Demographics of Macau

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Macau population pyramid in 2020 Macau single age population pyramid 2020.png
Macau population pyramid in 2020
Street scene in Macau Streetscene Macau.jpg
Street scene in Macau

This article is about the demographic features of the population of Macau, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.


Macau's population is 95% Chinese, primarily Cantonese and some Hakka, both from nearby Guangdong Province. The majority of the remainder are of Portuguese or mixed Chinese-Portuguese ancestry. Some Japanese, including descendants of Japanese Catholics who were expelled by shōguns, also live in Macau.

The official languages are Portuguese and Cantonese Chinese. The residents commonly (85.7%) speak Cantonese, Mandarin is spoken by 3.2% at home, about 40% are able to communicate in standard Mandarin. English and Portuguese are spoken as a first language by 1.5% and 0.6% respectively, while English is widely taught as a second language. The other popular topolect is Hokkien (Min Nan), spoken by a small percentage of the population. The creole Macanese language (Patuá or Macaista Chapado) is almost extinct.

Vital statistics

The following are data on vital statistics. [1] [2]

Average populationLive birthsDeathsNatural changeCrude birth rate (per 1000)Crude death rate (per 1000)Natural change (per 1000)TFR

Structure of the population

Estimates as of 1 July 2012: [3]

Age groupMaleFemaleTotal%
Age groupMaleFemaleTotal%
0–1434 60031 60066 20011,66
15–64220 400239 000459 40080,89
65+19 30023 00042 3007,45

Life expectancy at birth

Macao is the territory with the world's second highest life expectancy behind Hong Kong.

PeriodLife expectancy in


PeriodLife expectancy in



Source: UN World Population Prospects [4]

Ethnic groups

The following are information on ethnicity and nationalities based on data from the Statistics and Census Service. [5]

Place of birth

Immigration is an essential component of the population. Results of the 2011 Population Census indicated that 326,376 (59.1% of the total population) were born outside Macau, an increase of 3.0 percentage points over the last ten years. Analysed by place of birth, 255,186 (46.2%) were born in Mainland China, down by 1.2 percentage points from 2001. 226,127 (40.9%) were born in Macau, 19,355 (3.5%) in Hong Kong and 1,835 (0.3%) in Portugal. There were more persons born in other countries or territories as the number of non-resident workers increased. Among them, 14,544 were born in the Philippines, 7,199 in Vietnam and 6,269 in Indonesia, altogether taking up 5.1% of the total population. 1,942 were born in Europe other than Portugal, 2,252 in Americas, 959 in Africa and 672 in Oceania. Analysed by age group, 85.2% of the youth population (aged 0–14) were born in Macau, and 62.9% of those aged 35 and above were born in Mainland China.

As of 2011 35,578 people in Macau were originally from Fujian province in Mainland China, making up about 25% of the Mainland China-born people. The number of Fujianese in Macau increased after the 1999 handover. [6]


Analysed by nationality, 509,788 (92.3% of the total population) were of Chinese nationality, down by 2.9 percentage points from the 2001 Census; meanwhile, only 0.9% was of Portuguese nationality, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points. These figures can be misleading, because more than a 100,000 people in Macau are holders of a Portuguese passport, making them in effect Portuguese citizens. Over the last ten years, diversity of the various components of the population is enhanced as economic development has drawn people to invest, work or study in Macau; consequently, 37,695 (6.8%) were of other nationalities, up by 4.0 percentage points, with 2.7% being Filipinos. Macau is a Chinese community and those of Chinese ethnicity totaled 510,383, an increase of 94,030 over the past ten years; however, its proportion to the total population decreased by 3.3 percentage points to 92.4%. Those of wholly or partly Portuguese ethnicity totaled 8,106, up slightly by 333 compared with 2001; its proportion to the total decreased by 0.3 percentage point to 1.5%.

