Form of Government: Republic
Area: 92 226 sq km
Population: 10 276 617 inhab. (estimate 2018)
Density: 111.43 inhab./sq km
Coordinates: lat. 42° - 37° N; long. 9° - 6° W
Capital: Lisbon=Lisboa (capital) 547 733 inhab. (2011); Greater Lisbon 2 927 316 inhab. (2018), urban agglomeration
Currency: euro (100 cents)
Human development index: 0.847 (rank: 41)
President: Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa (PSD), elected 24 January 2016, in office since 9 March 2016
Prime Minister: António Costa (PS), since 26 November 2016
Assembly of the Republic: seats based on the elections of 4 October 2015: Portugal Ahead (centre-right coalition between the Social Democratic Party, PSD, and the Democratic and Social Centre/People's Party, CDS-PP), 102; PS (Socialist Party), 86; BE (Left Bloc, extreme left-wing), 19; CDU (Unitary Democratic Coalition between the Communist Party and the Greens), 17; others, 6
Internet: www.ine.pt (Instituto Nacional de Estatística)
Member of Council of Europe, EBRD, EU, NATO, OAS observer, OECD, OSCE, UN, WTO
International license plate code P
International dialling code 00351
Travel vaccinations requirement none
Electricity (Voltage) 230
Driving side rigth
Internet code .pt
GMT Lisbon 0; Azores -1; Madeira 0
DST Lisbon +1; Azores 0; Madeira +1
DST duration (start-end) late March-late October
Annual average temperature (°C) Lisbon 16.5; Faro 17.8; Funchal (Madeira) 18.5; Ponta Delgada (Azzorre) 16.8; Porto 14.5
Average temperature in January/July (°C) Lisbon 11/22; Faro 12/24; Funchal (Madeira) 16/21.5; Ponta Delgada (Azzorre) 14/21; Porto 9/20
Daily sunshine hours in June/December (average) Lisbon 11/5; Faro 12/6; Funchal (Madeira) 7/5; Ponta Delgada (Azzorre) 5/3; Porto 10/4
Annual average precipitation (mm) Lisbon 681; Faro 446; Funchal (Madeira) 609; Ponta Delgada (Azzorre) 950; Porto 1145
Days of rainfall (annual average) Lisbon 79; Faro 50; Funchal (Madeira) 51; Ponta Delgada (Azzorre) 125; Porto 107
Politics and current affairs
Ahead of voting on 6 October 2019, the Socialist Party (PS), led by Prime Minister António Costa, is aiming to govern without the support of its far-left allies following the excellent results achieved in the European elections on 26 May 2019; the PS won 33% of the vote, making it the top centre-left party in Europe. Nonetheless, the government has had to face a series of strikes in the public and private sector owing to the ongoing wage freeze.
On 5 December 2018, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with China for Portugal’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Portugal is bordered to the north and east by Spain, and to the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean. It lies on the western edge of the Spanish meseta plateau and opens into wide alluvial valleys to the south. The River Tejo (Tagus), River Douro and River Guadiana are the most important in the country. The climate is mild.
The Azores (São Miguel 747 km², Terceira 396 km², Pico 433 km², São Jorge 238 km², Faial 172 km², Flores 143 km², and other smaller islands) are volcanic islands on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
The Madeira archipelago (lat. 33° N; long. 17° W) comprises Madeira (740.6 km²), Porto Santo (42.5 km²), the Savage Islands and the Desertas.
A republic since 1910, Portugal was ruled for many years by the dictator Oliveira Salazar (1932-1968) and his successor Marcelo Caetano. In a coup on 25 April 1974 (the Carnation Revolution), power was assumed first by the military and then by the Council of the Revolution formed by progressive army officers.
In 1974-75 Portugal granted independence to all its African colonies (Guinea-Bissau, Cabo Verde, Mozambique and Angola) and East Timor (incorporated into Indonesia).
Macao returned to China on 20 December 1999. Democracy came to the country under the government of the socialist Prime Minister Mario Soares, winner of the 1976 elections. Since then, centre-right governments led by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and centre-left governments led by the Socialist Party (PS) have alternated in power.
The Constitution of 2 April 1976 has been amended several times, especially in 1982 (ending military control of politics and reducing the President’s powers), and in 1989 (removing economic and corporative restrictions dating from the Salazar era). The President of the Republic, elected by direct suffrage for a five-year term, appoints the Prime Minister taking into consideration the results of the elections. The government must be voted in by the Assembly of the Republic (230 deputies elected for four-year terms using a system of proportional representation).
