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Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China
Cantonese Romanization:Jūng'wàh Yàhnmàhn Guhng'wòhgwok Oumún Dahkbiht Hàhngjingkēui
Portuguese:Região Administrativa Especial de Macau da República Popular da China
Macau locator map.svg
Location of Macau within China
Sovereign state People's Republic of China
Portuguese lease 1557
Treaty of Peking 1 December 1887
Sino-Portuguese Joint Declaration 26 March 1987
Transfer from Portugal 20 December 1999
Largest parish
by population
Nossa Senhora de Fátima
Official languages
Cantonese [lower-alpha 1]
Ethnic groups
88.4% Han Chinese
4.6% Filipino
2.4% Vietnamese
1.7% Portuguese
2.8% Others [3]
Demonym(s) Macanese
Government Devolved executive-led system within a unitary Marxist–Leninist [4] one-party socialist republic [5]
Ho Iat Seng
André Cheong Weng-chon
Kou Hoi In  [ zh ]
Sam Hou Fai
Legislature Legislative Assembly
National representation
12 deputies
29 delegates [6]
115.3 km2 (44.5 sq mi)
 Water (%)
Highest elevation172.4 m (565.6 ft)
 2020 estimate
682,800[ citation needed ](166th)
21,340/km2 (55,270.3/sq mi)(1st)
GDP  (PPP)2020 estimate
Decrease2.svg $40 billion [7] (115th)
 Per capita
Decrease2.svg $58,931 [7] (9th)
GDP  (nominal)2020 [7]  estimate
Decrease2.svg $26 billion [7] (100th)
 Per capita
Decrease2.svg $38,769 [7] (23rd)
Gini  (2013)35 [8]
HDI  (2019)Increase2.svg 0.922 [lower-alpha 3]
very high ·  17th
Currency Macanese Pataca (MOP)
Time zone UTC+08:00 (Macau Standard Time)
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy
Mains electricity 220 V–50 Hz
Driving side left
Calling code +853
ISO 3166 code
Internet TLD
License plate prefixes None for local vehicles, 粤Z for cross-boundary vehicles
AbbreviationMO /

Macau or Macao ( /məˈk/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen ); Chinese :澳門; Cantonese:  [ōu.mǔːn] ; Portuguese:  [mɐˈkaw] ), officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (MSAR), [lower-alpha 4] is a city and special administrative region of the People's Republic of China in the western Pearl River Delta by the South China Sea. With a population of about 680,000 [10] and an area of 32.9 km2 (12.7 sq mi), it is the most densely populated region in the world.


Formerly a Portuguese colony, the territory of Portuguese Macau was first leased to Portugal as a trading post by the Ming dynasty in 1557. Portugal paid an annual rent and administered the territory under Chinese sovereignty up until 1887. Portugal later gained perpetual colonial rights in the Sino-Portuguese Treaty of Peking. The colony remained under Portuguese rule until 1999, when it was transferred to China. Macau is a special administrative region of China, which maintains separate governing and economic systems from those of mainland China under the principle of "one country, two systems". [11] The unique blend of Portuguese and Chinese architecture in the city's historic center led to its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005. [12]

Originally a sparsely populated collection of coastal islands, [13] Macau, often referred to as the "Las Vegas of the East", has become a major resort city and a top destination for gambling tourism, with a gambling industry seven times larger than that of Las Vegas. [14] The city has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, and its GDP per capita by purchasing power parity is one of the highest in the world. [15] [16] It has a very high Human Development Index, as calculated by the Macau government, [9] and the fourth-highest life expectancy in the world. [17] The territory is highly urbanized; two-thirds of the total land area is built on land reclaimed from the sea. [18]


[ʁɨʒiˈɐ̃w ɐdminiʃtɾɐˈtivɐ (ɨ)ʃpɨsiˈal dɨ mɐˈkaw]
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 澳門
Simplified Chinese 澳门
Literal meaningBay Gate
Aerial view of Macau Peninsula Aerial view of Macau at night.jpg
Aerial view of Macau Peninsula
A 1954 map of the Zhongshan region. Macau is located at the bottom-right of the region. Txu-oclc-10552568-nf49-8.jpg
A 1954 map of the Zhongshan region. Macau is located at the bottom-right of the region.
Map of Macau Txu-oclc-10552568-nf49-8-back.jpg
Map of Macau

