Monaco is one of the tiniest and most densely-populated countries in the world. Its economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with the opening of its first casino, Monte Carlo, and a railway connection to Paris. Since then, its mild climate, magnificent scenery, and gambling facilities have made Monaco world-famous as a tourist destination and recreation centre for the rich and famous. Monaco boasts the world's highest GDP nominal per capita, the lowest unemployment rate and the highest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita in the world.
In recent years, Monaco has become a major banking center and has successfully sought to diversify its economy into the services. With no income tax and low business taxes, Monaco is well known for being a tax haven. Although it is not a member of the European Union, it is very closely linked via a customs union with France and, as such, its currency is the same as that of France, the euro.Monaco has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. In the winter, frosts and snowfalls are extremely rare and generally occur once or twice every ten years.