Capital city: City of Monaco
Currency: Euro (€)
Population: 38,400 (2015)
GDP $5.4 b
Monaco (officially the Principality of Monaco) is a sovereign city-state and microstate, located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. The House of Grimaldi have ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, since 1297. Monaco has an area of 2.02 km2 and is the second smallest and the most densely populated country in the world. Monaco is known as a playground for the rich and famous and has the world’s second highest GDP per capita at US$153,177 (with 30% of the population being millionaires).
Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with the opening of the country’s first casino, Monte Carlo, and a railway connection to Paris. Since then, Monaco’s mild climate, scenery, and gambling facilities have contributed to the principality’s status as a tourist destination and recreation center for the rich.
In more recent years, Monaco has become a major banking center with no income tax, low business taxes, and is well known for being a tax haven. People use Monaco as a “tax haven” from their own country’s taxes because Monaco as an independent country is not obligated to pay taxes to other countries. The absence of a personal income tax in the principality has attracted to it a considerable number of wealthy “tax refugee” residents from European countries who derive the majority of their income from activity outside Monaco.
"You’d be stupid not to try to cut your tax bill and those that don’t are stupid in business"
- Bono: U2