Macau is located on China's southern coast, 60 km (37 mi) west of Hong Kong, on the western side of the Pearl River estuary. It is surrounded by the South China Sea in the east and south, and neighbors the Guangdong city of Zhuhai to the west and north. [97] The territory consists of Macau Peninsula, Taipa, and Coloane. [98] A 1 km2 (0.39 sq mi) parcel of land in neighboring Hengqin island that hosts the University of Macau also falls under the regional government's jurisdiction. [99] The territory's highest point is Coloane Alto, 170.6 meters (560 ft) above sea level. [95]

Urban development is concentrated on peninsular Macau, where most of the population lives. [100] The peninsula was originally a separate island with hilly terrain, which gradually became a tombolo as a connecting sandbar formed over time. Both natural sedimentation and land reclamation expanded the area enough to support urban growth. [101] Macau has tripled its land area in the last century, increasing from 10.28 km2 (3.97 sq mi) in the late 19th century [18] to 32.9 km2 (12.7 sq mi) in 2018. [95]

Cotai, the area of reclaimed land connecting Taipa and Coloane, contains many of the newer casinos and resorts established after 1999. [16] The region's jurisdiction over the surrounding sea was greatly expanded in 2015, when it was granted an additional 85 km2 (33 sq mi) of maritime territory by the State Council. [102] Further reclamation is currently underway to develop parts of the Macau New Urban Zone. [103] The territory also has control over part of an artificial island to maintain a border checkpoint for the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge. [95] [104]


Macau has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa), characteristic of southern China. The territory is dual season dominant – summer (May to September) and winter (November to February) are the longest seasons, while spring (March and April) and autumn (October) are relatively brief periods. [97] The summer monsoon brings warm and humid air from the sea, with the most frequent rainfall occurring during the season. Typhoons also occur most often then, bringing significant spikes in rainfall. During the winter, northern winds from the continent bring dry air and much less rainfall. [105] The highest and lowest temperatures recorded at the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau are 38.9 °C (102.0 °F) on both 2 July 1930 and 6 July 1930 and −1.8 °C (28.8 °F) on 26 January 1948. [106]

Climate data for Macau (19912020, extremes 1901present)
Record high °C (°F)29.1
Average high °C (°F)18.6
Daily mean °C (°F)15.2
Average low °C (°F)12.7
Record low °C (°F)−1.8
Average precipitation mm (inches)34.2
Average precipitation days5.88.911.411.614.117.716.616.
Average relative humidity (%)74.980.585.086.384.984.682.782.178.372.572.670.879.6
Mean monthly sunshine hours 126.585.774.894.6135.5159.0211.3188.2178.3192.2158.1145.11,749.3
Source: Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau [107] [106]
Macau Peninsula Wikivoyage banner.jpg
The Macau Peninsula skyline, viewed from Taipa
Macau banner.jpg
View of the Macau Old City


2016 population pyramid Population pyramid of Macau 2016.png
2016 population pyramid

The Statistics and Census Service estimated Macau's population at 667,400 at the end of 2018. [108] With a population density of 21,340 people per square kilometer, [109] Macau is the most densely populated region in the world. The overwhelming majority (88.7 percent) are Chinese, many of whom originate from Guangdong (31.9 percent) or Fujian (5.9 percent). [110] The remaining 11.6 percent are non ethnic Chinese minorities, primarily Filipinos (4.6 percent), Vietnamese (2.4 percent), and Portuguese (1.8 percent). [3] Several thousand residents are of Macanese heritage, native-born multiracial people with mixed Portuguese ancestry. [111] Of the total population (excluding migrants), 49.4 percent were born in Macau, followed by 43.1 percent in Mainland China. [112] A large portion of the population are Portuguese citizens, a legacy of colonial rule; at the time of the transfer of sovereignty in 1999, 107,000 residents held Portuguese passports. [113]

The predominant language is Cantonese, a variety of Chinese originating in Guangdong. It is spoken by 87.5 percent of the population, 80.1 percent as a first language and 7.5 percent as a second language. Only 2.3 percent can speak Portuguese, the other official language; [2] 0.7 percent are native speakers, and 1.6 percent use it as a second language. Increased immigration from mainland China in recent years has added to the number of Mandarin speakers, making up about half of the population (50.4 percent); 5.5 percent are native speakers and 44.9 percent are second language speakers. [114] Traditional Chinese characters are used in writing, rather than the simplified characters used on the mainland. English is considered an additional working language [115] and is spoken by over a quarter of the population (27.5 percent); 2.8 percent are native speakers, and 24.7 percent speak English as a second language. [114] Macanese Patois, a local creole generally known as Patuá, is now spoken only by a few in the older Macanese community. [116]