Population of Macau according to ethnic group 1991–2011
1991 census2001 census2011 census
Number %Number %Number %
Chinese & Portuguese4,4771.34,2541.04,0190.7
Chinese & non-Portuguese1,7710.41,6010.3
Portuguese & others7090.26020.1

CIA World Factbook demographic statistics

Residents' usual
language spoken at home [7]
LanguagePercentage of
Cantonese 85.7%
Mandarin 3.2%
Chinese dialects
Portuguese 0.6%
English 1.5%

The following demographic statistics are from the CIA World Factbook, unless otherwise indicated.

Ethnic group

Chinese 92.4%, other 7.6% (includes Macanese – mixed Portuguese and Asian ancestry) (2011 census)


624,000 [8] (2014 Qtr2 est.)

Male and Female pattern

Male: 307,200 [8] (2014 Qtr2 est.)
Female: 316,800 [8] (2014 Qtr2 est.)

Age structure

below age 15: 76,305 15.63%
age 20–29: 82,547 16.91%
age 30–39: 70,965 14.54%
age 40–49: 91,438 18.73%
age 49 or above: 40,349 8.27%

Infant mortality rate

4.35 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

0.91 children born/woman (2010 est.) The lowest fertility rate in the world after Taiwan.


noun: Macau
adjective: Macanese


Religion in Macau [9]
Religion %
Buddhism, Taoism
No affiliation
30% Shenism, 10% Buddhism or Taoism, 5% Christianity, 50% not declaring religious affiliation, 10% others (2009). [9] Another survey conducted between 2005, 2007 and 2009 has found that 30% of the population follows folk faiths, 10% are adherents of Buddhism or Taoism, 5% are Christians, and the remaining part do not declare religious adherence. [10]


Portuguese and Chinese, seen on this street sign, are official languages in Macau CalcadaSaoPaulomacau.jpg
Portuguese and Chinese, seen on this street sign, are official languages in Macau
Portuguese and Chinese are official languages. The Chinese standard (Cantonese or Mandarin) is not specified in the law. Very few speak Portuguese.


definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 94.5%
male: 97.2%
female: 92% (2003 est.)

Immigration and crime

Persons authorized to reside in Macau: total: 50,159 (by the end of 2005)
Non-resident workers authorized to enter Macau: total: 39,411 (by the end of 2005)
Legal immigrants from Mainland China: 1,133 (Qtr1 2006) 947 (Qtr2 2006)
No. of criminal cases: 2,634 (Qtr1 2006) 2,708 (Qtr2 2006)


No. of residents per doctor (excluding dentists): 473
No. of residents per nurse: 430
No. of residents per hospital bed: 496

Main causes of death

Diseases of the circulatory system: 518 cases, 32.1%
Neoplasm: 455 cases, 28.2%
Diseases of the respiratory system: 267, cases 16.5%

See also

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  1. "Demographic Yearbooks". United Nations.
  2. Statistics and Census Service or empty |title= (help)
  3. or empty |title= (help)
  4. "World Population Prospects – Population Division". United Nations. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  5. Statistics and Census Service (2012). Results of 2011 Population Census (Report). Macau: Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).
  6. "Macau: The rise and fall of an empire?". South China Morning Post . November 12, 2015. Archived from the original on July 7, 2016. Retrieved August 15, 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) ()
  7. Statistics and Census Service (2007). 2006 中期人口統計總體結果/Resultados Globais dos Intercensos 2006/Global Results of By-census 2006 (Report) (in Chinese, Portuguese, and English). Macau: Statistics and Census Service (DSEC).
  8. 1 2 3 "Demographic Statistics for the 2nd Quarter 2014". Statistics and Census Service. 11 August 2014.
  9. 1 2 Zhidong Hao, 2011. pp. 121–122.
  10. Zheng, VWT; Wan, PS. Religious beliefs and life experiences of Macao's residents 澳門居民的宗教信仰與生活經驗. On: Modern China Studies by Center for Modern China, 2010, v. 17 n. 4, p. 91-126. ISSN   2160-0295. «Drawing on empirical data obtained from three consecutive territory-wide household surveys conducted in 2005, 2007, and 2009 respectively, this paper attempts to shed light on the current religious profile of Macao residents.»