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  Introduction Back To Top

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 is a founding member of NATO and entered the EC (now the EU) in 1986.

  Geography Back To Top

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 11.09 cu km/yr (10%/12%/78%)
per capita: 1,056 cu m/yr (1998)

Total renewable water resources:
73.6 cu km (2005)

Land boundaries:
total: 1,214 km
border countries: Spain 1,214 km

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, 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, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Environmental Modification

maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south

Map references:

Geographic coordinates:
39 30 N, 8 00 W

Natural resources:
fish, forests (cork), iron ore, copper, zinc, tin, tungsten, silver, gold, uranium, marble, clay, gypsum, salt, arable land, hydropower

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

mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south

Geography - note:
Azores and Madeira Islands occupy strategic locations along western sea approaches to Strait of Gibraltar

total: 92,391 sq km
land: 91,951 sq km
water: 440 sq km
note: includes Azores and Madeira Islands

Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain

1,793 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Indiana

Irrigated land:
6,500 sq km (2003)

Environment - current issues:
soil erosion; air pollution caused by industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution, especially in coastal areas

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Natural hazards:
Azores subject to severe earthquakes

Land use:
arable land: 17.29%
permanent crops: 7.84%
other: 74.87% (2005)

  People Back To Top

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

Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female
total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
0.4% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
22,000 (2001 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 78.04 years
male: 74.78 years
female: 81.53 years (2008 est.)

definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.3%
male: 95.5%
female: 91.3% (2003 est.)

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

Ethnic groups:
homogeneous Mediterranean stock; citizens of black African descent who immigrated to mainland during decolonization number less than 100,000; since 1990 East Europeans have entered Portugal

Median age:
total: 39.1 years
male: 37 years
female: 41.3 years (2008 est.)

10,676,910 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
5.5% of GDP (2005)

Population growth rate:
0.305% (2008 est.)

Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official - but locally used)

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

Infant mortality rate:
total: 4.85 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.31 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
fewer than 1,000 (2003 est.)

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

Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.4% (male 912,995/female 835,715)
15-64 years: 66.2% (male 3,514,905/female 3,555,097)
65 years and over: 17.4% (male 764,443/female 1,093,755) (2008 est.)

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

Roman Catholic 84.5%, other Christian 2.2%, other 0.3%, unknown 9%, none 3.9% (2001 census)

noun: Portuguese (singular and plural)
adjective: Portuguese

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Thomas F. STEPHENSON
embassy: Avenida das Forcas Armadas, 1600-081 Lisbon
mailing address: Apartado 43033, 1601-301 Lisboa; PSC 83, APO AE 09726
telephone: [351] (21) 727-3300
FAX: [351] (21) 726-9109
consulate(s): Ponta Delgada (Azores)

National holiday:
Portugal Day (Day of Portugal), 10 June (1580); note - also called Camoes Day, the day that revered national poet Luis de Camoes (1524-80) died

18 years of age; universal

Government type:
republic; parliamentary democracy

Political pressure groups and leaders:
the media

Diplomatic representation in the US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Joao DE VALLERA
chancery: 2012 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
telephone: [1] (202) 350-5400
FAX: [1] (202) 462-3726
consulate(s) general: Boston, New York, Newark (New Jersey), San Francisco
consulate(s): New Bedford (Massachusetts), Providence (Rhode Island)

International organization participation:
ADB (nonregional members), AfDB (nonregional members), Australia Group, BIS, CE, CERN, CPLP, EAPC, EBRD, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURCAT, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIT, UNWTO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Legislative branch:
unicameral Assembly of the Republic or Assembleia da Republica (230 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
elections: last held 20 February 2005 (next to be held in Fall 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - PS 45.1%, PSD 28.7%, CDU 7.6%, CDS/PP 7.3%, BE 6.4%, other 4.9%; seats by party - PS 121, PSD 75, CDU 14, CDS/PP 12, BE 8

Legal system:
based on civil law system; the Constitutional Tribunal reviews the constitutionality of legislation; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations

Flag description:
two vertical bands of green (hoist side, two-fifths) and red (three-fifths) with the Portuguese coat of arms centered on the dividing line

1143 (Kingdom of Portugal recognized); 5 October 1910 (republic proclaimed)

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: Portuguese Republic
conventional short form: Portugal
local long form: Republica Portuguesa
local short form: Portugal