According to the Government Information Bureau, 80 percent of the population practices Buddhism, 6.7 percent follow Christianity and 13.7 percent follow other religion. [117] Folk practices are also common among the citizens. According to Pew Research Center, Chinese folk religions have the most adherents (58.9 percent) and are followed by Buddhism (17.3 percent) and Christianity (7.2 percent), while 15.4 percent of the population profess no religious affiliation at all. Small minorities adhering to other religions (less than 1 percent), including Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam, are also resident in Macau. [118]

Life expectancy in Macau was 81.6 years for males and 87.7 years for females in 2018, [17] the fourth highest in the world. [119] Cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease are the territory's three leading causes of death. Most government-provided healthcare services are free of charge, though alternative treatment is also heavily subsidized. [120]

Migrant workers living in Macau account for over 25 percent of the entire workforce. [121] They largely work in lower wage sectors of the economy, including construction, hotels, and restaurants. As a growing proportion of local residents take up employment in the gaming industry, the disparity in income between local and migrant workers has been increasing. [99] Rising living costs have also pushed a large portion of nonresident workers to live in Zhuhai. [121]


The Ruinas de Sao Paulo, a religious complex built in the 17th century, are now a popular tourist attraction Ruins of Saint Paul's.jpg
The Ruínas de São Paulo , a religious complex built in the 17th century, are now a popular tourist attraction
Guia Lighthouse at Guia Fortress landmark, 19th century Dong Wang Yang Deng Ta  - Guia Lighthouse - 2016.06 - panoramio.jpg
Guia Lighthouse at Guia Fortress landmark, 19th century
A proportional representation of Macau exports, 2019 Macau Product Exports (2019).svg
A proportional representation of Macau exports, 2019
Macau Skyline (157820121).jpeg
Casinos on the Macanese skyline
Yi Shi Ting Qian Di  - panoramio.jpg
Tourism plays an important role in the economy of Macau, the people from Mainland China being the region's most prolific tourists.

Macau has a capitalist service economy largely based on casino gaming and tourism. It is the world's 83rd-largest economy, with a nominal GDP of approximately MOP433 billion (US$53.9 billion). [7] Although Macau has one of the highest per capita GDPs, the territory also has a high level of wealth disparity. [16] Macau's gaming industry is the largest in the world, generating over MOP195 billion (US$24 billion) in revenue and about seven times larger than that of Las Vegas. [14] Macau's gambling revenue was $37 billion in 2018. [122]

The regional economy is heavily reliant on casino gaming. [14] The vast majority of government funding (79.6 percent of total tax revenue) comes from gaming. [123] Gambling as a share of GDP peaked in 2013 at over 60 percent, [14] and continues to account for 49.1 percent of total economic output. The vast majority of casino patrons are tourists from mainland China, making up 68 percent of all visitors. [124] Casino gaming is illegal in both the mainland and Hong Kong, giving Macau a legal monopoly on the industry in China. [14] Revenue from Chinese high rollers has been falling and was forecast to fall as much as 10% more in 2019. Economic uncertainty may account for some of the drop, but alternate Asian gambling venues do as well. For example, Chinese visitors to the Philippines more than doubled between 2015 and 2018, since the City of Dreams casino opened in Manila. [122]

Casino gambling was legalized in 1962 and the gaming industry initially operated under a government-licensed monopoly granted to the Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau. This license was renegotiated and renewed several times before ending in 2002 after 40 years. [125] The government then allowed open bidding for casino licenses to attract foreign investors. [126] Along with an easing of travel restrictions on mainland Chinese visitors, this triggered a period of rapid economic growth; from 1999 to 2016, Macau's gross domestic product multiplied by 7 [14] and the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3 to 1.9 percent. [99] The Sands Macao, Wynn Macau, MGM Macau, and Venetian Macau were all opened during the first decade after liberalisation of casino concessions. [126] Casinos employ about 24 percent of the total workforce in the region. [99] "Increased competition from casinos popping up across Asia to lure away Chinese high rollers and tourists" in Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, the Philippines, Australia, Vietnam and the Russian Far East led in 2019 to the lowest revenues in three years. [122]

