East Asia/Southeast Asia :: Macau
  • Introduction :: Macau
  • Background:
    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 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 subsequent 50 years.
  • Geography :: Macau
  • Location:
    Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China
    Geographic coordinates:
    22 10 N, 113 33 E
    Map references:
    Southeast Asia
    Area:
    total: 28.2 sq km
    land: 28.2 sq km
    water: 0 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 237
    Area - comparative:
    less than one-sixth the size of Washington, DC
    Land boundaries:
    total: 3 km
    regional borders (1): China 3 km
    Coastline:
    41 km
    Maritime claims:
    not specified
    Climate:
    subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers
    Terrain:
    generally flat
    Elevation:
    0 m lowest point: South China Sea
    172 highest point: Alto Coloane
    Natural resources:
    NEGL
    Land use:
    agricultural land: 0% (2011 est.)
    arable land: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent crops: 0% (2011 est.) / permanent pasture: 0% (2011 est.)
    forest: 0% (2011 est.)
    other: 100% (2011 est.)
    Irrigated land:
    0 sq km (2012)
    Population distribution:
    population fairly equally distributed
    Natural hazards:
    typhoons
    Environment - current issues:
    air pollution; coastal waters pollution; insufficient policies in reducing and recycling solid wastes; increasing population density worsening noise pollution
    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 and Society :: Macau
  • Population:
    606,340 (July 2017 est.) (July 2018 est.)

    note: Macau's statistical agency estimated the total population to be approximately 648,550 as of September 2017

    country comparison to the world: 170
    Nationality:
    noun: Chinese
    adjective: Chinese
    Ethnic groups:
    Chinese 88.7%, Portuguese 1.1%, mixed 1.1%, other 9.2% (includes Macanese - mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry) (2016 est.)
    Languages:
    Cantonese 80.1%, Mandarin 5.5%, other Chinese dialects 5.3%, Tagalog 3%, English 2.8%, Portuguese 0.6%, other 2.8% (2016 est.)

