Living Conditions in MonacoMonaco, a small sovereign principality on the French Mediterranean coastline, is famous for its exceptional beauty, mild climate, and wealth. France surrounds Monaco on three sides and the Mediterranean Sea surrounds the other. Monaco is just 10 miles from the northern border of Italy. Monte Carlo, the state’s main district, is a popular luxury tourist destination and home to high-profile cultural staples like the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, the Hotel de Paris and the Casino de Monte-Carlo. The principality is the second smallest independent state in the world after the Vatican and roughly the size of New York City’s Central Park. Home to about 39,000 people, Monaco is one of the richest nations in the world.

 Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Monaco

  1. The principality is governed by a hereditary constitutional monarchy with Albert II of the Grimaldi family, the current Prince of Monaco, at the helm. The Grimaldi family has been in power since they took over the region in 1297 and exercised absolute control until the nation’s first constitution was drafted in 1911. They celebrated 700 years of rule in 1997. Monaco’s second constitution, drafted in 1962, outlines the power of the executive, legislative and judicial branches and reinforces a shift of power from the family onto the state.
  2. Monaco does not levy personal income, capital gains, property or wealth taxes on its residents. Its business taxation policies are relatively lenient. This has turned the city-state into a tax haven for the wealthy, incentivizing the world’s richest people to buy property and establish businesses in Monaco.
  3. Because Monaco’s tax policies attract the world’s richest, the per capita income in Monaco is among the highest in the world, estimated at about $161,000 per year. Monaco has the highest concentration of millionaires and billionaires in the world.
  4. Real estate in Monaco is the most expensive in the world. In 2016, property sold for an average of $45,360 per square meter. These prices are significantly greater than in Hong Kong ($42,840) and Tokyo ($39,100), both famous for their expensive real estate.
  5. Less than a quarter of Monaco’s 38,000 residents are citizens. The vast majority of people in Monaco are wealthy foreigners. Many Monaco natives are not wealthy and must rely on government subsidies in order to afford to remain in Monaco. It is nearly impossible for foreigners to become citizens, so government subsidies are tailor-made to support Monaco natives.
  6. The unemployment rate is estimated at 2 percent, one of the lowest in the world. The Prince of Monaco guarantees every resident of Monaco a job, and the most popular industries among residents are tourism, finance and insurance. The region is also a hot-spot for research, with many residents working in the research industry.
  7. Education is mandatory for every child in Monaco and is provided for free by the Department of Education. Monaco’s literacy rate stays consistent at 99 percent. About 70 percent of Monaco’s students attend a public institution, while the rest attend one of several private schools in the region.
  8. Every worker in Monaco pays into the public healthcare system, and as a result, every contributor is reimbursed for the majority of their medical costs. Plus, with about 581 doctors per 100,000 people, Monaco has one of the highest concentrations of doctors in the world. Abundant sources of funding and doctors make healthcare in Monaco excellent, reflected in Monaco’s average life expectancy of 89.5 years.
  9. Crime in Monaco is very rare, and Monaco’s police force, consisting of 515 people, makes it the largest police force per-capita and per-area in the world. Monaco is one of the safest places in Europe and earned the nickname of “the safest square mile in Europe.”
  10. Monaco has the lowest poverty rate in the world. By attracting the world’s richest people, the state effectively eradicated poverty.

Monaco’s paradisal and business-friendly reputation attracts money from all over the world, causing its economy and residents to prosper. As a result, the living conditions in Monaco are unparalleled, and poverty is nonexistent in the state. A mix of political stability, low unemployment, low crime, high-quality health care and government assistance programs maintain Monaco’s high standard of living. As long as these aspects of Monaco endure, the phenomenal living conditions in Monaco should persist.

Jillian Baxter
Photo: Flickr

Monaco Tackling HIV Prevention and Awareness
The number of newly infected individuals with HIV has halved since the mid-1990s. This is in large part due to the significant increase in care and treatment for HIV. The UNAIDS Program Coordinating Board called on UNAIDS for its support for new initiatives in country and new targets for combatting HIV.

These efforts branched out globally to arrive at the 90-90-90 targets. By 2020, this goal aims to have: 90 percent of all people living with HIV be aware of their HIV status; 90 percent of all people diagnosed with HIV receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90 percent of all people receiving therapy to have viral suppression.

To date, over 250 countries have joined the 90-90-90 plan in an attempt to properly care for those individuals with HIV, as well as improve treatments already in place. The movement is a part of the Paris Declaration which is implemented to outline a practical, action-oriented way of improving the quality of aid.