Export-oriented manufacturing previously contributed to a much larger share of economic output, peaking at 36.9 percent of GDP in 1985 [127] and falling to less than 1 percent in 2017. [128] The bulk of these exports were cotton textiles and apparel, but also included toys and electronics. [129] At the transfer of sovereignty in 1999, manufacturing, financial services, construction and real estate, and gaming were the four largest sectors of the economy. [14] Macau's shift to an economic model entirely dependent on gaming caused concern over its overexposure to a single sector, prompting the regional government to attempt re-diversifying its economy. [130]

The government traditionally had a non-interventionist role in the economy and taxes corporations at very low rates. [131] Post-handover administrations have generally been more involved in enhancing social welfare to counter the cyclical nature of the gaming industry. [132] Economic growth has been attributed in large part to the high number of mainlander visits to Macau, and the central government exercises a role in guiding casino business growth through its control of the flow of tourists. [133] [134] The Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement formalized a policy of free trade between Macau and mainland China, with each jurisdiction pledging to remove remaining obstacles to trade and cross-boundary investment. [135]

Due to a lack of available land for farming, agriculture is not significant in the economy. Food is exclusively imported to Macau and almost all foreign goods are transshipped through Hong Kong. [136]



Air Macau Airbus A321 taxiing at Macau International Airport Air Macau Airbus A321-200 B-MCA (24311327220).jpg
Air Macau Airbus A321 taxiing at Macau International Airport

Macau has a highly developed road system, with over 400 km (250 mi) of roads. Automobiles drive on the left (unlike in both mainland China and Portugal), due to historical influence of the Portuguese Empire. [137] Vehicle traffic is extremely congested, especially in the oldest part of the city, where streets are the narrowest. [138] Public bus services operate over 80 routes, supplemented by free hotel shuttle buses that also run routes to popular tourist attractions and downtown locations. [139] About 1,500 black taxicabs are licensed in the territory. [140] The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge, opened in 2018, provides a direct link with the eastern side of the Pearl River estuary. [141] Cross-boundary traffic to mainland China may also pass through border checkpoints at the Portas do Cerco and Lótus Bridge. [142]

Macau International Airport serves over 8 million passengers each year and is the primary hub for local flag carrier Air Macau. [143] Ferry services to Hong Kong and mainland China operate out of ferry terminals such as Taipa Ferry Terminal. Daily helicopter service is also available to Hong Kong and Shenzhen. [144] Phase 1 of the territory's first rail network, the Macau Light Rapid Transit, began operations in December 2019. The Taipa line connects 11 metro stations throughout Taipa and Cotai. [145]


Macau University of Science and Technology Hospital MUST Hospital 01.jpg
Macau University of Science and Technology Hospital

Macau is served by one major public hospital, the Hospital Conde S. Januário, and one major private hospital, the Kiang Wu Hospital, both located in Macau Peninsula, as well as a university associated hospital called Macau University of Science and Technology Hospital in Cotai. In addition to hospitals, Macau also has numerous health centers providing free basic medical care to residents. Consultation in traditional Chinese medicine is also available. [146]

None of the Macau hospitals are independently assessed through international healthcare accreditation. A Western-style medical school was opened in Macau in 2019 by the Macau University of Science and Technology, with an annual intake of 50 students. [147] Local nurses are trained at the Macau Polytechnic Institute and the Kiang Wu Nursing College. [148] [149] Currently there are no training courses in midwifery in Macau.[ citation needed ] A study by the University of Macau, commissioned by the Macau SAR government, concluded that Macau is too small to have its own medical specialist training center. [150]

The Fire Services Bureau is responsible for ambulance service (Ambulância de Macau). The Macau Red Cross also operates ambulances (Toyota HiAce vans) for emergency and non-emergencies to local hospitals with volunteer staff. The organization has a total of 739 uniformed firefighters and paramedics serving from 7 stations in Macau. [151]

The Health Bureau in Macau is mainly responsible for coordinating the activities between the public and private organizations in the area of public health, and assure the health of citizens through specialized and primary health care services, as well as disease prevention and health promotion. [152] The Macau Center for Disease Control and Prevention was established in 2001, which monitors the operation of hospitals, health centers, and the blood transfusion center in Macau. It also handles the organization of care and prevention of diseases affecting the population, sets guidelines for hospitals and private healthcare providers, and issues licenses. [153]

As of 2016 Macau healthcare authorities send patients to Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong in instances where the local Macau hospitals are not equipped to deal with their scenarios, and many Macau residents intentionally seek healthcare in Hong Kong because they place more trust in Hong Kong doctors than in Mainland-trained doctors operating in Macau. [150]


The main campus of the University of Macau is located in neighboring Hengqin. UM Hengqin 2.jpg
The main campus of the University of Macau is located in neighboring Hengqin.

