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Introduction - Portugal:




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.

Location - Portugal:


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

Geographic coordinates

39 30 N, 8 00 W

Map references



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

Area comparative

slightly smaller than Indiana

Land boundaries

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


1,793 km

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


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


mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south

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

Natural resources

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

Land use

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

Irrigated land

6,500 sq km (2003)

Natural hazards

Azores subject to severe earthquakes

Environment current issues

soil erosion; air pollution caused by industrial and vehicle emissions; water pollution, especially in coastal areas

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

Geography note

Azores and Madeira Islands occupy strategic locations along western sea approaches to Strait of Gibraltar

People - Portugal:


10,642,836 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 16.5% (male 914,480/female 837,525)
15-64 years: 66.3% (male 3,501,206/female 3,551,706)
65 years and over: 17.3% (male 757,220/female 1,080,699) (2007 est.)

Median age

total: 38.8 years
male: 36.7 years
female: 41 years (2007 est.)

Population growth rate

0.334% (2007 est.)

Birth rate

10.59 births/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Death rate

10.56 deaths/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Net migration rate

3.31 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2007 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.092 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.986 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.701 male(s)/female
total population: 0.946 male(s)/female (2007 est.)

Infant mortality rate

total: 4.92 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.38 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 4.42 deaths/1,000 live births (2007 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 77.87 years
male: 74.6 years
female: 81.36 years (2007 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.48 children born/woman (2007 est.)

Hiv aids adult prevalence rate

0.4% (2001 est.)

Hiv aids people living with hiv aids

22,000 (2001 est.)

Hiv aids deaths

less than 1,000 (2003 est.)


noun: Portuguese (singular and plural)
adjective: Portuguese

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


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


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


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

Government - Portugal:

Country name

conventional long form: Portuguese Republic
conventional short form: Portugal
local long form: Republica Portuguesa
local short form: Portugal

Government type

parliamentary democracy


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

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


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

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


adopted 2 April 1976; effective 25 April 1976; revised many times

Legal system

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


18 years of age; universal

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%

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 February 2009)
election results: percent of vote by party - PS 45.1%, PSD 28.7%, CDU 7.6%, PP 7.3%, BE 6.4%, other 4.9%; seats by party - PS 121, PSD 75, CDU 14, PP 12, BE 8

Judicial branch

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

Political parties and leaders

Green Ecologist Party or PEV [Heloisa Augusta Baiao de Brito APOLONIA]; Popular Party or PP [Paulo PORTAS]; Portuguese Communist Party or PCP [Jeronimo DE SOUSA]; Portuguese Socialist Party or PS [Jose SOCRATES Carvalho Pinto de Sousa]; Social Democratic Party or PSD [Luis Manuel Goncalves Marques MENDES]; The Left Bloc or BE [Franciso Anacleto LOUCA]; Unitarian Democratic Coalition or CDU [Jeronimo DE SOUSA] (includes PEV and PCP)

Political pressure groups and leaders


International organization participation


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)

Diplomatic representation from the us

chief of mission: Ambassador Alfred J. HOFFMAN Jr.
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)

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

Economy - Portugal:

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 2001-06. GDP per capita stands at roughly two-thirds of the EU-25 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 was reduced to 4.6% in 2006. The government faces tough choices in its attempts to boost Portugals economic competitiveness while keeping the budget deficit within the eurozones 3%-of-GDP ceiling.

Gdp purchasing power parity

$210.1 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp official exchange rate

$176.8 billion (2006 est.)

Gdp real growth rate

1.3% (2006 est.)

Gdp per capita ppp

$19,800 (2006 est.)

Gdp composition by sector

agriculture: 6.6%
industry: 28.6%
services: 64.9% (2006 est.)

Labor force

5.58 million (2006)

Labor force by occupation

agriculture: 10%
industry: 30%
services: 60% (2001 est.)

Unemployment rate

7.6% (2006 est.)

Population below poverty line


Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.1%
highest 10%: 28.4% (1995 est.)

Distribution of family income gini index

38.5 (1997)

Inflation rate consumer prices

2.5% (2006 est.)

Investment gross fixed

20.9% of GDP (2006 est.)


revenues: $83.89 billion
expenditures: $93.09 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2006 est.)

Public debt

67.4% of GDP (2006 est.)

