Brief History of Macau:
Today Macau is considered a special administrative region of China, similar to Hong Kong. Macau maintains its own government including legal system, police force, and money. China is responsible for defense and foreign relations.
In 1516 Portuguese traders arrived in Macau and began to use it as a staging port for trade to China. It is the oldest European settlement in the Far East. In 1849 Portugal proclaimed Macau's independence from China. However, it wasn't until 1887 when China agreed that Portugal could occupy Macau under and agreement called the Protocol of Lisbon.
In 1999 Macau was handed back over to China as a special administrative region.
The Geography of Macau
Total Size: 28 square km
Size Comparison: less than one-sixth the size of Washington, DC
Geographical Coordinates: 22 10 N, 113 33 E
World Region or Continent: Southeast Asia
General Terrain: generally flat
Geographical Low Point: South China Sea 0 m
Geographical High Point: Coloane Alto 172.4 m
Climate: subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers
The People of Macau
Type of Government: limited democracy
Languages Spoken: Cantonese 87.9%, Hokkien 4.4%, Mandarin 1.6%, other Chinese dialects 3.1%, other 3% (2001 census)
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
Religions: Buddhist 50%, Roman Catholic 15%, none and other 35% (1997 est.)
National Symbol: lotus blossom
National Anthem or Song: note:?as a Special Administrative Region of China, Yiyonggjun Jinxingqu is the official anthem (see China)
Economy of Macau
Major Industries: tourism, gambling, clothing, textiles, electronics, footwear, toys
Agricultural 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
Natural Resources: NEGL
Major Exports: clothing, textiles, footwear, toys, electronics, machinery and parts
Major Imports: raw materials and semi-manufactured goods, consumer goods (foodstuffs, beverages, tobacco), capital goods, mineral fuels and oils
Currency: pataca (MOP)
National GDP: $18,470,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
Back to Geography Home Page TD>