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  Introduction Back To Top

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 socialist economic system would not be practiced in Macau, and that Macau would enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all matters except foreign and defense affairs for the next 50 years.

  Geography Back To Top

Land boundaries:
total: 0.34 km
regional border: China 0.34 km

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Marine Dumping (associate member), Ship Pollution (associate member)

subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers

Map references:
Southeast Asia

Geographic coordinates:
22 10 N, 113 33 E

Natural resources:

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Coloane Alto 172.4 m

generally flat

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

total: 28.2 sq km
land: 28.2 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China

41 km

Area - comparative:
less than one-sixth the size of Washington, DC

Irrigated land:

Environment - current issues:

Maritime claims:
not specified

Natural hazards:

Land use:
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
0.9 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 84.33 years
male: 81.36 years
female: 87.45 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 91.3%
male: 95.3%
female: 87.8% (2001 census)

Net migration rate:
26.21 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Ethnic groups:
Chinese 94.3%, other 5.7% (includes Macanese (mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry)) (2006 census)

Median age:
total: 35 years
male: 35.6 years
female: 34.5 years (2008 est.)

545,674 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
2.4% of GDP (2005)

Population growth rate:
3.148% (2008 est.)

Cantonese 85.7%, Hokkien 4%, Mandarin 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 2.7%, English 1.5%, Tagalog 1.3%, other 1.6% (2001 census)

Death rate:
3.43 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
total: 3.23 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 3.39 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 3.07 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 15 years
male: 16 years
female: 14 years (2006)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.5% (male 47,935/female 42,301)
15-64 years: 75.8% (male 193,571/female 220,108)
65 years and over: 7.7% (male 19,340/female 22,419) (2008 est.)

Birth rate:
8.69 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none and other 35% (1997 est.)

noun: Chinese
adjective: Chinese

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
the US has no offices in Macau; US Consulate General in Hong Kong is accredited to Macau

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

direct election 18 years of age for some non-executive positions, 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

Government type:
limited democracy

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Civic Power [Agnes LAM Lok-fong]; Macau Society of Tourism and Entertainment or STDM [Stanley HO]; Macau Worker's Union [HO Heng-kuok]; Roman Catholic Church; Union for Democracy Development [Antonio NG Kuok-cheong]

Diplomatic representation in the US:
none (special administrative region of China)

Dependency status:
special administrative region of China

International organization participation:
IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), ISO (correspondent), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCO, WFTU, WMO, WTO

Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Assembly (29 seats; 12 members elected by popular vote, 10 by indirect vote, and 7 appointed by the chief executive; to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 25 September 2005 (next to be held in the fall of 2009)
election results: percent of vote - New Democratic Macau Association 18.8%, Macau United Citizens' Association 16.6%, Union for Development 13.3%, Union for Promoting Progress 9.6%, Macau Development Alliance 9.3%, others 32.4%; seats by political group - New Democratic Macau Association 2, Macau United Citizens' Association 2, Union for Development 2, Union for Promoting Progress 2, Macau Development Alliance 1, others 3; 10 seats filled by professional and business groups; seven members appointed by chief executive

Legal system:
based on Portuguese civil law system

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

none (special administrative region of China)

Country name (Goverment):
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)

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
note: there is no political party ordinance, so there are no registered political parties; politically active groups register as societies or companies

Basic Law, approved on 31 March 1993 by China's National People's Congress, is Macau's "mini-constitution"

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 on 28 June 2009)
election results: Edmund HO Hau-wah reelected received 296 votes; three members submitted blank ballots; one member was absent

Administrative divisions:
none (special administrative region of the People's Republic of China)

Judicial branch:
Court of Final Appeal in Macau Special Administrative Region

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
US 40.6%, China 14.8%, Hong Kong 13.1%, Germany 6.4%, UK 4% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
2.984 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Electricity - imports:
1.683 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Debt - external:
$0 (2006)

Unemployment rate:
3.1% (2006)

Oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$28,400 (2006)

Stock of domestic credit:

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$16.78 billion (2007 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$19.2 billion (2007)

Exchange rates:
patacas (MOP) per US dollar - 8.011 (2007), 8.0015 (2006), 8.011 (2005), 8.022 (2004), 8.021 (2003)

GDP - real growth rate:
27.3% (2007)

Stock of money:
$1.16 billion (31 December 2007)

Labor force:
322,800 (2007)

Imports - partners:
China 42.6%, Hong Kong 10.1%, Japan 9%, US 5.6%, Germany 4.4%, France 4.2% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
8.8% (October 2008)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 0.1%
industry: 3.9%
services: 96% (2006 est.)

Oil - imports:
13,870 bbl/day (2006)

$2.557 billion f.o.b.; note - includes reexports (2006)

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
pataca (MOP)

Economy - overview:
Macau's economy has enjoyed strong growth in recent years on the back of its expanding tourism and gaming sectors. In 2008, the economy slowed sharply because of tougher Chinese visa requirements for mainland tourists and the global financial crisis. After opening up its locally-controlled casino industry to foreign competition in 2001, the territory attracted tens of billions of dollars in foreign investment that helped transform it into the world's largest gaming center. In 2006, Macau's gaming revenue surpassed that of the Las Vegas strip, and gaming-related taxes accounted for 75% of total government revenue. The expanding casino sector, and China's decision beginning in 2002 to relax travel restrictions, reenergized Macau's tourism industry, which saw total visitors grow to 27 million in 2007 up 62% in three years. In 2008, however, Beijing implemented a series of increasing restrictions on mainland travel to the enclave in an effort to clamp down on official corruption, stalling Macau's tourism growth and putting pressure on gaming revenues. Macau's traditional manufacturing industry has been in a slow decline. In 2006, exports of textiles and garments generated only $1.8 billion compared to $6.9 billion in gross gaming receipts. Macau's textile industry will continue to move to the mainland because of the termination in 2005 of the Multi-Fiber Agreement, which provided a near guarantee of export markets, leaving the territory more dependent on gambling and trade-related services to generate growth. However, 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. Macau's currency, the Pataca, is closely tied to the Hong Kong dollar, which is also freely accepted in the territory.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
raw materials and semi-manufactured goods, consumer goods (foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco), capital goods, mineral fuels and oils

tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, footwear, toys

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
7.81% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:
$21.91 billion (31 December 2007)

Electricity - production:
1.454 billion kWh (2007 est.)

$4.559 billion c.i.f. (2006)

Oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2006 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
manufacturing 11.1%, construction 11.7%, transport and communications 6.3%, wholesale and retail trade 13.7%, restaurants and hotels 11.3%, gambling 19.8%, public sector 7.7%, financial services 2.6%, other services and agriculture 15.7% (2006 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2006 est.)

Oil - consumption:
16,570 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$1.1 billion (2006)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$6.5 billion (2006)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$413.1 million (2004)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Exports - commodities:
clothing, textiles, footwear, toys, electronics, machinery and parts

Economic aid - recipient:
$13.7 million (2004)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

revenues: $4.6 billion
expenditures: $3.4 billion (2006)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
300,000 (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
177,851 (2008)

49,000 (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 0, FM 2, shortwave 0 (1998)

160,000 (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
856,200 (2008)

Television broadcast stations:
1 (2006)

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 approaching 190 per 100 persons in 2008; 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) (2008)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
1 (2000)

Internet hosts:
263 (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Ports and terminals:

1 (2007)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 1
over 3,047 m: 1 (2007)

total: 384 km
paved: 384 km (2006)

1 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 121,825 (2008 est.)

Military - note:
defense is the responsibility of China

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 100,826 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
no regular military forces; defense is the responsibility of China (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 4,601
female: 4,171 (2008 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:

Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for drugs going into mainland China; consumer of opiates and amphetamines

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