Introduction    Macau Top of Page
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 the People's Republic of China on 20 December 1999. In this agreement, China promised that, under its "one country, two systems" formula, China's political and economic system would not be imposed on Macau, and that Macau would enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign affairs and defense for the next 50 years.
   Geography    Macau Top of Page
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 m
Natural resources:
Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land:
NA; note - included in the total for China
Natural hazards:
Environment - current issues:
Environment - international agreements:

party to: Marine Dumping (associate member), Ship Pollution (associate member)
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 Top of Page
583,003 (July 2013 est.)
Age structure:
0-14 years: 14.5% (male 44,454/female 40,089)
15-24 years: 14.5% (male 43,670/female 41,018)
25-54 years: 51% (male 133,043/female 164,369)
55-64 years: 11.1% (male 32,782/female 32,185)
65 years and over: 8.8% (male 24,091/female 27,302) (2012 est.)
Median age:
total: 36.7 years
male: 37.3 years
female: 36.3 years (2012 est.)
Population growth rate:
0.866% (2012 est.)
Birth rate:
9.05 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
Death rate:
3.85 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
Net migration rate:
3.46 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2012 est.)
urban population: 100% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 0.7% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.12 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female
total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 3.17 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.32 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3 deaths/1,000 live births (2012 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 84.43 years
male: 81.47 years
female: 87.54 years (2012 est.)
Total fertility rate:
0.93 children born/woman (2013 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Chinese
adjective: Chinese
Ethnic groups:
Chinese 92.4%, other 7.6% (includes Macanese - mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry) (2011 census)
Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none or other 35% (1997 est.)
Cantonese 83.3%, Mandarin 5%, Hokkien 3.7%, other Chinese dialects 2%, English 2.3%, Tagalog 1.7%, Portuguese 0.7%, other 1.3%
note: Chinese and Portuguese are the official language (2011 census)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.3%
male: 95.3%
female: 87.8% (2001 census)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 14 years
male: 15 years
female: 14 years (2009)
Education expenditures:
2.6% of GDP (2010)
   Government    Macau Top of Page
Country name:
conventional long form: Macau Special Administrative Region
conventional short form: Macau
official long form: Aomen Tebie Xingzhengqu (Chinese); Regiao Administrativa Especial de Macau (Portuguese)
official short form: Aomen (Chinese); Macau (Portuguese)
Dependency status:
special administrative region of the People's Republic of China
Government type:
limited democracy
Administrative divisions:
none (special administrative region of the People's Republic 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
The Basic Law, approved 31 March 1993 by China's National People's Congress, is Macau's charter
Legal system:
civil law system based on the Portuguese model
18 years of age in direct elections for some legislative positions, universal for permanent residents living in Macau for the past seven years; note - indirect elections are limited to organizations registered as "corporate voters" (973 were registered in the 2009 legislative elections) and a 300-member Election Committee for the Chief Executive (CE) drawn from broad regional groupings, municipal organizations, central government bodies, and elected Macau officials
Executive branch:
chief of state: President of China HU Jintao (since 15 March 2003)
head of government: Chief Executive Fernando CHUI Sai-on (since 20 December 2009)
cabinet: Executive Council consists of 1 government secretary, 3 legislators, 4 businessmen, 1 pro-Beijing unionist, and 1 pro-Beijing educator
(For more information visit the World Leaders website )
elections: chief executive chosen by a 300-member Election Committee for a five-year term (current chief executive is eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 July 2009 (next to be held in July 2014)
note: the Legislative Assembly voted in August 2012 to expand the electoral committee to 400 seats for the 2014 election.
election results: Fernando CHUI Sai-on elected in 2009 with 282 votes, took office on 20 December 2009
Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly (29 seats; 12 members elected by popular vote, 10 by indirect vote, and 7 appointed by the chief executive; members serve four-year terms)
elections: last held on 20 September 2009 (next to be held in September 2013)
election results: percent of vote - UPD 14.9%, ACUM 12%, APMD 11.6%, NUDM 9.9%, UPP 9.9%, ANMD 7.8%, UMG 7.3%, MUDAR 5.5%, others 21.1%; seats by political group - UPD 2, ACUM 2, APMD 2, NUMD 1, UPP 1, ANMD 1, UMG 1, MUDAR 1; 10 seats filled by professional and business groups; 7 members appointed by the chief executive
Judicial branch:
Court of Final Appeal in Macau Special Administrative Region
Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for Change or MUDAR; Macau Development Alliance or NUDM [Angela LEONG On-kei]; Macau-Guangdong Union or UNG; Macau United Citizens' Association or ACUM [CHAN Meng-kam]; New Macau Association or NMA [Jason CHAO]; New Hope or NE [Jose Maria Pereira COUTINHO]; Union for Promoting Progress or UPP [LEONG Heng-teng]
note: there is no political party ordinance, so there are no registered political parties; politically active groups register as societies or companies
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Civic Power [Agnes LAM lok-fong]; Democratic Action [LEE Kin-yun]; Bar-Bending Workers' Association {WONG Wai-Man]; Macau New Chinese Youth Association [LEONG Sin-man]; Macau Society of Tourism and Entertainment or STDM [Stanley HO]; Macau Worker's Union [HO Heng-kuok]; New Macau Association [Antonio NG Kuok-cheong]
International organization participation:
ICC (national committees), IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), Interpol (subbureau), ISO (correspondent), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCO, 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 Consulate General in Hong Kong is accredited to Macau
Flag description:
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 the center of the arc and two smaller on either side; the lotus is the floral emblem of Macau, the three petals represent the peninsula and two islands that make up Macau; the five stars echo those on the flag of China
National symbol(s):
lotus blossom
National anthem:

