(Chinese territory under Portuguese administration)
[Country Flag of Macau]
Transnational Issues
[Country map of Macau]



[Top of Page]

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

Geographic coordinates: 22 10 N, 113 33 E

Map references: Southeast Asia

total: 21 sq km
land: 21 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Area—comparative: about 0.1 times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:
total: 0.34 km
border countries: China 0.34 km

Coastline: 40 km

Maritime claims: not specified

Climate: subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers

Terrain: generally flat

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Coloane Alto 174 m

Natural resources: NEGL

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 100% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: NA sq km

Natural hazards: NA

Environment—current issues: NA

Environment—international agreements:
party to: Ozone Layer Protection (extended from Portugal)
signed, but not ratified: NA

Geography—note: essentially urban; one causeway and two bridges connect the two islands of Coloane and Taipa to the peninsula on mainland


[Top of Page]

Population: 429,152 (July 1998 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 25% (male 54,845; female 51,354)
15-64 years: 68% (male 138,871; female 153,801)
65 years and over: 7% (male 12,139; female 18,142) (July 1998 est.)

Population growth rate: 1.91% (1998 est.)

Birth rate: 12.76 births/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Death rate: 3.48 deaths/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Net migration rate: 9.78 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1998 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female (1998 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births (1998 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 81.6 years
male: 78.66 years
female: 84.68 years (1998 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.27 children born/woman (1998 est.)

noun: Macanese (singular and plural)
adjective: Macau

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

Religions: Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none and other 35% (1997 est.)

Languages: Portuguese, Chinese (Cantonese)

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


[Top of Page]

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

Data code: MC

Dependency status: Chinese territory under Portuguese administration; note—scheduled to revert to China on 20 December 1999

Government type: NA

National capital: Macau

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

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

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

Constitution: 17 February 1976, Organic Law of Macau; Macau's future constitution, the "Basic Law", promulgated by China's National People's Congress on 31 March 1993, will go into effect 20 December 1999

Legal system: Portuguese civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: President of Portugal Jorge SAMPAIO (since 9 March 1996)
head of government: Governor General Vasco Joachim Rocha VIERA (since 20 March 1991)
cabinet: Consultative Council consists of a total of 15 members—five appointed by the governor, two nominated by the governor, five elected for a four-year term (two represent administrative bodies, one represents moral, cultural, and welfare interests, and two represent economic interests), and three statutory members
elections: none; governor general appointed by the president of Portugal after consultation with the Legislative Assembly

Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Assembly (23 seats; 8 elected by popular vote, 8 by indirect vote, and 7 appointed by the governor; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 22 September 1996 (next to be held NA 2000)
election results: percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—NA

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, consisting of five magistrates including the president; lower court judges appointed for three-year terms by the governor

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

Political pressure groups and leaders: wealthy Macanese and Chinese representing local interests, wealthy procommunist merchants representing China's interests; in January 1967 the Macau Government acceded to Chinese demands that gave China veto power over administration

International organization participation: CCC, ESCAP (associate), IMO (associate), Interpol (subbureau), UNESCO (associate), WMO, WToO (associate), WTrO

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

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

Flag description: the flag of Portugal is used


[Top of Page]

Economy—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 probably represents over 40% of GDP. 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.

GDP: purchasing power parity—$7.8 billion (1997 est.)

GDP—real growth rate: -0.3% (1997 est.)

GDP—per capita: purchasing power parity—$15,600 (1997 est.)

GDP—composition by sector:
agriculture: NA%
industry: NA%
services: NA%

Inflation rate—consumer price index: 3.9% (1997 est.)

Labor force:
total: 271,228 (1995)
by occupation: industry 28%, restaurants and hotels 28%, other services 44%

Unemployment rate: 3.6% (1995)

revenues: $1.3 billion
expenditures: $1.07 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (1995 est.)

Industries: clothing, textiles, toys, electronics, footwear, tourism

Industrial production growth rate: NA%

Electricity—capacity: 260,000 kW (1995)

Electricity—production: 1.3 billion kWh (1995)

Electricity—consumption per capita: 3,250 kWh (1996 est.)

Agriculture—products: rice, vegetables

total value: $1.99 billion (f.o.b., 1996 est.)
commodities: textiles, clothing, toys, electronics, cement
partners: US 42%, EU 31.7%, Hong Kong 10%, China 9.8% (1996)

total value: $1.99 billion (c.i.f., 1996 est.)
commodities: raw materials, foodstuffs, capital goods, fuels, lubricants
partners: Hong Kong 28.9%, China 21.8%, EU 14.7%, Japan 10.5% (1996)

Debt—external: $0 (1996)

Economic aid:
recipient: ODA, $NA

Currency: 1 pataca (P) = 100 avos

Exchange rates: patacas (P) per US$1—7.99 (1997), 7.962 (1996), 8.034 (1993-95), 7.973 (1992); note—linked to the Hong Kong dollar at the rate of 1.03 patacas per Hong Kong dollar

Fiscal year: calendar year


[Top of Page]

Telephones: 200,000 (1997 est.)

Telephone system: fairly modern communication facilities maintained for domestic and international services
domestic: NA
international: HF radiotelephone communication facility; access to international communications carriers provided via Hong Kong and China; satellite earth station—1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)

Radio broadcast stations: AM 4, FM 3, shortwave 0

Radios: 135,000 (1992 est.)

Television broadcast stations: 0
note: TV programs received from Hong Kong

Televisions: 34,000 (1992 est.)


[Top of Page]

Railways: 0 km

total: 50 km
paved: 50 km
unpaved: 0 km (1996 est.)

Ports and harbors: Macau

Merchant marine: none

Airports: 1 (1997 est.)

Airports—with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (1997 est.)


[Top of Page]

Military branches: NA

Military manpower—availability:
males age 15-49: 119,102 (1998 est.)

Military manpower—fit for military service:
males: 65,530 (1998 est.)

Military—note: defense is the responsibility of Portugal

Transnational Issues

[Top of Page]

Disputes—international: none