Education in Macau does not have a single centralized set of standards or curriculum. Individual schools follow different educational models, including Chinese, Portuguese, Hong Kong, and British systems. [154] Children are required to attend school from the age of five until completion of lower secondary school, or at age 15. Of residents aged 3 and older, 69 percent completed lower secondary education, 49 percent graduated from an upper secondary school, 21 percent earned a bachelor's degree or higher. [155] Mandatory education has contributed to an adult literacy rate of 96.5 percent. While lower than that of other developed economies, the rate is due to the influx of refugees from mainland China during the post-war colonial era. Much of the elderly population were not formally educated due to war and poverty. [156]

Most schools in the territory are private institutions. Out of the 77 non-tertiary schools, 10 are public and the other 67 are privately run. [157] The Roman Catholic Diocese of Macau maintains an important position in territorial education, managing 27 primary and secondary schools. [158] The government provides 15 years of free education for all residents enrolled in publicly run schools, [157] and subsidizes tuition for students in private schools. Students at the secondary school level studying in neighboring areas of Guangdong are also eligible for tuition subsidies. [159]

The vast majority of schools use Cantonese as the medium of instruction, with written education in Chinese and compulsory classes in Mandarin. A minority of private schools use English or Portuguese as the primary teaching language. Portuguese-Chinese schools mainly use Chinese, but additionally require mandatory Portuguese-language classes as part of their curriculum. [154]

Macau has ten universities and tertiary education institutes. The University of Macau, founded in 1981, is the territory's only public comprehensive university. The Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau is the oldest higher institute, specializing in educating future nursing staff for the college's parent hospital. The University of Saint Joseph, Macau University of Science and Technology, and the City University of Macau were all established in subsequent years. Five other institutes specialize in specific vocations or provide continuing education. [160]


The mixing of Chinese and Portuguese culture and religious traditions for more than four centuries has left Macau with an inimitable collection of holidays, festivals and events. The biggest event of the year is the Macau Grand Prix each November, [161] when the main streets of the Macau Peninsula are converted to a racetrack bearing similarities with the Monaco Grand Prix. Other annual events include Macau Arts festival in March, the International Fireworks Display Contest in September, the International Music festival in October and/or November, and the Macau International Marathon in December.

The Lunar Chinese New Year is the most important traditional festival, and celebration normally takes place in late January or early February. [162] The Pou Tai Un Temple in Taipa is the place for the Feast of Tou Tei, the Earth god, in February. The Procession of the Passion of Our Lord is a well-known Roman Catholic rite and journey, which travels from Saint Austin's Church to the cathedral, also taking place in February. [163]

The A-Ma Temple, which honors the Goddess Matsu, is in full swing in April with many worshipers celebrating the A-Ma festival. In May it is common to see dancing dragons at the Feast of the Drunken Dragon and twinkling-clean Buddhas at the Feast of the Bathing of Lord Buddha. In Coloane Village, the Taoist god Tam Kong is also honored on the same day. [163] Dragon Boat Festival is brought into play on Nam Van Lake in June and Hungry Ghosts' festival, in late August and/or early September every year. All events and festivities of the year end with Winter Solstice in December.

