March 19, 2012 | In: Countries facts
The Principality of Monaco, how it’s formally named, is the second smallest country in the world, after the Vatican.
Monaco is almost as big as the Central Park in New York, and 3 times bigger than the Washington Mall, with 0.75 square miles (1.95 square km).
Monaco has been governed under a constitutional monarchy since 1911, with the Sovereign Prince of Monaco as monarch. Albert II is the current Prince of Monaco, making it a Constitutional Monarchy. His family, the Grimaldi Family, rules Monaco from 1297.
An unparalleled luxury resort since the mid-19th century, Monaco has a reputation that belies its size. Millions come to Monaco each year for the beachfront hotels, the yacht harbor, the Opera House, and the famous Monte Carlo Casino. Wealthy residents benefit from no income tax.
The currency of Monaco is the EURO, since 2002, but it’s not a member of the European Union.
Although the official language of Monaco is French the Italian ethnic groups speak Italian; English is also spoken widely. Apart from these three main groups, there are also two popular languages in Monaco: the Monegasque and Occitan languages.
The population, in 2010, was 35.881. That makes it one of the most populated surfaces in the world, with almost 17.000 inhabitants per square km.
The only principality in Monaco is Monte Carlo.
Being ruled by many nations, the national anthem is written in Monegasque, and even the name Monaco comes from Ancient Greece- Monoikos, that means One (Mono) House (oikos).
But the 1st inhabitants of what is now The Principality of Monaco were the Ligures, an Italian tribe, 2100 years ago.