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Facts about Monaco
Monaco, officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city state on the Côte d'Azur (French Riviera). It is bordered on three sides by its neighbour, France, and its centre is about 16 km (9.9 mi) from Italy. Its area is 1.98 km2 (0.76 sq mi) with a population of 35,986 as of 2011. Monaco boasts the world's highest GDP nominal per capita at $151,630 and is the most densely populated country in the world. Monaco also has the world's highest life expectancy at almost 90 years, and the lowest unemployment rate. After a recent expansion of Port Hercule Monaco's total area is 2.05 km2 (0.79 sq mi), with new plans to extend the district of Fontvieille, with land reclaimed from the Mediterranean Sea.
Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state. The House of Grimaldi has ruled Monaco since 1297, and the state's sovereignty was officially recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861. Despite Monaco being independent and pursuing its own foreign policy course, its national defense is the responsibility of France.