Macau preserves many historical properties in the urban area. Its historic center, which includes some twenty-five historic locations, was officially listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on 15 July 2005 during the 29th session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Durban, South Africa. [164] However, the Macao government is criticized for ignoring the conservation of heritage in urban planning. [165] In 2007, local residents of Macao wrote a letter to UNESCO complaining about construction projects around world heritage Guia Lighthouse (Focal height 108 meters (354 ft)), including the headquarter of the Liaison Office (91 meters (299 ft)). UNESCO then issued a warning to the Macau government, which led former Chief Executive Edmund Ho to sign a notice regulating height restrictions on buildings around the site. [166] In 2015, the New Macau Association submitted a report to UNESCO claiming that the government had failed to protect Macao's cultural heritage against threats by urban development projects. One of the main examples of the report is that the headquarter of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government, which is located on the Guia foothill and obstructs the view of the Guia Fortress (one of the world heritages symbols of Macao). One year later, Roni Amelan, a spokesman from UNESCO Press service, said that the UNESCO has asked China for information and is still waiting for a reply. [167] [166] In 2016, the Macau government approved an 81-meter (266 ft)-tall construction limit for the residential project, which reportedly goes against the city's regulations on the height of buildings around world heritage site Guia Lighthouse. [166]


MargaretCafe PasteisDeNata.JPG
(Left): Macanese-style pastel de nata . (Right): Pork chop buns are popular street snacks.

Food in Macau is mainly based on both Cantonese and Portuguese cuisine, drawing influences from Indian and Malay dishes as well, reflecting a unique cultural and culinary blend after centuries of colonial rule. [168] Portuguese recipes were adapted to use local ingredients, such as fresh seafood, turmeric, coconut milk, and adzuki beans. These adaptations produced Macanese variations of traditional Portuguese dishes including caldo verde , minchee, and cozido à portuguesa . While many restaurants claim to serve traditional Portuguese or Macanese dishes, most serve a mix of Cantonese-Portuguese fusion cuisine. Galinha à portuguesa is an example of a Chinese dish that draws from Macanese influences, but is not part of Macanese cuisine. [169] Cha chaan teng , a type of fast casual diner originating in Hong Kong that serves that region's interpretation of Western food, are also prevalent in Macau. [170] Pastel de nata , pork chop buns, and almond biscuits are popular street food items. [169]


Formula Three racers in the 2008 Macau Grand Prix 2008 Macau F3 GP.JPG
Formula Three racers in the 2008 Macau Grand Prix

Despite its small area, Macau is home to a variety of sports and recreational facilities that have hosted a number of major international sporting events, including the 2005 East Asian Games, the 2006 Lusophony Games, and the 2007 Asian Indoor Games.

The territory regularly hosts the Macau Grand Prix, one of the most significant annual motorsport competitions that uses city streets as the racetrack. It is the only street circuit that hosts Formula Three, touring car, and motorcycle races in the same event. The Guia Circuit, with narrow corner clearance and a winding path, is considered an extremely challenging course and a serious milestone for prospective Formula One racers. [171]

Macau represents itself separately from mainland China with its own sports teams in international competitions. The territory maintains its own National Olympic Committee, but does not compete in the Olympic Games. International Olympic Committee rules specify that new NOCs can only be admitted if they represent sovereign states (Hong Kong has participated in the Olympics since before the regulation change in 1996). [172]

Twin towns and sister cities

Macau has six sister cities, listed chronologically by year joined: [173]

Additionally, Macau has other cultural agreements with the following cities:

Union of Luso-Afro-Americo-Asiatic Capital Cities

Macau is part of the Union of Luso-Afro-Americo-Asiatic Capital Cities [175] [173] from 28 June 1985, establishing brotherly relations with the following cities:

See also


  1. 1 2 No specific variety of Chinese is official in the territory. Residents predominantly speak Cantonese, the de facto regional standard.
  2. 1 2 For all government use, documents written using Traditional Chinese characters are authoritative over ones inscribed with Simplified Chinese characters. Portuguese shares equal status with Chinese in all official proceedings.
  3. The UN does not calculate the HDI of Macau. The government of Macau calculates its own HDI. [9]
  4. Chinese :中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區; Portuguese: Região Administrativa Especial de Macau da República Popular da China (RAEM)

Related Research Articles

History of Macau Macau SAR history

Macau is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China. In 1557 it was leased to Portugal as a trading post in exchange for an annual rent of 500 tael in order to stay in Macau, it remained under Chinese sovereignty and authority until 1887, the Portuguese came to consider and administer it as a de facto colony. Following the signing of the Treaty of Nanking between China and Britain in 1842, and the signing of treaties between China and foreign powers during the 1860s, establishing the benefit of "the most favoured nation" for them, the Portuguese attempted to conclude a similar treaty in 1862, but the Chinese refused, owing to a misunderstanding over the sovereignty of Macau. In 1887 the Portuguese finally managed to secure an agreement from China that Macao was Portuguese territory. In 1999 it was handed over to China. Macau was the last extant European territory in continental Asia.

