Country Summary

2022 population pyramid



Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first European settlement in the Far East. Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China in 1999. 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.



total: 28 sq km
land: 28.2 sq km
water: 0 sq km


subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers

Natural resources


People and Society


639,971 (2023 est.)

Ethnic groups

Chinese 88.7%, Portuguese 1.1%, mixed 1.1%, other 9.2% (includes Macanese - mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry) (2016 est.)


Cantonese 80.1%, Mandarin 5.5%, other Chinese dialects 5.3%, Tagalog 3%, English 2.8%, Portuguese 0.6%, other 2.8%; note - Chinese and Portuguese are official languages; Macanese, a Portuguese-based Creole, is also spoken (2016 est.)


folk religion 58.9%, Buddhist 17.3%, Christian 7.2%, other 1.2%, none 15.4% (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.71% (2023 est.)


Government type

executive-led limited democracy; a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China

Executive branch

chief of state: President of China XI Jinping (since 14 March 2013)
head of government: Chief Executive HO lat Seng (since 20 December 2019)

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Legislative Assembly 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)


Economic overview

high-income, Chinese special administrative region economy; known for apparel exports and gambling tourism; currency pegged to Hong Kong dollar; significant recession due to 2015 Chinese anticorruption campaign; COVID-19 further halved economic activity

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$44.49 billion (2021 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$64,800 (2021 est.)

Agricultural products

pork, poultry, beef, pig fat, pig offals, eggs, pepper, cattle offals, cattle hides, goose/guinea fowl meat


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


$26.625 billion (2021 est.)

Exports - partners

Hong Kong 66%, China 9% (2019)

Exports - commodities

broadcasting equipment, jewelry, watches, trunks/cases, telephones (2019)


$22.788 billion (2021 est.)

Imports - partners

China 33%, Hong Kong 31%, France 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

jewelry, watches, electricity, aircraft, cars (2019)

Exchange rates

patacas (MOP) per US dollar -
8.006 (2021 est.)

Page last updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023