As of July 2018, Monaco became a part of the initiative to enhance the lives of those with HIV and treatments by 2020. By becoming part of the fast-track initiative, Monaco also became the first city-state to commit to the assurance of rapid decrease in HIV infections.

Monaco tackling HIV as a priority is not necessarily new news. Monaco has actually advocated for HIV treatment previously in its endeavors. Monaco’s Princess Stephanie created the Fight AIDS Monaco nonprofit organization which works to improve HIV treatment, promote prevention, and reinforce the Test in The City campaign. However, by focusing on the 90-90-90 plan, Monaco tackling HIV is vastly improving on fast-tracking treatment and prevention.

Monaco tackling HIV by joining the 90-90-90 program is also monumental because it is a developed, progressive city. Cities play a crucial role in innovation and research and can therefore better treat those infected with HIV or those who are at risk of infection. Such cities also have the capacity to branch out their methods to the less developed areas that need the treatments but do not have the resources available to access them.

The ultimate goal of the 90-90-90 plan is to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Part of Monaco’s signing of the Paris Declaration was to create a “Monaco without AIDS”. The eradication of AIDS will ultimately spark broader global health and development endeavors that will improve the quality of life for all countries including the underdeveloped. Its work will also inspire global solidarity and partnerships which will be beneficial to many countries when it comes to aid.

In the fourth quarter of Monaco’s campaigns for better HIV prevention and treatment is a communication-focused campaign based around the U = U; undetectable = untransmittable. Communication is a very important part of fast-tracking and spreading proper information about HIV, as well as ensuring proper prevention and treatment.

Monaco was already progressive in its efforts for better HIV care but the 90-90-90 movement has put those efforts on the fast track. With the help of more than 250 countries that signed the Paris Declaration and agreed to the 90-90-90 plan, the possibility of AIDS eradication is near.

– Samantha Harward

Photo: Flickr

How Education in Monaco Is Benefiting Their Economy

Monaco is a country located on the southern coast of France, near the border with Italy. It is a primarily French-speaking country, and is best known for its casinos and high standard of living. Monaco has a population of about 30,645 people, with more than 55 percent of the population made up of immigrants.

The Principality of Monaco, its formal name, remains close with France, even down to the legal and educational system. Monaco has a 99 percent literacy rate and a course syllabus that is identical to France’s. Education in Monaco consists of four public schools and two secondary schools and is required for all children in Monaco between the ages of six and 16. During this stage of education in Monaco, students receive high-quality instruction, as there are small classes, a focus on sports and language and options for individual needs and aptitudes.

From secondary school, students can choose to go on to higher education. There are two higher education schools in Monaco, the Lycée Albert 1er, which emphasizes secretarial studies and accounting, and the Lycée Technique et Hôtelier de Monte-Carlo, which focuses on hotel management and hospitality, business, and specialized education. Both of these schools are optional for those who want to further their education.

The focus on education in Monaco is closely linked to France’s education system and benefits from the stability of the principality’s economy, as it is efficient and geared for the workforce. The schools in Monaco are under contract and are approved as French educational establishments, which follow the same timetables, teaching programs and tests as those set by the French national educational authority. Education in Monaco serves a practical purpose, as its economic interests have a direct impact on the principality’s curriculum, thus boosting the economic stability of the principality.

Jennifer Lightle

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in Monaco

What are the causes of poverty in Monaco? This is a difficult question to answer. As of 2009, according to the World Health Organization, Monaco does not have any percentage of its population living below the national or international poverty line. So, there are essentially no causes of poverty in Monaco.

Monaco, a microstate located on France‘s southern coast, has a small population of 38,000 people. In 2015, Monaco had the highest per capita GDP in the world. Thus, it is not surprising that Monaco is home to some of the world’s wealthiest people and many popular, expensive tourist attractions such as Monte Carlo.

Furthermore, the cost of living is extremely high in Monaco; property costs $9,000 per square inch, which is approximately 50 percent more expensive than the average apartment in New York City. Monaco is roughly the size of Central Park, and so it is fairly difficult for a large number of people of low socioeconomic status to find a place to live.

In addition, the working class of Monaco is hardly even comparable to the working class of many developed countries like the United States. Workers are granted competitive, tax-free salaries and they do not suffer the same hardships and difficulties that part-time, minimum wage workers in the United States face.

