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Is Monaco a great place to live?

Port Hercules Monaco
Port Hercule, Monaco © Alizée Mosconi

If Monaco remains so attractive, it’s because it has managed to build on its many strengths. A few figures as an illustration.

According to the 2023 census, the Principality has a population of 38,367, only 9,000 or so of whom are Monegasque citizens, born into families who have been living on the Rock for several generations. Let’s start by explaining the difference between citizen and resident. According to Article 1 of the Constitution, “the child born to a Monegasque father is Monegasque.” In other words, Monegasque citizenship is a birthright.


Acquiring nationality and becoming a resident

However, there is nothing to prevent a person from obtaining citizenship. But since 2022, this privilege has only been available to spouses who have been married to a Monegasque for at least 20 years. Naturalisation is possible, but applicants are put through a tough vetting process. The candidate must renounce their previous nationality and, after becoming an adult, have resided in Monaco for at least ten years. However, the decision to grant or refuse Monegasque nationality is, ultimately, at the Sovereign’s discretion.

In addition, many are content with resident status, which is also highly sought after. To obtain it, you must work for a local company or have created a company in Monaco. That is an absolute precondition, but there are others. The candidate must also deposit funds in a Monegasque bank, the minimum amount being left to the discretion of the banking institutions.

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Significant tax privileges

Resident status, which is easier to obtain than citizenship, is particularly sought after because it offers the resident permit holder the same tax advantages as citizens, starting with an exemption from income tax. That privilege, however, is not one that French people can enjoy, since the 1963 Franco-Monegasque agreements that established the current taxation framework between the two states.


With 6,500 expatriates, the Italians are the biggest contingent in Monaco. But at least one hundred nationalities are represented on the Rock, where the official language is French. Italian and English are also widely spoken, especially in the business world.

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However, the Principality has not forgotten its roots. The traditional Monegasque language, «munegascu» or Monegasque ligure, close to the dialect of Ventimiglia, is taught in public and private schools. Compulsory teaching of «munegascu» since the 2000s has helped to save a linguistic heritage that seemed doomed to die out.

A service economy driven by the real estate sector

While taxation is generally the argument put forward to promote the benefits of Monaco, the principality is also a mecca for the business world. An independent state, it is located in the heart of Europe, two hours from the continent’s main capitals.

Like neighbouring Geneva, it has a high concentration of financial establishments. The currency unit is the Euro and Monegasque coins minted. The bulk of economic activity is in services, followed by trade and real estate, a sector that alone generates 40,000 jobs and a turnover of more than €11 billion. The tourism sector comes in 4th position, thanks in particular to the revenues generated by the Monte-Carlo casino.

Quality of life, security, stability: the Principality’s winning combo

But the Principality’s main asset is its exceptional quality of life. Facing the sea, the town benefits from the mild Mediterranean climate and boasts high-end infrastructure and luxury real estate. With 1 police officer per 100 inhabitants and cameras even in apartment building halls, Monaco is also a particularly safe town.

A security that extends to institutional stability. With a hereditary monarchy, which is constitutional since 1911, the Principality is independent. A sovereign prince is the head of state. Executive power is exercised by a Minister of State, who chairs a six-member Government Council. The 1962 constitution stipulates that the Prince shares legislative power with the National Council, a unicameral parliament of twenty-four members elected for five years, by universal suffrage and plurinominal ballot.

All these assets make Monaco attractive for artists and sportspeople, many of whom are Principality residents. With, in no particular order of priority, the Monte Carlo tennis tournament, the Formula 1 Grand Prix, AS Monaco, the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Printemps des Arts, the Princess Grace Theatre, the Compagnie des Ballets and the Opera, culture and sports are also Principality strong points.