    note: Chinese and Portuguese are official languages

    Religions:
    folk religion 58.9%, Buddhist 17.3%, Christian 7.2%, other 1.2%, none 15.4% (2010 est.)
    Age structure:
    0-14 years: 13.92% (male 43,730 /female 40,651)
    15-24 years: 11.22% (male 35,874 /female 32,146)
    25-54 years: 49.75% (male 134,301 /female 167,359)
    55-64 years: 13.95% (male 42,409 /female 42,174)
    65 years and over: 11.16% (male 31,689 /female 36,007) (2018 est.)
    population pyramid: population pyramid
    Dependency ratios:
    total dependency ratio: 26.6 (2015 est.)
    youth dependency ratio: 15.7 (2015 est.)
    elderly dependency ratio: 10.9 (2015 est.)
    potential support ratio: 9.2 (2015 est.)
    Median age:
    total: 39.8 years
    male: 39.9 years
    female: 39.7 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 51
    Population growth rate:
    0.71% (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 141
    Birth rate:
    8.4 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 217
    Death rate:
    4.6 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 203
    Net migration rate:
    3.3 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 32
    Population distribution:
    population fairly equally distributed
    Urbanization:
    urban population: 100% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 1.63% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    Sex ratio:
    at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    0-14 years: 1.09 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    15-24 years: 1.11 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    25-54 years: 0.8 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    55-64 years: 1.01 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    65 years and over: 0.88 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    Infant mortality rate:
    total: 3.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    male: 3.2 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    female: 2.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    Life expectancy at birth:
    total population: 84.6 years (2018 est.)
    male: 81.6 years (2018 est.)
    female: 87.7 years (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    Total fertility rate:
    0.95 children born/woman (2018 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 223
    Physicians density:
    2.41 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
    HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
    NA
    HIV/AIDS - deaths:
    NA
    Education expenditures:
    3% of GDP (2015)
    country comparison to the world: 144
    Literacy:
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write (2016 est.)
    total population: 96.5% (2016 est.)
    male: 98.2% (2016 est.)
    female: 95% (2016 est.)
    School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
    total: 15 years (2015)
    male: 14 years (2015)
    female: 15 years (2015)
    Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
    total: 5.1% (2016 est.)
    male: 6.5% (2016 est.)
    female: 2.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
  • Government :: Macau
  • 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)
    etymology: name is thought to derive from the A-Ma Temple - built in 1488 and dedicated to Mazu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen - which is referred to locally as "Maa Gok" - and in Portuguese became "Macau"; the Chinese name Aomen means "inlet gates"
    Dependency status:
    special administrative region of the People's Republic of China
    Government type:
    presidential limited democracy; a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China
    Administrative divisions:
    none (special administrative region of the People's Republic of China)
    Independence:
    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
    Constitution:
    history: previous 1976 (Organic Statute of Macau, under Portuguese authority); latest adopted 31 March 1993, effective 20 December 1999 (Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China serves as Macau's constitution) (2018)
    amendments: proposed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the People’s Republic of China State Council, and the Macau Special Administrative Region; submittal of proposals to the NPC requires two-thirds majority vote by the Legislative Assembly of Macau, approval by two-thirds of Macau's deputies to the NPC, and consent of the Macau chief executive; final passage requires approval by the NPC; amended 2005, 2012 (2018)
    Citizenship:
    see China
    Suffrage:
    18 years of age in direct elections for some legislative positions, universal for permanent residents living in Macau for the past 7 years; note - indirect elections are limited to organizations registered as "corporate voters" and an election committee for the chief executive drawn from broad regional groupings, municipal organizations, central government bodies, and elected Macau officials
    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President of China XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013)
    head of government: Chief Executive Fernando CHUI Sai On (since 20 December 2009)
    cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the chief executive
    elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by National People's Congress for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 March 2018 (next to be held in March 2023);chief executive chosen by a 400-member Election Committee for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 29 August 2014 (next to be held in 2019);
    election results: Fernando CHUI Sai On reelected chief executive; Election Committee vote - 380 of 396
    Legislative branch:
    description: unicameral Legislative Council or Regiao Administrativa Especial de Macau (33 seats; 14 members directly elected by proportional representation vote, 12 indirectly elected by an electoral college of professional and commercial interest groups, and 7 appointed by the chief executive; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 17 September 2017 (next to be held in 2021)
    election results: percent of vote - UMG 10%, UPD 9.7%, ACUM 8.6%, NE 8.3%, UPP 7.2, ANMD 6.6%, NUDM 6.1%, ACDM 5.9%, APMD 5.8%, Civic Watch 5.6%, ABL 5.5%, ANPM 5.3%, other 15.4%; seats by political group - UMG 2, UPD 2, ABL 1, ACDM 1, ACUM 1, ANMD 1, ANPM 1, APMD 1, Civic Watch 1, NE 1, NUDM 1, UPP 1; 12 seats filled by professional and business groups; 7 members appointed by the chief executive
    Judicial branch:
    highest courts: Court of Final Appeal of Macau Special Administrative Region (consists of the court president and 2 associate justices)
    judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the Macau chief executive upon the recommendation of an independent commission of judges, lawyers, and "eminent" persons; judge tenure NA
    subordinate courts: Court of Second Instance; Court of First instance; Lower Court; Administrative Court
    Political parties and leaders:
    Alliance for Change or APM [Melinda CHAN Mei-yi]
    Alliance for a Happy Home or ABL [WONG Kit-cheng] (an electoral list of UPP)
    Civic Watch or Civico [Agnes LAM Iok-fong]
    Macau-Guangdong Union or UMG [MAK Soi-kun]
    Macau Citizens' Development Association or ACDM [Becky SONG Pek-kei] (an electoral list of ACUM)New Democratic Macau Association or ANMD [AU Kam-san]
    New Hope or NE [Jose Maria Pereira COUTINHO]
    New Macau Association (New Macau Progressives) or AMN or ANPM [Sulu SOU Ka-hou]
    New Union for Macau's Development or NUDM [Angela LEONG On-kei]
    Prosperous Democratic Macau Association or APMD (an electoral list of AMN)
    Union for Development or UPD [Ella LEI Cheng-I]
    Union for Promoting Progress or UPP [HO Ion-sang]
    United Citizens Association of Macau or ACUM [CHAN Meng-kam]

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

    International organization participation:
    ICC (national committees), IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), Interpol (subbureau), ISO (correspondent), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCO, WMO, 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 colors: green, white, yellow
    National anthem:

    note: as a Special Administrative Region of China, "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" is the official anthem (see China)

  • Economy :: Macau
  • 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. In 2016, Macau's gaming-related taxes accounted for more than 76% of total government revenue.