In addition to the armed forces there are the paramilitary National Republican Guard (gendarmerie), the Public Security Police and the Border Guard.
There is an American airbase at Lajes in the Azores.
The legal system is based on continental European law.
|Greater Lisbon||2 927 316||inhab.||2018|
|Greater Porto||1 287 282||inhab.||2011|
|Population by age and gender (% - 2018)|
Emigration, once huge, has now fallen. The decline in immigration from the former colonies is offset by the inflow of immigrant asylum seekers (1285 asylum requests collected in 2018).The government confirmed its approach aimed at reception and integration.
|Foreigners, total||416 682||units||2017|
Economic growth slowed to 2.1% in 2018 and should hover at around 1.7% in 2019 owing to a drop in exports. However, economic conditions have stabilized following the reforms and austerity measures imposed in recent years. Unemployment has fallen to 7%, while public accounts continue to strengthen.
|Agricultural prod. index (2004-06=100)||107.94||index||2016|
|Balance of trade||-20 165.3||M US$||2018|
|Active population||5 232 600||units||2018|
|Active population, Females||49.2||%||2018|
|Unemployment rate, Females||52.3||%||2018|
|Expenses||64 961.7||M LCU||2018|
|Revenues||61 603.4||M LCU||2018|
|Currency in circulation||28.772||BN LCU||2018|
|International reserves||24 920.3||M US$||2018|
Agriculture and livestock.
The main crop is the grape vine, especially in the Douro Valley. Port, the aromatic wines of Colares and Madeira, the muscats of Setúbal and Vinho Verde are world-famous. Olives and fruits (especially apples, pears and citrus fruits) are widely grown.
Livestock farming (sheep and pigs), practised especially in the north, is also important.
Portugal is one of the biggest producers of cork in the world. Cork trees thrive in the Tagus Valley and along the Alentejo coast.
The most abundant catch is sardines, which are exported preserved in oil. Quality fish caught include tuna, anchovies (Olhão fillets) and oysters (from the Tagus and Sado estuaries). The main fishing ports are Setúbal, Peniche, Figueira da Foz, Aveiro, Leixões and Nazaré.
|cereals, total||1 118.507||1000 t||2017|
|roots and tubers, total||540.275||1000 t||2017|
|carrots and turnips||112.022||1000 t||2017|
|beans, dry||1.7||1000 t||2017|
|beans, green||11.067||1000 t||2017|
|sunflower seed||20.814||1000 t||2017|
|sugar beet||16.398||1000 t||2017|
|citrus fruits||374.414||1000 t||2017|
|citrus fruits, nes||0||1000 t||2016|
|sweet potatoes||0.918||1000 ha||2017|
|carrots and turnips||2.968||1000 ha||2017|
|beans, dry||3.1||1000 ha||2017|
|beans, green||0.694||1000 ha||2017|
|sunflower seed||13.46||1000 ha||2017|
|sugar beet||0.282||1000 ha||2017|
|citrus fruits||20.507||1000 ha||2017|
|cork - t||100 000||t||2005|
|timber||13 555 016||m³||2017|
|cattle||1 670||1000 heads||2017|
|cattle and buffaloes||1 670||1000 heads||2017|
|pigs||2 165||1000 heads||2017|
|sheep||2 225||1000 heads||2017|
|asses and mules||12||1000 heads||2017|
|birds||16 583||1000 heads||2017|
|crustaceans and molluscs||23 649||t||2017|
The main mineral resources are pyrites, which are mined in the Serra da Caveira, lithium (the country aims to become the first European supplier), and tungsten. A consortium participated by national and foreign companies launched the first offshore explorations following the discovery of possible oil fields off the north-west coast.
Energy and industry.
The country is reliant on imported energy, in particular on petroleum and gas, which it purchases primarily from Angola, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Algeria (through the MEG pipeline, which arrives in Spain and then reaches the country). In Sines there are a regasification terminal and a refinery (another refinery is active in Porto). Most electricity is still generated by coal and gas-fired thermal power stations, though renewable sources are developing rapidly, with a considerable amount of power generated by hydro-electric schemes and wind farms. A large solar power plant is operational at Serpa, in the south-east of the country, with an installed capacity of 11 MW. A connection with the Moroccan electricity transmission grid is being planned.
