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Flag of Macau
Map of Macau
Introduction Macau
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 for the next 50 years.
Geography Macau
Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
Geographic coordinates:
22 10 N, 113 33 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
total: 28.2 sq km
land: 28.2 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative:
less than one-sixth the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries:
total: 0.34 km
regional border: China 0.34 km
41 km
Maritime claims:
not specified
subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers
generally flat
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Coloane Alto 172.4 m
Natural resources:
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land:
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
Geography - note:
essentially urban; an area of land reclaimed from the sea measuring 5.2 sq km and known as Cotai now connects the islands of Coloane and Taipa; the island area is connected to the mainland peninsula by three bridges
People Macau
453,125 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.2% (male 37,934/female 35,412)
15-64 years: 75.9% (male 163,975/female 179,830)
65 years and over: 7.9% (male 15,099/female 20,875) (2006 est.)
Median age:
total: 36.1 years
male: 35.7 years
female: 36.4 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.86% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
8.48 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
4.47 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
4.56 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.91 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.72 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.35 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 4.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.15 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 82.19 years
male: 79.36 years
female: 85.17 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.02 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Chinese
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups:
Chinese 95.7%, Macanese (mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry) 1%, other 3.3% (2001 census)
Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none and other 35% (1997 est.)
Cantonese 87.9%, Hokkien 4.4%, Mandarin 1.6%, other Chinese dialects 3.1%, other 3% (2001 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.5%
male: 97.2%
female: 92% (2003 est.)
Government Macau
Country name:
conventional long form: Macau Special Administrative Region
conventional short form: Macau
local long form: Aomen Tebie Xingzhengqu (Chinese); Regiao Administrativa Especial de Macau (Portuguese)
local short form: Aomen (Chinese); Macau (Portuguese)
Dependency status:
special administrative region of China
Government type:
limited democracy
Administrative divisions:
none (special administrative region of China)
none (special administrative region of China)
National holiday:
National Day (Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China), 1 October (1949); note - 20 December 1999 is celebrated as Macau Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
Basic Law, approved in March 1993 by China's National People's Congress, is Macau's "mini-constitution"
Legal system:
based on Portuguese civil law system
direct election 18 years of age, universal for permanent residents living in Macau for the past seven years; indirect election limited to organizations registered as "corporate voters" (257 are currently registered) and a 300-member Election Committee drawn from broad regional groupings, municipal organizations, and central government bodies
Executive branch:
chief of state: President of China HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Chief Executive Edmund HO Hau-wah (since 20 December 1999)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of one government secretary, three legislators, four businessmen, one pro-Beijing unionist, and one pro-Beijing educator
elections: chief executive chosen by a 300-member Election Committee for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 29 August 2004 (next to be held in 2009)
election results: Edmund HO Hau-wah reelected received 296 votes; three members submitted blank ballots; one member was absent
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly (29 seats; 12 elected by popular vote, 10 by indirect vote, and 7 appointed by the chief executive; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 September 2005 (next in September 2009)
election results: percent of vote - Development Union 12.8%, Macau Development Alliance 9%, Macau United Citizens' Association 16%, New Democratic Macau Association 18.2%, others NA; seats by political group - Development Union 2, Macau Development Alliance 1, Macau United Citizens' Association 2, New Democratic Macau Association 2, New Hope 1, United Forces 2, others 2; 10 seats filled by professional and business groups; seven members appointed by chief executive
Judicial branch:
Court of Final Appeal in Macau Special Administrative Region
Political parties and leaders:
Civil Service Union [Jose Maria Pereira COUTINHO]; Development Union [KWAN Tsui-hang]; Macau Development Alliance [Angela LEONG On-kei]; Macau United Citizens' Association [CHAN Meng-kam]; New Democratic Macau Association [Antonio NG Kuok-cheong]; United Forces
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), ISO (correspondent), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (special administrative region of China)
Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US has no offices in Macau; US interests are monitored by the US Consulate General in Hong Kong
Flag description:
light green with a lotus flower above a stylized bridge and water in white, beneath an arc of five gold, five-pointed stars: one large in center of arc and four smaller
