Monaco: a more cosmopolitan population than you think

If Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, it is also distinguished by one of the most cosmopolitan populations. Nearly 140 nationalities are concentrated on this small territory of 2 km².


75% of Monegasque residents are of foreign nationality

According to the Monegasque Institute for Statistics and Studies1 (IMSEE), the Monegasque population is estimated at 39,150 inhabitants on 31 December 2021. Among these inhabitants, only 9,611 would be Monegasque nationals, i.e. less than 25% of the population. population. According to the last census dating from 2016, foreign residents represent three quarters of the population of the Principality. Nearly 140 nationalities rub shoulders on the 2 km² of Monaco.
Currently, nearly 25,000 foreigners live in the Principality. The main nationalities listed are the French, with 9,286 inhabitants, the Italians with 8,172 inhabitants, and the British, with 2,795 inhabitants. The City-State also has Swiss (1,187 inhabitants), Russians (749 inhabitants), Portuguese (523 inhabitants), and even Greeks (401 inhabitants). It is therefore a particularly cosmopolitan cohabitation, Monaco being a real world-city.


Both ethnic and linguistic cosmopolitanism
French is the official language in the Principality of Monaco: it is the mother tongue for 75% of the population. Italian concerns 20% of the population, and English 5%. Communication in Monaco is therefore dominated by these 3 languages. The reason ? About 10,000 people cross the borders every day to come and work there, in order to fill the 44,000 jobs available. Some of them come from Italy in particular, participating in the linguistic cosmopolitanism of the country.


Internationalization dating back to the 19th century

The creation of the railway in the Principality has largely contributed to population growth, with the reception of people from all over the world. In 1861, Emperor Napoleon III signed an agreement with Prince Charles III of Monaco to extend the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean line to reach Menton2.

The first train arrived in Monaco in November 1868. But the Société des Bains de Mer wanted to develop aristocratic tourism, and requested the construction of a new station near the Casino de Monte-Carlo. It will be inaugurated in 1869. At the same time, property and income taxes are abolished. Construction activity is developing, the Principality is attracting a new population from abroad. The objective of making Monaco a resort for the nobility has been achieved.


Universal enthusiasm for the Principality influenced by several factors

Why choose to live in Monaco? For Monegasques of foreign origin, there are many reasons, from cultural life to optimal security, including tax benefits driven by an ambitious economic policy.


A particularly attractive quality of life

The Prince's Government of Monaco has always worked to improve the Principality's quality of life. The strategy employed is effective, since Monaco has noted a constant increase in its population. Indeed, La Rocher can take advantage of its many assets, such as a rich sporting and cultural life. In particular, it is the seat of world-renowned sporting events, such as the Monte-Carlo Rally, the Formula 1 Grand Prix, Monaco Classic Week, and the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. The Principality also has an excellent education system, a remarkable social model, and offers its citizens an irreproachable healthcare system and security. Finally, the City-State has an ideal geographical location. Accessibility is optimal thanks to a developed road network, a train station, proximity to Nice Côte d'Azur airport. With more than 300 days of sunshine per year, it offers an ideal living environment on the edge of the Mediterranean.


A developed Monegasque economy

In 2021, Monaco's GDP reached 7.27 billion euros, according to data from IMSEE3. Since 2012, the average annual growth of the Gross Domestic Product has been 4.4%. This can be explained by a diversification of the local economy, where several sectors largely contribute to this growth. More than a third of GDP comes from scientific and technical activities, administrative and support services (21.2%) and financial and insurance activities (16.1%). The other sectors, such as real estate activities, wholesale trade, retail trade, construction or accommodation and catering weigh between 6.6 and 10% of the Principality's wealth. This diversity of activities is a real asset for Monaco and for candidates for residence.


An attractive tax system for companies and investors

Investors are numerous, the Rock having developed an economic model based on onshore. On the business side, they are only subject to the ISB (tax on the profits of legal persons) when more than 25% of their turnover is made outside Monaco. Thus, with an activity remaining at least 75% Monegasque, income from capital and work is not taxed. The presence of 140 different nationalities in the Principality has resulted in the creation of a particularly extensive banking network. The cosmopolitan population can thus establish its businesses without difficulty.

With no property tax or income tax, Le Rocher offers a favorable tax system4. This is mainly based on:

● Customs duties which represent 3% of total government revenue;
● A tax on legal transactions, for an estimated total amount of 183.8 million euros in 2020;
● Taxation on the profits of industrial and commercial activities;
● And VAT, corresponding to more than half of total State revenue.

Thus, almost 75% of public revenue comes from Monegasque taxation. This tax system and this transparency are two attractive elements for foreigners, companies and investors alike.

Monaco thus holds several records. It has the most expensive real estate in the world, takes 2nd place on the podium of the smallest countries in the world (after the Vatican), and is recognized as the country embracing the most cosmopolitan population with 140 different nationalities.