note: as a Special Administrative Region of China, "Yiyonggjun Jinxingqu" is the official anthem (see China)
   Economy    Macau Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Since opening up its locally-controlled casino industry to foreign competition in 2001, Macau has attracted tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment, transforming the territory into one of the world's largest gaming centers. Macau's gaming and tourism businesses were fueled by China''s decision to relax travel restrictions on Chinese citizens wishing to visit Macau. By 2006, Macau''s gaming revenue surpassed that of the Las Vegas strip, and gaming-related taxes accounted for more than 70% of total government revenue. Macau''s economy slowed dramatically in 2009 as a result of the global economic slowdown, but strong growth resumed in 2010-11, largely on the back of tourism from mainland China and the gaming sectors. In 2012, this city of 582,000 hosted nearly 28 million visitors. Almost 60% came from mainland China. Macau''s traditional manufacturing industry has slowed greatly since the termination of the Multi-Fiber Agreement in 2005. China is Macau''s second largest goods export market, behind Hong Kong, and followed by the United States. In 2012, exports were less than US$1 billion, while gaming receipts were US$38 billion, a 13.5% increase over 2011. Macau''s economy expanded by 10% in 2012; although impressive, it was a slower growth rate than in previous years. Macau continues to face the challenges of managing its growing casino industry, money-laundering, and the need to diversify the economy away from heavy dependence on gaming revenues. Macau''s currency, the pataca, is closely tied to the Hong Kong dollar, which is also freely accepted in the territory.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
$47.19 billion (2011 est.)
$42.9 billion (2011 est.)
$39 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$44.3 billion (2012 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
10% (2012 est.)
20.7% (2011 est.)
27% (2010 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
$82,400 (2011 est.)
$75,500 (2010 est.)
$69,700 (2009 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0 %
industry: 7 %
services: 93 % (2012 est.)
Labor force:

household consumption: 21.2%
government consumption: 7.1%
investment in fixed capital: 14%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 106.5%
imports of goods and services: -48.8% (2012 est.)
Labor force:

note: 356,700 (2012 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:

manufacturing: 3%
construction: 6.6%
transport and communications: 4.3%
wholesale and retail trade: 12.7%
restaurants and hotels: 15.5%
gambling: 15.1%
public sector: 7.1%
financial services: 2.2%
other services: 33.5% (2012 est.)
Unemployment rate:
1.9% (2012 est.) 2.6% (2011 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:

total: 5.8%
male: 7%
female: 4.7% (2011)
Population below poverty line:
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%
revenues: $16.06 billion
expenditures: $4.731 billion (2012 est.)
Taxes and other revenues:
36.2% of GDP (2012 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
25.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.2% (2012 est.) 5.8% (2011 est.)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
5.25% (31 December 2012 est.) 5.25% (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of narrow money:
$5.849 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $4.434 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$46.8 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $46.29 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$5.734 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $8.616 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
$85.5 billion (2 March 2012 est.) $46.1 billion (31 February 2011) $2.3 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
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:
8.4% (2012 est.)
Electricity - production:
561 million kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - consumption:
4.214 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - imports:
3.86 billion kWh (2012 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity:
472,000 kW (2012 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels:
100% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption:
7,522 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports:
5,948 bbl/day (2012 est.)
Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2012)
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2012 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
2.537 million Mt (2010 est.)
Current account balance:
$17.01 billion (2011 est.) $12.06 billion (2010 est.)
$1.02 billion (2012 est.) $871 million (2011 est.)
note: includes reexports
Exports - commodities:
clothing, textiles, footwear, toys, electronics, machinery and parts
Exports - partners:
Hong Kong 43.1%, China 16.3%, Sudan 13.4%, US 5.1% (2012)
$8.866 billion (2012 est.) $7.786 billion (2011 est.)
Imports - commodities:
raw materials and semi-manufactured goods, consumer goods (foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco), capital goods, mineral fuels and oils
Imports - partners:
China 32.3%, Hong Kong 15.6%, France 8%, Switzerland 7.7%, Italy 6.7%, Japan 5.5%, US 5% (2012)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$16.6 billion (31 December 2012 est.) $34.03 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
note: the Fiscal Reserves Act that came into force on 1 January 2012 requires the fiscal reserve to be separated from the foreign exchange reserves and to be managed separately; the transfer of assets took place in February 2012
Debt - external:
$0 (2012)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$14.9 billion (2010 est.) $13.6 billion (#REF! est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$672.1 million (2011 est.) $550.6 million (2010)
Exchange rates:
patacas (MOP) per US dollar - 7.9899 (2012 est.), 8.0182 (2011 est.), 8.0022 (2010 est.), 7.983 (2008), 8.011 (2007)
Fiscal year:
calendar year
   Communications    Macau Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
165,500 (2011)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
1.353 million (2011)
Telephone system:
general assessment: fairly modern communication facilities maintained for domestic and international services
domestic: termination of monopoly over mobile-cellular telephone services in 2001 spurred sharp increase in subscriptions with mobile-cellular teledensity exceeding 200 per 100 persons; fixed-line subscribership appears to have peaked and is now in decline
international: country code - 853; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; HF radiotelephone communication facility; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2011)
Broadcast media:
local government dominates broadcast media; 2 television stations operated by the government with one broadcasting in Portuguese and the other in Cantonese and Mandarin; 1 cable TV and 4 satellite TV services available; 3 radio stations broadcasting, of which 2 are government-operated (2012)
Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations:
0 (receives Hong Kong broadcasts) (1997)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
327 (2012)
Internet users:
270,200 (2009)
   Transportation    Macau Top of Page
1 (2013)
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2013)
2 (2013)
total: 413 km
paved: 413 km (2009)
Ports and terminals:
   Military    Macau Top of Page
Military branches:
no regular indigenous military forces
Manpower available for military service:

males age 16-49: 150,780 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 124,189
females age 16-49: 149,514 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 4,274
female: 3,674 (2010 est.)
Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of China
   Transnational Issues    Macau Top of Page
Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for drugs going into mainland China; consumer of opiates and amphetamines

This page was last updated on 14 May 2009


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