Economy Macau
Economy - overview:
Macau's well-to-do economy has remained one of the most open in the world since its reversion to China in 1999. Apparel exports and tourism are mainstays of the economy. Although the territory was hit hard by the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis and the global downturn in 2001, its economy grew 10.1% in 2002, 14.2% in 2003, and 28.6% in 2004 before slowing to 6.7% in 2005. The economic boom was powered by gambling, tourism, and the construction necessary to support such endeavours. China's decision to ease travel restrictions led to a rapid rise in the number of mainland visitors. The opening of Macau's gaming industry to foreign access in 2001 spurred an increase in public works expenditures. The budget also returned to surplus in 2002 because of the surge in visitors from China and a hike in taxes on gambling profits, which generated about 70% of government revenue. Much of Macau's textile industry may move to the mainland due to the termination in 2005 of the Multi-Fiber Agreement, which provided a near guarantee of export markets, leaving the territory more dependant on gambling and trade-related services to generate growth. The Closer Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Macau and mainland China that came into effect on 1 January 2004 offers many Macau-made products tariff-free access to the mainland. The range of products covered by CEPA was expanded on 1 January 2005.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$10 billion (2004)
GDP (official exchange rate):
$11.56 billion (2005)
GDP - real growth rate:
6.7% (2005)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$24,300 (2005)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 7.2%
services: 92.7% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
248,000 (2005)
Labor force - by occupation:
manufacturing 13.7%, construction 13.7%, transport and communications 5.9%, wholesale and retail trade 10.5%, restaurants and hotels 10.3%, gambling 5.9%, public sector 7.8%, other services and agriculture 19.3% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
4.1% (2005)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.4% (2005)
revenues: $3.16 billion
expenditures: $3.16 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (FY05/06)
Agriculture - products:
only 2% of land area is cultivated, mainly by vegetable growers; fishing, mostly for crustaceans, is important; some of the catch is exported to Hong Kong
tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, footwear, toys
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
2.027 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
Electricity - consumption:
2.159 billion kWh (2005)
Electricity - exports:
1 million kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
340.8 million kWh (2005)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - consumption:
12,360 bbl/day (2005 est.)
Oil - exports:
21 bbl/day (2005)
Oil - imports:
12,840 bbl/day (2005)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
43.96 million cu m (2005 est.)
$3.156 billion f.o.b.; note - includes reexports (2005)
Exports - commodities:
clothing, textiles, footwear, toys, electronics, machinery and parts
Exports - partners:
US 48.7%, China 14.9%, Hong Kong 9.8%, Germany 5.9% (2005)
$3.912 billion c.i.f. (2005)
Imports - commodities:
raw materials and semi-manufactured goods, consumer goods (foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco), capital goods, mineral fuels and oils
Imports - partners:
China 43.1%, Japan 10.9%, Hong Kong 10%, Singapore 5.2%, US 4.1%, Taiwan 4% (2005)
Debt - external:
$3.1 billion (2004)
Economic aid - recipient:
Currency (code):
pataca (MOP)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
patacas per US dollar - 8.011 (2005), 8.022 (2004), 8.021 (2003), 8.033 (2002)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Macau
Telephones - main lines in use:
174,400 (2005)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
532,800 (2005)
Telephone system:
general assessment: fairly modern communication facilities maintained for domestic and international services
domestic: NA
international: country code - 853; 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 0, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
160,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2006)
49,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
108 (2006)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
201,000 (2004)
Transportation Macau
1 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2006)
total: 368 km
paved: 368 km (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Military Macau
Military branches:
no regular military forces
Manpower available for military service:
males age 18-49: 112,744 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 18-49: 91,299 (2005 est.)
Military - note:
defense is the responsiblity of China
Transnational Issues Macau
Disputes - international:
Trafficking in persons:
current situation: Macau is a transit and destination territory for women trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; most females in Macau's sizeable sex industry come from the interior regions of China or Mongolia, though a significant number also come from Russia, Eastern Europe, Thailand, and Vietnam; the majority of women in Macau's prostitution trade appear to have entered Macau and the sex trade voluntarily, though there is evidence that some are deceived or coerced into sexual servitude, often through the use of debt bondage; organized criminal syndicates are reportedly involved in bringing women to Macau, and fear of reprisals from these groups may prevent some women from seeking help
tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Macau is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for failing to show evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking since 2004

This page was last updated on 18 January, 2007