

local long form: Principaute de Monaco

local short form: Monaco

Government type: constitutional monarchy
Capital: name: Monaco

geographic coordinates: 43 44 N, 7 25 E

time difference: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

Telephones – main lines in use:  34,100 (2009)
Telephones – mobile cellular: 26,300 (2009)
Heliports: 1 (2012)
Roadways: total: 77 km

paved: 77 km (2007)

Military branches: no regular military forces; Directorate of Public Security (2012)
Manpower available for military service: Males age 16-49: 5,749 (2010 est.)


Monaco, bordering France on the Mediterranean coast, is a popular resort, attracting tourists to its casino and pleasant climate. The principality also is a major banking center and has successfully sought to diversify into services and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries. The state has no income tax and low business taxes and thrives as a tax haven both for individuals who have established residence and for foreign companies that have set up businesses and offices. The state retains monopolies in a number of sectors, including tobacco, the telephone network, and the postal service. Living standards are high, roughly comparable to those in prosperous French metropolitan areas.