Portugal Travel Information

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Facts About Portugal

Background: Following its heyday as a world power during the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence in 1822 of Brazil as a colony. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy; for most of the next six decades repressive governments ran the country. In 1974, a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms. The following year Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies. Portugal entered the EC in 1985.
Government type: parliamentary democracy
Capital: Lisbon
Currency: euro (EUR)

Geography of Portugal

Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain
Geographic coordinates: 39 30 N, 8 00 W
total: 92,391 sq km
land: 91,951 sq km
water: 440 sq km
note: includes Azores and Madeira Islands
Land boundaries:
total: 1,214 km
border countries: Spain 1,214 km
Coastline: 1,793 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm
Climate: maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south
Terrain: mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point: Ponta do Pico (Pico or Pico Alto) on Ilha do Pico in the Azores 2,351 m
Natural resources: fish, forests (cork), tungsten, iron ore, uranium ore, marble, arable land, hydro power
Land use:
arable land: 26%
permanent crops: 9%
permanent pastures: 9%
forests and woodland: 36%
other: 20% (1993 est.)
Irrigated land: 6,300 sq km (1993 est.)
Natural hazards: Azores subject to severe earthquakes
Environment - current issues: soil erosion; air pollution caused by industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution, especially in coastal areas.
Environment - international agreements:
party to:  Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:  Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Environmental Modification, Nuclear Test Ban.
Geography - note: Azores and Madeira Islands occupy strategic locations along western sea approaches to Strait of Gibraltar

More Geography

People of Portugal

Population: 10,566,212 (July 2005 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years:  16.96% 
15-64 years:  67.42%
65 years and over:  15.62%
Population growth rate: 0.18% 
Birth rate: 11.51 births/1,000 population 
Death rate: 10.21 deaths/1,000 population 
Net migration rate: 0.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population 
Life expectancy at birth:
total population:  75.94 years
male:  72.44 years
female:  79.68 years
Total fertility rate: 1.48 children born/woman 
noun: Portuguese (singular and plural)
adjective: Portuguese
Ethnic groups: homogeneous Mediterranean stock; citizens of black African descent who immigrated to mainland during decolonization number less than 100,000
Religions: Roman Catholic 94%, Protestant (1995)
Languages: Portuguese
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 87.4%

More about the Population

SOURCE: The World Factbook

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