[Country map of Macau]


(overseas territory of Portugal)


Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China

Map references: Southeast Asia

total area: 16 sq km
land area: 16 sq km
comparative area: about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries: total 0.34 km, China 0.34 km

Coastline: 40 km

Maritime claims: not specified

International disputes: none

Climate: subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers

Terrain: generally flat

Natural resources: negligible

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
meadows and pastures: 0%
forest and woodland: 0%
other: 100%

Irrigated land: NA sq km

current issues: NA
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Ozone Layer Protection (extended from Portugal)

Note: essentially urban; one causeway and one bridge connect the two islands to the peninsula on mainland


Population: 490,901 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 24% (female 56,991; male 60,944)
15-64 years: 68% (female 167,366; male 165,168)
65 years and over: 8% (female 23,537; male 16,895) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.25% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 14.5 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 4.21 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 2.24 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 5.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 79.86 years
male: 77.41 years
female: 82.43 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.49 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Macanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Macau

Ethnic divisions: Chinese 95%, Portuguese 3%, other 2%

Religions: Buddhist 45%, Roman Catholic 7%, Protestant 1%, none 45.8%, other 1.2% (1981)

Languages: Portuguese (official), Cantonese is the language of commerce

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1981)
total population: 90%
male: 93%
female: 86%

Labor force: 180,000 (1986)
by occupation: NA


conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Macau
local long form: none
local short form: Ilha de Macau

Digraph: MC

Type: overseas territory of Portugal scheduled to revert to China in 1999

Capital: Macau

Administrative divisions: 2 districts (concelhos, singular - concelho); Ilhas, Macau

Independence: none (territory of Portugal; Portugal signed an agreement with China on 13 April 1987 to return Macau to China on 20 December 1999; in the joint declaration, China promises to respect Macau's existing social and economic systems and lifestyle for 50 year after transition)

National holiday: Day of Portugal, 10 June (1580)

Constitution: 17 February 1976, Organic Law of Macau; basic law drafted primarily by Beijing awaiting final approval

Legal system: Portuguese civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President (of Portugal) Mario Alberto SOARES (since 9 March 1986)
head of government: Governor Gen. Vasco Joachim Rocha VIEIRA (since 20 March 1991)
cabinet: Consultative Council; consists of five members appointed by the governor, two nominated by the governor, five members elected for a four-year term (2 represent administrative bodies, 1 represents moral, cultural, and welfare interests, and 2 economic interests), and three statuatory members

Legislative branch: unicameral
Legislative Assembly: elections last held on 10 March 1991 (next to be held NA); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (23 total, 8 elected by universal suffrage, 8 by indirect suffrage, and 7 appointed by the governor) number of seats by party NA

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Association to Defend the Interests of Macau; Macau Democratic Center; Group to Study the Development of Macau; Macau Independent Group

Other political or pressure groups: wealthy Macanese and Chinese representing local interests, wealthy pro-Communist merchants representing China's interests; in January 1967 the Macau Government acceded to Chinese demands that gave China veto power over administration

Member of: CCC, ESCAP (associate), GATT, IMO (associate), INTERPOL (subbureau), WTO (associate)

Diplomatic representation in US: none (Chinese territory under Portuguese administration)

US diplomatic representation: the US has no offices in Macau, and US interests are monitored by the US Consulate General in Hong Kong

Flag: the flag of Portugal is used


Overview: The economy is based largely on tourism (including gambling) and textile and fireworks manufacturing. Efforts to diversify have spawned other small industries - toys, artificial flowers, and electronics. The tourist sector has accounted for roughly 25% of GDP, and the clothing industry has provided about two-thirds of export earnings; the gambling industry represented well over 40% of GDP in 1992. Macau depends on China for most of its food, fresh water, and energy imports. Japan and Hong Kong are the main suppliers of raw materials and capital goods.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $4.8 billion (1993 est.)

National product real growth rate: NA%

National product per capita: $10,000 (1993 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 7.7% (1992 est.)

Unemployment rate: 2% (1992 est.)

revenues: $305 million
expenditures: $298 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (1989 est.)

Exports: $1.8 billion (1992 est.)
commodities: textiles, clothing, toys
partners: US 35%, Hong Kong 12.5%, Germany 12%, China 9.9%, France 8% (1992 est.)

Imports: $2 billion (1992 est.)
commodities: raw materials, foodstuffs, capital goods
partners: Hong Kong 33%, China 20%, Japan 18% (1992 est.)

External debt: $91 million (1985)

Industrial production: growth rate NA%

capacity: 258,000 kW
production: 950 million kWh
consumption per capita: 2,093 kWh (1993)

Industries: clothing, textiles, toys, plastic products, furniture, tourism

Agriculture: rice, vegetables; food shortages - rice, vegetables, meat; depends mostly on imports for food requirements

Economic aid: none

Currency: 1 pataca (P) = 100 avos

Exchange rates: patacas (P) per US$1 - 8.034 (1991-94), 8.024 (1990), 8.030 (1989); note - linked to the Hong Kong dollar at the rate of 1.03 patacas per Hong Kong dollar

Fiscal year: calendar year


Railroads: 0 km

total: 42 km
paved: 42 km

Ports: Macau

Merchant marine: none

Airports: none usable, 1 under construction; 1 seaplane station


Telephone system: 52,000 telephones; fairly modern communication facilities maintained for domestic and international services
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: high-frequency radio communication facility; access to international communications carriers provided via Hong Kong and China; 1 INTELSAT (Indian Ocean) earth station

broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 3, shortwave 0
radios: 115,000

broadcast stations: 0; note - TV programs received from Hong Kong
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: NA

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 141,160; males fit for military service 78,578 (1995 est.)

Note: defense is responsibility of Portugal