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic and Social Center/Popular Party or CDS/PP [Paulo PORTAS]; Green Ecologist Party (The Greens) or PEV [leadership commission elected by members]; Portuguese Communist Party or PCP [Jeronimo DE SOUSA]; Portuguese Socialist Party or PS [Jose SOCRATES Carvalho Pinto de Sousa]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Manuela FERREIRA LEITE]; The Left Bloc or BE [Franciso Anacleto LOUCA]; Unitarian Democratic Coalition or CDU [Jeronimo DE SOUSA] (includes PCP and PEV)

name: Lisbon
geographic coordinates: 38 43 N, 9 08 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

adopted 2 April 1976; note - subsequent revisions of the Constitution placed the military under strict civilian control, trimmed the powers of the president, and laid the groundwork for a stable, pluralistic liberal democracy; as well, they allowed for the privatization of nationalized firms and the government-owned communications media

Executive branch:
chief of state: President Anibal CAVACO SILVA (since 9 March 2006)
head of government: Prime Minister Jose SOCRATES Carvalho Pinto de Sousa (since 12 March 2005)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister
note: there is also a Council of State that acts as a consultative body to the president
elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held 22 January 2006 (next to be held in January 2011); following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president
election results: Anibal CAVACO SILVA elected president; percent of vote - Anibal CAVACO SILVA 50.6%, Manuel ALEGRE 20.7%, Mario Alberto Nobre Lopes SOARES 14.3%, Jeronimo DE SOUSA 8.5%, Franciso LOUCA 5.3%

Administrative divisions:
18 districts (distritos, singular - distrito) and 2 autonomous regions* (regioes autonomas, singular - regiao autonoma); Aveiro, Acores (Azores)*, Beja, Braga, Braganca, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Evora, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Lisboa (Lisbon), Madeira*, Portalegre, Porto, Santarem, Setubal, Viana do Castelo, Vila Real, Viseu

Judicial branch:
Supreme Court or Supremo Tribunal de Justica (judges appointed for life by the Conselho Superior da Magistratura)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
Spain 27.1%, Germany 12.9%, France 12.3%, UK 5.9%, US 4.8%, Angola 4.5%, Italy 4% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
48.02 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Electricity - imports:
8,371 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
-$23.97 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$461.2 billion (31 December 2007)

Unemployment rate:
7.6% (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
50,490 bbl/day (2005)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$22,000 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
21.9% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$451.9 billion (31 December 2007)

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$245 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$255.5 billion (2008 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index:
38.5 (2007)

Exchange rates:
euros (EUR) per US dollar - 0.6734 (2008 est.), 0.7345 (2007), 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
0.9% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
note: see entry for the European Union for money supply in the Euro Area; the European Central Bank (ECB) controls monetary policy for the 15 members of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU); individual members of the EMU do not control the quantity of money and quasi money circulating within their own borders

Labor force:
5.64 million (2008 est.)

Imports - partners:
Spain 29.5%, Germany 12.9%, France 8.4%, Italy 5.2%, Netherlands 4.6% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
2.9% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 3%
industry: 25.6%
services: 71.5% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
390,300 bbl/day (2005)

$57.8 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

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

Currency (code):
euro (EUR)

Economy - overview:
Portugal has become a diversified and increasingly service-based economy since joining the European Community in 1986. Over the past two decades, successive governments have privatized many state-controlled firms and liberalized key areas of the economy, including the financial and telecommunications sectors. The country qualified for the European Monetary Union (EMU) in 1998 and began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002 along with 11 other EU member economies. Economic growth had been above the EU average for much of the 1990s, but fell back in 2001-08. GDP per capita stands at roughly two-thirds of the EU-27 average. A poor educational system, in particular, has been an obstacle to greater productivity and growth. Portugal has been increasingly overshadowed by lower-cost producers in Central Europe and Asia as a target for foreign direct investment. The budget deficit surged to an all-time high of 6% of GDP in 2005, but the government reduced the deficit to 2.6% in 2007 - a year ahead of Portugal's targeted schedule. Nonetheless, the government faces tough choices in its attempts to boost the economy, which grew by 0.9% in 2008, while keeping the budget deficit within the eurozone's 3%-of-GDP ceiling.

