Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is an independent and sovereign country located on the northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Monaco is a constitutional hereditary monarchy. His Serene Highness Prince Albert II is the Head of State. The House of Grimaldi has ruled over Monaco since 1297, i e for more than 700 years. Monaco’s sovereignty was officially and permanently recognized by the Franco/Monegasque Treaty of 1861. Monaco is a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and many other international organisations.

Monaco is surrounded on land by its neighbor France, and Italy’s borders are just 10 miles away (about 16 km). Monaco is the second smallest country in the world with an area of 0.76mi² (1.98 km²). Its population is close to 40,000 inhabitants of which about 9 000 are Monegasque nationals, while the others are residents of some 125 nationalities (of which there are some 300 Swedes), making Monaco one of the most cosmopolitan countries in the world. The life expectancy in Monaco is among the highest in the world, the child mortality among the lowest, the GDP/capita among the highest, and the literacy rate is almost 100%. Crime is among the lowest in the world. Monaco offers excellent schools, a university, world class medical services, an excellent offer of sports and cultural activities and world class dining and entertainment. Monaco, in many ways, serves as a ”magnet” in the region, attracting some 50 000 daily commuters from surrounding areas who work, study, or do research in Monaco. Monaco’s quality of life is thus among the highest in the world, which keeps attracting new residents from many nations, resulting in Monaco being one of the world’s most densely populated countries with approximately 18,750 inhabitants km².

The Official Language is French. However, Monegasque, Italian, and English are also widely understood and spoken. The Euro (EUR, €) is official currency. Catholicism is the official State Religion, however, every religion is accepted in the Principality and religious freedom is protected by Monegasque law.

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