Agriculture products

grain, potatoes, tomatoes, olives, grapes; sheep, cattle, goats, swine, poultry, dairy products; fish


textiles and footwear; wood pulp, paper, and cork; metals and metalworking; oil refining; chemicals; fish canning; rubber and plastic products; ceramics; electronics and communications equipment; rail transportation equipment; aerospace equipment; ship construction and refurbishment; wine; tourism

Industrial production growth rate

0.9% (2006 est.)

Electricity production

42.52 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity consumption

46.05 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity exports

2.1 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity imports

8.6 billion kWh (2004)

Oil production

NA bbl/day

Oil consumption

332,000 bbl/day (2004)

Oil exports

43,070 bbl/day (2004)

Oil imports

361,300 bbl/day (2004)

Oil proved reserves

0 bbl

Natural gas production

0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas consumption

4.297 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas exports

0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural gas imports

4.46 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Current account balance

-$16.75 billion (2006 est.)


$46.77 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Exports commodities

clothing and footwear, machinery, chemicals, cork and paper products, hides

Exports partners

Spain 26.5%, Germany 12.9%, France 12%, UK 6.7%, US 6.1% (2006)


$67.74 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.)

Imports commodities

machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum, textiles, agricultural products

Imports partners

Spain 29%, Germany 13.1%, France 8.1%, Italy 5.6%, Netherlands 4.4% (2006)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$9.88 billion (December 2006 est.)

Economic aid donor

ODA, $271 million (1995)

Debt external

$272.2 billion (30 September 2006 est.)

Currency code

euro (EUR)
note: on 1 January 1999, the European Monetary Union introduced the euro as a common currency to be used by financial institutions of member countries; on 1 January 2002, the euro became the sole currency for everyday transactions within the member countries

Exchange rates

euros per US dollar - 0.7964 (2006), 0.8041 (2005), 0.8054 (2004), 0.886 (2003), 1.0626 (2002)

Communications - Portugal:

Fiscal year

calendar year

Telephones main lines in use

4.231 million (2006)

Telephones mobile cellular

12.226 million (2006)

Telephone system

general assessment: Portugals 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; 6 submarine cables; satellite earth stations - 3 Intelsat (2 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean), NA Eutelsat; tropospheric scatter to Azores; note - an earth station for Inmarsat (Atlantic Ocean region) is planned (1998)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 47, FM 172 (many are repeaters), shortwave 2 (1998)

Television broadcast stations

62 (plus 166 repeaters; includes Azores and Madeira Islands) (1995)

Internet country code


Internet hosts

845,980 (2005)

Internet users

3.213 million (2006)

Transportation - Portugal:


66 (2006)

Airports with paved runways

total: 43
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: 11 (2006)

Airports with unpaved runways

total: 23
914 to 1,523 m: 1
under 914 m: 22 (2006)


gas 1,099 km; oil 8 km; refined products 174 km (2006)


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)


total: 78,470 km
paved: 67,484 km (includes 2,002 km of expressways)
unpaved: 10,986 km (2004)


210 km (on Douro River from Porto) (2006)

Merchant marine

total: 111 ships (1000 GRT or over) 1,077,300 GRT/1,363,435 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 11, cargo 27, chemical tanker 15, container 7, liquefied gas 11, passenger 9, passenger/cargo 10, petroleum tanker 8, roll on/roll off 4, vehicle carrier 9
foreign-owned: 82 (Australia 1, Belgium 8, Cyprus 1, Denmark 4, Germany 17, Greece 4, Italy 12, Japan 9, Malta 1, Mexico 1, Netherlands 1, Norway 4, Spain 15, Switzerland 3, US 1)
registered in other countries: 16 (Cyprus 2, Hong Kong 1, Malta 3, Panama 10) (2006)

Ports and terminals

Leixoes, Lisbon, Setubal, Sines

Military - Portugal:

Military branches

Army, Navy (Marinha Portuguesa; includes Marine Corps), Air Force (Forca Aerea Portuguesa, FAP), National Republican Guard (Guarda Nacional Republicana) (2005)

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 (2005)

Manpower available for military service

males age 18-49: 2,435,042
females age 18-49: 2,405,816 (2005 est.)

Manpower fit for military service

males age 18-49: 1,952,819
females age 18-49: 1,977,264 (2005 est.)

Manpower reaching military service age annually

males age 18-49: 67,189
females age 18-49: 60,626 (2005 est.)

Military expenditures percent of gdp

2.3% (2005 est.)

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

This page was last updated on 16 September, 2007
Source: CIA >>>

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