    Macau's economy slowed dramatically in 2009 as a result of the global economic slowdown, but strong growth resumed in the 2010-13 period, largely on the back of tourism from mainland China and the gaming sectors. In 2015, this city of 646,800 hosted nearly 30.7 million visitors. Almost 67% came from mainland China. Macau's traditional manufacturing industry has slowed greatly since the termination of the Multi-Fiber Agreement in 2005. Services export — primarily gaming — increasingly has driven Macau’s economic performance. Mainland China’s anti-corruption campaign brought Macau’s gambling boom to a halt in 2014, with spending in casinos contracting 34.3% in 2015. As a result, Macau's inflation-adjusted GDP contracted 21.5% in 2015 and another 2.1% in 2016 - down from double-digit expansion rates in the period 2010-13 - but the economy recovered handsomely in 2017.

    Macau continues to face the challenges of managing its growing casino industry, risks from money-laundering activities, 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):
    $71.82 billion (2017 est.)
    $65.84 billion (2016 est.)
    $66.41 billion (2015 est.)

    note: data are in 2017 dollars

    country comparison to the world: 98
    GDP (official exchange rate):
    $50.36 billion (2017 est.) (2017 est.)
    GDP - real growth rate:
    9.1% (2017 est.)
    -0.9% (2016 est.)
    -21.6% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    GDP - per capita (PPP):
    $110,000 (2017 est.)
    $102,100 (2016 est.)
    $102,600 (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 4
    GDP - composition, by end use:
    household consumption: 24.2% (2017 est.)
    government consumption: 9.9% (2017 est.)
    investment in fixed capital: 18.5% (2017 est.)
    investment in inventories: 0.8% (2017 est.)
    exports of goods and services: 79.4% (2017 est.)
    imports of goods and services: -32% (2017 est.)
    GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
    agriculture: 0% (2016 est.)
    industry: 6.3% (2017 est.)
    services: 93.7% (2017 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
    Industries:
    tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, footwear, toys
    Industrial production growth rate:
    2% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Labor force:
    400,000 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 159
    Labor force - by occupation:
    agriculture: 2.5% (2013 est.)
    industry: 9.8% (2013 est.)
    services: 4.4% (2013 est.)
    industry and services: 12.4% (2013 est.)
    agriculture/fishing/forestry/mining: 15% (2013 est.)
    manufacturing: 25.9% (2013 est.)
    construction: 7.1% (2013 est.)
    transportation and utilities: 2.6% (2013 est.)
    commerce: 20.3%
    Unemployment rate:
    2% (2017 est.)
    1.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Population below poverty line:
    NA
    Household income or consumption by percentage share:
    lowest 10%: NA
    highest 10%: NA
    Distribution of family income - Gini index:
    35 (2013)
    38 (2008)
    country comparison to the world: 98
    Budget:
    revenues: 14.71 billion (2017 est.)
    expenditures: 9.684 billion (2017 est.)
    Taxes and other revenues:
    29.2% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
    10% (of GDP) (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 2
    Public debt:
    0% of GDP (2017 est.)
    0% of GDP (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 210
    Fiscal year:
    calendar year
    Inflation rate (consumer prices):
    1.2% (2017 est.)
    2.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 65
    Commercial bank prime lending rate:
    5.25% (31 December 2017 est.)
    5.25% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    Stock of narrow money:
    $8.866 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $7.858 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    Stock of broad money:
    $8.866 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $7.858 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    Stock of domestic credit:
    $18.24 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $17.16 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    Market value of publicly traded shares:
    $85.5 billion (2 March 2012 est.)
    $2.3 billion (31 December 2008 est.)
    $46.1 billion (31 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Current account balance:
    $16.75 billion (2017 est.)
    $12.22 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    Exports:
    $1.137 billion (2013 est.)