Health outcomes are oftentimes linked to poverty rates and may provide meaningful insight on a country’s poverty rate. Underdeveloped countries, which experience higher incidence rates of communicable diseases, have higher poverty rates than developed countries like Monaco, which experience high incidence rates of non-communicable diseases. Infectious, communicable diseases that are oftentimes rampant among groups of low socioeconomic status do not have high incidence rates in Monaco.

For instance, diarrhea, which is a common indicator of infectious disease rates, was reported to have an incidence rate of 0.3 in 2009, which is comparable to the world’s lowest incidence rate of diarrhea of 0.2 at that time. Cardiovascular disease is an example of a non-communicable disease that has a fairly high incidence rate in developed countries. In Monaco, cardiovascular disease had an incidence rate of 2.1 in 2009, compared to the world’s lowest incidence rate of cardiovascular disease, 1.4, at that time.

Monaco’s health outcomes are comparable to those of developed countries rather than underdeveloped countries. These facts, combined with the protections for worker salaries and the many wealthy people that live there, mean that poverty is fortunately not an issue for the people of Monaco.

Emily Santora

Photo: Flickr

Sustainable Development Policy in Monaco

The principality of Monaco borders France on the Mediterranean Sea and draws tourists because of its casino and pleasant climate. It is 0.8 square miles and is the most densely populated country in the world and the second smallest after Vatican City. Immigrants comprise 55 percent of the total population. Tourism, banking, consumer products and much more are vital to the economy as it welcomes wealthy vacationers and residents. With the influx of people, Monaco wants to ensure economic sustainability and a high quality of life while continuing to attract investors.

While Monaco is a well-established country, some of its current concerns include “managing industrial growth and tourism, environmental concerns and maintaining the quality of life.” To combat these issues, the government has created a sustainable development policy in Monaco. The plan includes reducing greenhouse gases and the effects of climate change, creating soft mobility in the city and providing aid to impoverished countries.

During the 2015 United Nations Climate Conference, Monaco announced its target of reducing greenhouse gases by 50 percent by 2030, which is about 20 percent more than the figure announced at the 2009 conference. This sustainable development policy in Monaco works together with the principality’s soft mobility initiative to “reduce traffic in the neighbourhoods…whilst maintaining the development of business activity, in a space shared by all.” Monaco is also working to improve the service of the city transportation and provide price incentives for drivers, buses and public parking.

The initiative of mobility is not the only aspect of the sustainable development policy in Monaco. They have also developed five flagship programs, some of which include fighting against sickle-cell disease, supporting vulnerable and street children and controlling pandemics such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. These programs are a part of the overall sustainable development policy in Monaco and support “more than 130 projects in 12 countries, primarily least developed countries (Madagascar, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania, Senegal et Burundi).”

There have been great strides in moving forward with the sustainable development policy in Monaco, not just to improve their citizens’ quality of life, but the lives of children, women, the disabled, refugees and other vulnerable groups. This policy can be of benefit to millions in developing countries and a model for other nations.

Jennifer Lightle

Photo: Flickr

Monaco poverty rate

Home to millionaires, a renowned casino and a prestigious Formula One Grand Prix, Monaco claims another headlining reality: the Monaco poverty rate is zero.

In order for any country to have a zero percent poverty rate, there must be zero percent of the population living under the international poverty line of U.S. $1.25 a day. So, why is the Monaco poverty rate zero? This feat is not accomplished easily; it is a combination of ideal conditions that have propelled Monaco to achieve its flawless poverty rate.

The Principality of Monaco is situated in the west of Europe along the French Riviera and bordered by France and the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco is aptly named a principality because its monarch takes the title of prince or princess. The current Prince of Monaco is Prince Albert III, who continues the Grimaldi family reign of more than 700 years.

This country is known for its beautiful surroundings and coastline, which helps draw a wealthy population, but its size plays an important role in the economy as well. Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world, after the Vatican City. It is a tiny two-square kilometers in size and the most densely-populated country in the world.

The number of residents this country can support is limited and its picturesque landscape draws people from around the world. Monaco is home to 30,645 residents. Only 16 percent of the residents are Monegasque (natives of Monaco), the majority is French and the rest come from nearby countries and outside. While Monaco’s size tightens the population, its economic strength adds additional incentives for residents.

Monaco’s current economy was strengthened by the historic decisions of Prince Charles III, known as the founder of Monte Carlo. Charles III ensured Monaco’s economic strength by taking advantage of gambling laws to build the Socièté des Bains de Mer, a company of a few hotels, a theater and a casino in 1863. The Monte Carlo casino became the most famous of these assets.