Industry has become uncompetitive due to delayed technology, a lack of investment and the competition posed by Eastern European countries entering the EU. In the area between Lisbon and Setúbal there are a number of chemical plants that produce fertilizers and synthetic fibres. The mechanical engineering industry is present with factories assembling cars and commercial vehicles; to the south of Lisbon (at Palmela) there is a large car factory (Volkswagen). The textile and agribusiness industries are important and rooted in tradition.
|iron ore||14||1000 t||2013|
|granite||12 000||1000 t||2015|
|- thermal||24 921.28||M kWh||2016|
|- other renew.||16 706||M kWh||2016|
|- thermal||7 359||1000 kW||2016|
|- other renew.||6 242||1000 kW||2016|
|total net generation||56 901.28||M kWh||2016|
|total installed capacity||20 561||1000 kW||2016|
|coke, metall.||300||1000 t||2012|
|bikes||1 859 132||no.||2016|
|watches and clocks||371 041||no.||2016|
|air conditioners||1 453 216||no.||2016|
|petrol||2 329.7||1000 t||2016|
|artificial yarn||0.39||1000 t||2016|
|carpets||3 113||1000 m²||2016|
|cotton fabrics||169.9||M m²||2016|
|footwear||56 861 608||pairs||2017|
|beer of barley||729||1000 t||2014|
|coconut oil||0.06||1000 t||2014|
|cigarettes||27 351.3||M units||2016|
|chemical pulp||2 647.5||1000 t||2017|
|chemi-mechanical pulp||2 647.5||1000 t||2017|
|cement||4 200||1000 t||2016|
|chemicals production||1 652.6||M US$||2016|
|food, beverages and tobacco production||4 386.3||M US$||2016|
Imports and exports have increased proportionally to economic growth. The trade balance remains negative.
(M US$ - 2017) electrical and electronic equipment 5 607, vehicles and parts thereof 4 492, machinery 3 926, petroleum products 3 825, apparel and accessories 3 568, plastics 3 325, iron and steel 3 252, cars 2 405, footwear 2 271, furniture and accessories 2 180, paper 2 087, chemicals 1 175, pharmaceuticals 1 136, cork 1 113, tyres 1 110, optical and electro-medical appliances 1 080, fruit and vegetables 1 057, fish 928, wine 879, animal & vegetable fats and oils 849, ceramic products 806
Finance and banking.
The central bank is the state-owned Caixa Geral de Depósitos. The Portuguese State also had to save the Novo Banco group in 2018. The Stock Exchange in Lisbon belongs to the Euronext group which has other stock exchanges in Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels.
|manufactures||76.363||% of goods exports||2018|
|food products||11.928||% of goods exports||2018|
|Spain||17 394||M US$||2018|
|France||8 705||M US$||2018|
|Spain||27 985||M US$||2018|
|Germany||12 327||M US$||2018|
Tourism. Tourism is the top economic sector today, accounting for more than 20% of the GDP and 1.15 million employees. The main destinations are Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra, the Algarve and the Azores and Madeira islands. There is concern, however, regarding the negative effects of Brexit on tourist traffic from the United Kingdom.
|Expenditures||5 647||M US$||2017|
|Number of arrivals||15 432 000||units||2017|
|Civil aviation, km flown||148 800 000||km flown||2004|
|Civil aviation, passengers carried||15 943.4||1000 units||2017|
|Broadband subscribers||346.003||per 1000 pop.||2017|
|Computers||182.5||per 1000 pop.||2008|
Social and welfare
Education, culture & research.
Education is compulsory from 6 to 18 years of age.
Social security and health.
The state social security system provides old-age, ex-servicemen and disability pensions, and unemployment, family, maternity and sickness benefit. The state guarantees a minimum wage.
|Expected years of schooling||16.3||years||2016|
|Teachers, primary level||50 982||units||2017|
|Teachers, secondary level||80 914||units||2017|
|Social protection spending||40.1||% of total expenses||2016|
|Social protection spending||22.6||% of GDP||2018|
|Hospital beds||3.4||per 1000 pop.||2016|
|Physicians||4.8||per 1000 pop.||2016|
|HIV||0.6||% of adults||2017|
|Museums, visitors||17 174 986||units||2017|
|Research and development spending||1.33||% of GDP||2017|
|Access to clean fuels and technologies for cooking||100||%||2016|
|Access to electricity||100||%||2017|