    note: includes reexports

    country comparison to the world: 155
    Exports - commodities:
    clothing, textiles, footwear, toys, electronics, machinery and parts
    Exports - partners:
    Hong Kong 58.5%, China 18.8% (2017)
    Imports:
    $0 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 223
    Imports - commodities:
    raw materials and semi-manufactured goods, consumer goods (foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco, garments and footwear, motor vehicles), capital goods, mineral fuels and oils
    Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
    $20.17 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $18.89 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

    note: the Fiscal Reserves Act that came into force on 1 January 2012 requires the fiscal reserves to be separated from the foreign exchange reserves and to be managed separately; the transfer of assets took place in February 2012

    country comparison to the world: 59
    Imports - partners:
    China 33.9%, Italy 9.3%, Hong Kong 9%, France 7.5%, Switzerland 7.4%, Japan 7.2%, US 4.4% (2017)
    Debt - external:
    $0 (31 December 2013)
    $0 (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
    $18.91 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $14.91 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
    $1.166 billion (2012 est.)
    $667.8 million (2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 89
    Exchange rates:
    patacas (MOP) per US dollar -
    8 (2017 est.)
    7.9951 (2016 est.)
    7.9951 (2015 est.)
    7.985 (2014 est.)
    7.9871 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: Macau
  • Electricity access:
    population without electricity: 59,742 (2012)
    electrification - total population: 91% (2012)
    electrification - urban areas: 91% (2012)
    electrification - rural areas: 72% (2012)
    Electricity - production:
    904 million kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 154
    Electricity - consumption:
    4.834 billion kWh (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 121
    Electricity - exports:
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Electricity - imports:
    4.306 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 44
    Electricity - installed generating capacity:
    472,000 kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 146
    Electricity - from fossil fuels:
    100% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 132
    Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 184
    Electricity - from other renewable sources:
    0% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 196
    Crude oil - production:
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 161
    Crude oil - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Crude oil - imports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    Crude oil - proved reserves:
    0 bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 160
    Refined petroleum products - production:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 168
    Refined petroleum products - consumption:
    12,700 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    Refined petroleum products - exports:
    0 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    Refined petroleum products - imports:
    10,760 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    Natural gas - production:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 162
    Natural gas - consumption:
    355,000 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 114
    Natural gas - exports:
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    Natural gas - imports:
    371,000 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    Natural gas - proved reserves:
    0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 165
    Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
    1.8 million Mt (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 152
  • Communications :: Macau
  • Telephones - fixed lines:
    total subscriptions: 142,000 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 24 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    Telephones - mobile cellular:
    total subscriptions: 1,969,972 (July 2016 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 327 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Telephone system:
    general assessment: fairly modern communication facilities maintained for domestic and international services (2016)
    domestic: termination of monopoly over mobile-cellular telephone services in 2001 spurred sharp increase in subscriptions with mobile-cellular teledensity exceeding 300 per 100 persons; fixed-line subscribership appears to have peaked and is now in decline (2016)
    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) (2016)
    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 (2015)
    Internet country code:
    .mo
    Internet users:
    total: 460,000 (July 2016 est.)
    percent of population: 77.6% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 150
    Broadband - fixed subscriptions:
    total: 177,959 (2017 est.)
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 30 (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
  • Transportation :: Macau
  • National air transport system:
    number of registered air carriers: 1 (registered in China) (2015)
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 17 (registered in China) (2015)
    annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 2,276,436 (2015)
    annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 25.435 million mt-km (2015)
    Civil aircraft registration country code prefix:
    B-M (2016)
    Airports:
    1 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 227
    Airports - with paved runways:
    total: 1 (2017)
    over 3,047 m: 1 (2017)
    Heliports:
    2 (2013)
    Roadways:
    total: 427 km (2016)
    paved: 427.4 km (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 200
    Merchant marine:
    total: 1 (2017)
    by type: other 1 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 174
    Ports and terminals:
    major seaport(s): Macau
  • Military and Security :: Macau
  • Military branches:
    no regular indigenous military forces
    Military - note:
    defense is the responsibility of China
  • Transnational Issues :: Macau
  • Disputes - international:
    none
    Illicit drugs:
    transshipment point for drugs going into mainland China; consumer of opiates and amphetamines