When gambling was banned elsewhere, the casino became a vacation of choice for the worlds wealthy, drawing in thousands of tourists. Charles the III also forged an agreement with France to install the first railroad across the principality as infrastructure to support the growing tourism market. Charles III attracted additional foreign investments when he established a zero income tax.

Why is the Monaco poverty rate zero? Tax incentives, location and the international popularity of Monte Carlo secured Monaco’s popularity with the wealthy and ignited the country’s tourism industry. Today, one-third of Monaco’s population makes more than $1 million to the point that Monaco’s GNI per capita is $186,080, the highest in the world.

Interestingly much of the working class in Monaco does not actually live there. Daily, more than 30,000 French and 5,800 Italian nationals travel to Monaco to work. This lends to the enormity of the private sector industries, which account for 86 percent of the labor force in Monaco. Monaco has developed into a destination for research centers, and 22 percent of the labor force works in scientific and technical activities, including administration and support services. The tourism industry accounts for 11 percent of the country’s economy, and the gaming industry 4 percent. The prince also guarantees all of the residents life-long employment, so there is nearly zero unemployment.

Monaco has the ideal combination of geographic, economic and residential dynamics to allow and support a zero percent poverty rate. The size of the country limits the amount of habitable space the country can offer and the landscape and world-renowned events like the Grand Prix give rise to millionaire inhabitants. The fiscal qualifications for residents in Monaco are set by the real estate prices while tax incentives provide a desirable buffer. Monaco builds its wealth on the investment of the worlds wealthy and maintains it through value-added tax revenues from established businesses. These factors have propelled Monaco’s reputation as the land of the millionaires and give insight into the Monaco poverty rate being zero.

Eliza Gresh

Photo: Pixabay


According to the U.S. Department of State’s 2015 human rights report, there have been no recent outstanding abuses of human rights in Monaco.

The country is governed by a sovereign prince, and legislative acts are conducted by the prince and the popularly elected National Council. Elections in 2013 were accepted by international organizations as free and fair.

Despite meeting its commitment to the protection of citizens human rights, there continues to be some pressure to further protect human rights in Monaco in the following areas:

In 2015, the Department of State reported instances of prisoner mistreatment in the country. There is one single detention center in Monaco, in which detainees have been reported to not be given enough time in the sunlight and outdoor exercise. Monaco’s government has allowed independent human rights observers, such as the Council of Europe’s European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT), to continue to monitor the situation. The CPT regularly schedules visits to the detention center.

Additionally, much can still be done to strengthen human rights in Monaco, especially for children and people with disabilities, which the council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights acknowledged after his visit to Monaco at the beginning of the year.

The Office of the High Commissioner, which was created for the protection of rights, liberties and for mediation, was urged to strengthen the legislation against all forms of discrimination in general. For example, Monaco is still in the process of ratifying the United Nations’ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Other issues on the horizon for human rights in Monaco include the recent passing of a law on the preservation of national security. The law allows for Monaco authorities to undertake administrative surveillance using voice recordings. Since the enactment of this law in 2016, the Monaco police can monitor anybody presenting a threat or suspected of organized crime and terrorism.

The commissioner for human rights emphasized the use of effective democratic control when it comes to security surveillance during his visit. With proper legislation, the already good record of human rights in Monaco can only continue to improve in the future.

Melanie Snyder

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in MonacoMonaco is best known as one of Europe’s microstates and a favorite destination of the wealthy. Like any country, there are common diseases in Monaco, but the good news is that they do not have much of an effect on the population’s health or longevity.

Travelers to Europe may not think they are in danger of contracting diseases, but it is entirely possible. Depending on what activities tourists participate in, according to the Centers for Disease Control, Monaco presents risks of Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and rabies. Hepatitis A is transmitted via contaminated food and water, whereas Hepatitis B is contracted through sexual contact or contaminated needles and blood products. Rabies, spread by bats in Monaco, is rare, but possible. Tourists who may be in areas with bats, or wildlife professionals who may be in close contact with them should get vaccinated for rabies.

Some of the more common diseases among residents of Monaco include various types of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Monaco is an extremely healthy country. Residents benefit from the Monaco Health Screening Centre, established as a preventative health resource. The most common cancers in Monaco are breast and bowel cancer. Monaco is confident that vaccinating for cervical cancer, which is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), along with screening will lead to the eradication of the disease. The Centre also screens for osteoporosis, breast cancer and HIV. The majority of patients who come to the Centre for breast cancer screenings are proactive in doing regular breast exams on their own.