Economic aid - donor:
ODA, $396 million (2006)

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

Imports - commodities:
agricultural products, food products, oil products, chemical products, plastics and rubber, skins and leather, wood and cork, wood pulp and paper, textile materials, clothing, footwear, minerals and mineral products, base metals, machinery and tools, vehicles and other transport material, and optical and precision instruments, computer accessories and parts, semi-conductors and related devices, household goods, passenger cars new and used, and wine products

textiles, clothing, footwear, wood and cork, paper, chemicals, auto-parts manufacturing, base metals, diary products, wine and other foods, porcelain and ceramics, glassware, technology, telecommunications; ship construction and refurbishment; tourism

Electricity - exports:
1.906 billion kWh (2007 est.)

Population below poverty line:
18% (2006)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
7.92% (31 December 2007)

Stock of quasi money:

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

$87.92 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
NA bbl

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 10%
industry: 30%
services: 60% (2007 est.)

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

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$11.55 billion (31 December 2007 est.)

Oil - consumption:
301,000 bbl/day (2007 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$69.24 billion (2008 est.)

Public debt:
64.2% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$118.1 billion (2008 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$132.3 billion (31 December 2007)

Currency code:

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 28.4% (1995 est.)

Exports - commodities:
agricultural products, food products, oil products, chemical products, plastics and rubber, skins and leather, wood and cork, wood pulp and paper, textile materials, clothing, footwear, minerals and mineral products, base metals, machinery and tools, vehicles and other transport material, and optical and precision

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 64.5%
hydro: 31.3%
nuclear: 0%
other: 4.1% (2001)

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

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

revenues: $108.6 billion
expenditures: $114.7 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
6,281 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
3.549 million (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
4.139 million (2007)

3.31 million (1997)

Internet country code:

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 47, FM 172 (many are repeaters), shortwave 2 (1998)

3.02 million (1997)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
13.413 million (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
62 (plus 166 repeaters; includes Azores and Madeira Islands) (1995)

Telephone system:
general assessment: Portugal's telephone system has achieved a state-of-the-art network with broadband, high-speed capabilities
domestic: integrated network of coaxial cables, open-wire, microwave radio relay, and domestic satellite earth stations
international: country code - 351; a combination of submarine cables provide connectivity to Europe, North and East Africa, South Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the US; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to Azores (1998)

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
16 (2000)

Internet hosts:
1.858 million (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

210 km (on Douro River from Porto) (2008)

gas 1,098 km; oil 11 km; refined products 188 km (2007)

total: 2,786 km
broad gauge: 2,603 km 1.668-m gauge (1,351 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 183 km 1.000-m gauge (2006)

Ports and terminals:
Leixoes, Lisbon, Setubal, Sines

Merchant marine:
total: 117
by type: bulk carrier 10, cargo 36, carrier 1, chemical tanker 15, container 6, liquefied gas 9, passenger 10, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 4, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1, vehicle carrier 15
foreign-owned: 84 (Bahamas 1, Belgium 7, Belgium 1, Denmark 3, Germany 20, Greece 4, Hong Kong 2, Italy 12, Japan 15, Mexico 1, Netherlands 1, Spain 11, Sweden 3, Switzerland 2, US 1)
registered in other countries: 15 (Cyprus 1, Hong Kong 1, Italy 1, Malta 3, Panama 9) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
total: 44
over 3,047 m: 5
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 12 (2007)

total: 82,900 km
paved: 71,294 km (includes 2,300 km of expressways)
unpaved: 11,606 km (2005)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 22
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 21 (2007)

66 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; compulsory military service ended in 2004; women serve in the armed forces, on naval ships since 1993, but are prohibited from serving in some combatant specialties; reserve obligation to age 35 (2007)

Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,573,913
females age 16-49: 2,498,262 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,099,647
females age 16-49: 2,060,559 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Portuguese Army (Exercito Portugues), Portuguese Navy (Marinha Portuguesa; includes Marine Corps), Portuguese Air Force (Forca Aerea Portuguesa, FAP) (2008)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 64,910
female: 58,599 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
2.3% of GDP (2005 est.)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
Portugal does not recognize Spanish sovereignty over the territory of Olivenza based on a difference of interpretation of the 1815 Congress of Vienna and the 1801 Treaty of Badajoz

Illicit drugs:
seizing record amounts of Latin American cocaine destined for Europe; a European gateway for Southwest Asian heroin; transshipment point for hashish from North Africa to Europe; consumer of Southwest Asian heroin

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