Macau Travel Information

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Facts About Macau

Background: Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first European settlement in the Far East. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and Portugal on 13 April 1987, Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China on 20 December 1999. China has promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's socialist economic system will not be practiced in Macau and that Macau will enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs.

Dependency status: special administrative region of China
Currency: 1 pataca (P) = 100 avos

Geography of Macau

Location: Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
Geographic coordinates: 22 10 N, 113 33 E
total: 21 sq km
land: 21 sq km
water: 0 sq km
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: 2%
permanent pastures: 0%
forests and woodland: 0%
other: 98% (1998 est.)
Natural hazards: typhoons
Geography - note: essentially urban; one causeway and two bridges connect the two islands of Coloane and Taipa to the peninsula on mainland

People of Macau

Macau's population is 95% Chinese, primarily Cantonese and some Hakka, both from nearby Guangdong Province. The remainder are of Portuguese or mixed Chinese-Portuguese ancestry. The official languages are Portuguese and Chinese (Cantonese). English is spoken in tourist areas. Macau has only one university (University of Macau); most of its 7,700 students are from Hong Kong.

Population: 449,198 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  22.68%
15-64 years:  70.08%
65 years and over:  7.24% (male 13,287; female 19,571) (2001 est.) 
Population growth rate: 1.79% 
Birth rate: 12.36 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 3.71 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 9.25 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Infant mortality rate: 4.47 deaths/1,000 live births 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  81.69 years
male:  78.88 years
female:  84.64 
Total fertility rate: 1.31 children born/woman 
noun: Chinese
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups: Chinese 95%, Macanese (mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry), Portuguese, other
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.)

SOURCES: The World Factbook, U.S. Department of State

Mother Earth Travel > Country Index > Macau > Map Economy History