Geographic and Governmental Profile of Monaco

The Genoese built a fortress on the site of present day Monaco in 1215. The current ruling Grimaldi family first seized temporary control in 1297, and again in 1331, but were not able to permanently secure their holding until 1419. 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.
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
Continent / Subcontinent
2 sq km
2 sq km
0 sq km
Area - comparative
about three times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries
4.4 km
border countries:
France 4.4 km
4.1 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
exclusive economic zone:
12 nm
Mediterranean with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers
hilly, rugged, rocky
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Mediterranean Sea 0 m
highest point:
Mont Agel 140 m
Natural resources
Land use
arable land:
permanent crops:
100% (urban area) (2005)
Irrigated land
Natural hazards
Environment - current issues
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
second-smallest independent state in the world (after Holy See); almost entirely urban
Country name
conventional long form:
Principality of Monaco
conventional short form:
local long form:
Principaute de Monaco
local short form:
Government type
constitutional monarchy
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
Administrative divisions
none; there are no first-order administrative divisions as defined by the US Government, but there are four quarters (quartiers, singular - quartier); Fontvieille, La Condamine, Monaco-Ville, Monte-Carlo
1419 (beginning of permanent rule by the House of GRIMALDI)
National holiday
National Day (Saint Rainier's Day), 19 November (1857)
17 December 1962; modified 2 April 2002
Legal system
civil law system influenced by French legal tradition
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
Prince ALBERT II (since 6 April 2005)
head of government:
Minister of State Michel ROGER (since 29 March 2010)
Council of Government under the authority of the monarch
the monarchy is hereditary; minister of state appointed by the monarch from a list of three French national candidates presented by the French Government
Legislative branch
unicameral National Council or Conseil National (24 seats; 16 members elected by list majority system, 8 by proportional representation to serve five-year terms)
last held on 3 February 2008 (next to be held in February 2013)
election results:
percent of vote by party - UPM 52.2%, REM 40.5%, Monaco Together 7.3%; seats by party - UPM 21, REM 3
Judicial branch
Supreme Court or Tribunal Supreme (judges appointed by the monarch on the basis of nominations by the National Council)
Political parties and leaders
Monaco Together; Rally and Issues for Monaco or REM; Union for Monaco or UPM (including National Union for the Future of Monaco or UNAM)
Political pressure groups and leaders
International organization participation
CE, FAO, IAEA, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IFRCS, IHO, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IPU, ITSO, ITU, OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, Schengen Convention (de facto member), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNWTO, UPU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Gilles NOGHES
3400 International Drive NW, Suite 2K-100, Washington, DC 20008
(202) 234-1530
(202) 244-7656
consulate(s) general:
New York
Diplomatic representation from the US
the US does not have an embassy in Monaco; the US Ambassador to France is accredited to Monaco; the US Consul General in Marseille (France), under the authority of the US ambassador to France, handles routine diplomatic and consular matters concerning Monaco
Flag description
two equal horizontal bands of red (top) and white; the colors are those of the ruling House of Grimaldi and have been in use since 1339, making the flag one of the world's oldest national banners
similar to the flag of Indonesia which is longer and the flag of Poland which is white (top) and red
National anthem
"A Marcia de Muneghu" (The March of Monaco)
music adopted 1867, lyrics adopted 1931; although French is much more commonly spoken, only the Monegasque lyrics are official; the French version is known as "Hymne Monegasque" (Monegasque Anthem); the words are generally only sung on official occasions
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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