I spent 5 days in Monaco. Here’s what life looks like in a land so wealthy it doesn’t even track poverty rates.

Monaco’s apparent lack of poverty can be traced to a confluence of factors.


Katie Warren/Business Insider

Of Monaco’s 38,300 inhabitants, only 9,326 are native Monégasque. The rest are foreign residents from places like France, Italy, the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Russia, and the US.

According to Bakardzhieva, there is a “natural selection” at play that ensures only already wealthy foreigners move to Monaco.

With its size of less than 1 square mile, “housing in Monaco is very scarce despite the city going more and more ‘vertical’ in recent years, with skyscrapers like the Odeon tower, and despite the projects of further sea expansion,” she said.

Real estate is, therefore, wildly expensive. The average property price was $5.2 million in 2017.

“A person living under the poverty line will find it very hard to afford seeking residency in Monaco,” Bakardzhieva said.

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