Monaco is the second smallest country in the world; about 34,000 people live there. It is near southeastern France, on the Mediterranean Sea in Western Europe. French is the most common language spoken in Monaco. The head of state is Prince Albert II; the government and the prince share power. Tourism is the main industry. People in Monaco pay no income tax.
A sovereign and independent state, the Principality of Monaco has borders on its landward side with several communes of the French Department of the Alpes-Maritimes; from west to east these are Cap d`Ail, la Turbie, Beausoleil and Roquebrune Cap Martin. Seawards, Monaco faces the Mediterranean.
The population of the Principality consists of 29,972 inhabitants, 5,070 of whom are Monégasques, 12,047 French and 5,000 Italian (according to the last official census in 1990).
Its surface area is 195 hectares, of which nearly 40 were recovered from the sea during the last twenty years.
It lies in a narrow coastal strip which sometimes rises straight upwards with its highest point at 163 meters. Its width varies between 1050 meters and only 350 meters. Its coastline is 4100 meters long.
The Principality has only one commune, Monaco, whose limits are the same as those of the state.
Monaco is made of four districts: Monaco-Ville (historic seat of the Principality, on the rock where the Prince Palace stands), Monte-Carlo (the district surrounding its Casino), La Condamine (around Port Hercule), and Fontvielle (the new industrial area built on ground reclaimed from the sea (22ha)).