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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: 25.4 sq km
water: 0 sq km
land: 25.4 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
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%
note: "green areas" represent 22.4% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land:
NA sq km
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
Geography - note:
essentially urban; one causeway and two bridges connect the two islands of Coloane and Taipa to the peninsula on mainland
People Macau
469,903 (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 20.9% (male 51,078; female 47,118)
15-64 years: 71.8% (male 159,500; female 178,043)
65 years and over: 7.3% (male 13,930; female 20,234) (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 33.1 years
male: 32.9 years
female: 33.3 years (2002)
Population growth rate:
1.72% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
12.07 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
3.85 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
8.93 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.9 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.69 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.42 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.84 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 4.01 deaths/1,000 live births
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 81.87 years
male: 79.05 years
female: 84.82 years (2003 est.)
Total fertility rate:
1.32 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Chinese
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups:
Chinese 95%, Macanese (mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry), Portuguese, other
Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none and other 35% (1997 est.)
Portuguese, Chinese (Cantonese)
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 short form: Aomen (Chinese); Macau (Portuguese)
local long form: Aomen Tebie Xingzhengqu (Chinese); Regiao Administrativa Especial de 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)
elections: chief executive chosen by a 200-member selection committee for up to two five-year terms
cabinet: Executive Council consists of all five government secretaries, three legislators, and two businessmen
head of government: Chief Executive Edmund HO Hau-wah (since 20 December 1999)
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Council or LEGCO (27 seats; 10 elected by popular vote, 10 by indirect vote, and 7 appointed by the chief executive; members serve four-year terms)
election results: percent of vote - NA%; seats by political bloc - Entertainment Industry 3, pro-democracy 2, pro-Beijing Labor Union 2, pro-Beijing Neighborhood Association 2, pro-business 1
elections: last held 23 September 2001 (next to be held NA 2005)
Judicial branch:
The Court of Final Appeal in the Macau Special Administrative Region
Political parties and leaders:
there are no formal political parties, however, there are civic associations that, for purposes of legislative voting, join together to form political blocs
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Catholic Church [Domingos LAM, bishop]; Macau Society of Tourism and Entertainment or STDM [Stanley HO, managing director]; Union for Democracy Development [Antonio NG Kuok-cheong, leader]
International organization participation:
ESCAP (associate), IHO, IMO (associate), Interpol (sub-bureau), ISO (correspondent), UNESCO (associate), WCO, WMO, WToO (associate), WTrO
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 economy four years after reversion to China remains one of the most open in the world. The territory's net exports of goods and services account for 39% of GDP with tourism and apparel exports as the mainstays. Although the territory was hit hard by the 1998 Asian financial crisis and the global downturn in 2001, its economy grew an estimated 9.5% in 2002. A rapid rise in the number of mainland visitors because of China's easing of restrictions on travel drove the recovery. 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 63% of government revenue. The liberalization of Macao's gambling monopoly may contribute to GDP growth, as the three companies awarded gambling licenses have pledged to invest $2.2 billion - roughly 33% of GDP - in the territory. Much of Macau's textile industry may move to the mainland as the Multi-Fiber Agreement is phased out. The territory may have to rely more on gambling and trade-related services to generate growth. Growth fell to 4% in 2003, according to early government forecasts, with the drop in large measure due to concerns over the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
purchasing power parity - $8.6 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
9.5% (2002 est.)
GDP - per capita:
purchasing power parity - $18,500 (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1%
industry: 12%
services: 87% (2002 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
-2.6% (2002 est.)
Labor force:
214,000 (2002)
Labor force - by occupation:
restaurants and hotels 12%, manufacturing 20%, other services and agriculture 68% (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate:
6.3% (2002)
revenues: $1.41 billion
expenditures: $1.19 billion, including capital expenditures of $194 million (2002)
tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, footwear, toys
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
1.611 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
1.688 billion kWh (2002)
Electricity - exports:
1 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
193 million kWh (2002)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - consumption:
11,000 bbl/day (2001 est.)
Oil - exports:
NA (2001)
Oil - imports:
NA (2001)
Agriculture - products:
vegetables, livestock
$2.36 billion f.o.b. (2002)
Exports - commodities:
clothing, textiles, footwear, cement, machines, and parts
Exports - partners:
US 48.6%, China 15.5%, Germany 7.4%, Hong Kong 5.8%, UK 5.4% (2002)
$2.53 billion c.i.f. (2002)
Imports - commodities:
clothing, textiles, yarn, foodstuffs, fuel, automobiles, capital goods
Imports - partners:
China 41.7%, Hong Kong 14.5%, Japan 6.7%, Taiwan 6.6%, South Korea 5%, France 4.3%, US 4.1% (2002)
Debt - external:
$255 million (2000 est.)
Economic aid - recipient:
pataca (MOP)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
patacas per US dollar - 8.03 (2002), 8.03 (2001), 8.03 (2000), 7.99 (1999), 7.98 (1998)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
Communications Macau
Telephones - main lines in use:
176,902 (November 2001)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
158,251 (November 2001)
Telephone system:
general assessment: 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 0, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
160,000 (1997)
Television broadcast stations:
1 (2003)
49,000 (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)
Internet users:
101,000 (2002)
Transportation Macau
0 km
total: 271 km
paved: 271 km
unpaved: 0 km (2000)
Ports and harbors:
Merchant marine:
none (2002 est.)
1 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2002)
Military Macau
Military branches:
no regular indigenous military forces; responsibility for defense reverted to China on 20 December 1999; there is a local police force
Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 130,228 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 71,826 (2003 est.)
Transnational Issues Macau
Disputes - international:

This page was last updated on 18 December, 2003