Because there is considerable wealth in Monaco, it is no surprise that the average life expectancy is 89.73 years. Rich countries have more money to spend on healthcare. Preventative measures go a long way in catching serious diseases and illnesses which might lead to death if not detected early.

Cardiovascular disease also exists in Monaco, with 114 deaths per 100,000 people. Monaco ranks 188 out of 189 in this regard, with Japan having the lowest number of deaths from cardiovascular disease. Common diseases in Monaco are similar to other developed countries, but because of early screenings and other preventative measures, those illnesses are not as much of a threat.

Gloria Diaz

Photo: Google

Hunger in Monaco
Although Monaco is one of the smallest countries in the world, second to the Vatican, it has the highest per capita GDP. The rich flock to Monaco because of the lack of income tax, events such as the Grand Prix and the luxurious lifestyle. It follows that the rate of hunger in Monaco is very low.

This does not mean that hunger is off the radar in Monaco. In fact, Monaco is globally known as a nation helping in the fight against hunger. The leaders in this fight are the nearly 6,000 students that make up the country’s education system. The students work in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), a humanitarian organization working to end worldwide hunger. Thus far, they have raised thousands of dollars and millions of grains of rice to feed the world’s hungry. They do this through a trivia game.

Freerice is an online trivia game by the WFP that both educates the students of Monaco on the issue of world hunger and provides rice to those that need it. It has become the equivalent of a “national sport” in Monaco, with students raising over a million grains of rice in a period of fewer than six months.

“Freerice offers the perfect blend of humanitarian and educational. The Directorate for Education is pleased to engage our students in the fight against hunger, a pressing issue of our time and a priority for the Monegasque government,” Ms. Muriel Bubbio explained in an article by the WFP. “We strongly believe that learning about other countries and continents such as Africa and Asia requires understanding on global issues such as hunger and how one can contribute to addressing these challenges at an individual, local and national level,” she noted.

This is certainly important in an age in which the world is more interconnected through technology than ever before, and what is even better is it is effective.

In November 2011 alone, the student community in Monaco raised over 8,000 euros for the children in Kenya affected by the Horn of Africa crisis through a bake and trinket sale.

More recently, Monaco attended the 40th Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. in Rome. It was represented by H.E. Mr. Robert Fillon, Monaco’s Ambassador to Italy and the Principality’s Permanent Representative to the Food and Agriculture Organization; Elisabeth Lanteri-Minet, Director of International Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Martine Garcia-Mascarenhas, Second Secretary at the Embassy of Monaco in Rome. Overall, the conference focused on climate change, sustainable agriculture, food security, hunger and nutrition.

Monaco’s attendance at the conference shows its continued commitment to hunger worldwide, despite the fact that hunger in Monaco is not very common.

Sydney Roeder

Photo: Flickr

Refugees in MonacoLocated between a small strip of the southern French border and the Mediterranean Sea is the Principality of Monaco, the second smallest state in the world. With such a small territory and just 30,581 citizens, one might assume that the principality would be reluctant to host refugees. However, Monaco has gladly accepted some refugees. Here are 10 facts about refugees in Monaco.

  1. Monaco will be accepting refugees in limited numbers due to their small size.
  2. Serge Telle, the Monegasque Minister of State, has said that such welcoming of refugees is largely symbolic.
  3. In June 2016, Monaco, in conjunction with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), welcomed a family of Christian Syrian refugees. Christian populations are often heavily threatened in Syria.
  4. In March 2008, Prince Albert II of Monaco announced that Monaco would donate 100,000 euros to the UNHCR refugee program.
  5. Monaco has previously supported the UNHCR’s work by fundraising through Amitié Sans Frontières, which translates to “Friends Without Borders.”
  6. Currently, an immigrant must reside in Monaco for 10 years in order to acquire citizenship through naturalization.
  7. Monaco does not accept refugees unless those refugees meet French criteria. This has been established through bilateral agreements between the principality and France.
  8. The principality has acceded to the Geneva Convention of 1951 and the Protocol of 1967, which is the most recognized international law regarding refugees.
  9. An international NGO, based in Monaco, known as the International Emerging Film Talent Association (IEFTA), launched an all-day event called “Refugee Voices in Film” at the Cannes Music Festival.
  10. The film project was done in collaboration with the UNHCR.

In lieu of the Syrian refugee crisis, the Principality of Monaco has chosen to lead by example. Despite the principality’s small size, there are now refugees in Monaco, integrating and on their way to lead happy lives. Hopefully, the rest of the world will follow suit.

Shannon Golden
Photo: Flickr