Economy of Macau Regional economy

The economy of Macau has remained one of the most open in the world since its handover to China in 1999. Apparel exports and gambling-related tourism are mainstays of the economy. Since Macau has little arable land and few natural resources, it depends on mainland China for most of its food, fresh water, and energy imports. Japan and Hong Kong are the main suppliers of raw materials and capital goods. Although Macau was hit hard by the 1997–98 Asian financial crisis and the early 2000s recession, its economy grew approximately 13.1% annually on average between 2001 and 2006. Macau is a full Member of the World Trade Organization. Public Security has greatly improved after handover to the People's Republic of China. With the tax revenue from the profitable gambling industry, the Macau government is able to introduce the social welfare program of 15 years of free education to all Macau citizens. In 2015, Macau's economy saw a sharp decrease due to the reduced spending by visitors from Mainland China since the Anti-corruption campaign under Xi Jinping.

Macao Garrison Military unit

The People's Liberation Army Macao Garrison is a garrison of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), responsible for defense duties in the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) since the sovereignty of Macau was transferred to China in 1999.

Special administrative regions of China Province-level autonomous subdivision in the Peoples Republic of China

The Special Administrative Regions (SAR) of the People's Republic of China are one of the provincial-level administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China directly under the control of the Central People's Government. As a region, they possess the highest degree of autonomy from China. However, despite the relative autonomy that the Central People's Government offers the special administrative regions, the National People's Congress remains capable of enforcing laws for the special administrative regions.

Macau International Airport

Macau International Airport is an international airport in the special administrative region of Macau, situated at the eastern end of Taipa island and neighbouring waters which opened for commercial operations on 9 November 1995, during Portuguese administration of the region.

Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge Fixed link consisting of tunnel and multiple bridges

The Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge (HZMB) is a 55-kilometre (34 mi) bridge–tunnel system consisting of a series of three cable-stayed bridges, an undersea tunnel, and four artificial islands. It is both the longest sea crossing and the longest open-sea fixed link in the world. The HZMB spans the Lingding and Jiuzhou channels, connecting Hong Kong, Macau, and Zhuhai—three major cities on the Pearl River Delta.

Right of abode in Hong Kong Right to live in Hong Kong

Right of abode in Hong Kong entitles a person to live and work in the territory without any restrictions or conditions of stay. Someone who has that right is a Hong Kong permanent resident. Foreign nationals may acquire the right of abode after meeting a seven-year residency requirement and are given most rights usually associated with citizenship, including the right to vote in regional elections. However, they are not entitled to hold territorial passports or stand for office in most Legislative Council constituencies, unless they also naturalise as Chinese citizens.

Gambling in Macau

Gambling in Macau has been legal since the 1850s when the Portuguese government legalised the activity in the autonomous colony. Since then, Macau has become known worldwide as the "Gambling capital of the world" or "Monte Carlo of the East".

Tourism in Macau

Tourism is a major industry in Macau. It is famous for the blend of Portuguese and Chinese cultures and its gambling industry, which includes Casino Lisboa, Macau, Sands Macau, The Venetian Macao, and Wynn Macau.

Cotai Zone in Municipality of Ilhas, Macau

Cotai is a 5.2-square-kilometer (2.0 sq mi) piece of newly reclaimed land on top of Seac Pai Bay between Taipa and Coloane islands in Macau, that has made two independent islands become one island, since 2005. The word can also refer to the entire new island which was formed by the reclamation. In the second sense, the Special Administrative Region of Macau now consists of the Macau Peninsula plus Cotai Island, about a mile to the south.

The Sociedade de Turismo e Diversões de Macau, SA; abbreviated as STDM, is a company in Macau owned by Stanley Ho and his family. Historically, it has held a monopoly to Macau's gambling industry as the only licensee for casinos. In 2002, the government of Macau began issuing more licenses and the monopoly was broken. Still, of the 41 operating casinos in Macau, 22 are owned by STDM, as of 2019.

Chinese nationality law Nationality law of the Peoples Republic of China

Chinese nationality law details the conditions in which a person holds People's Republic of China (PRC) nationality. Foreign nationals may naturalize if they are permanent residents in any part of China or they have immediate family members who are Chinese citizens. Residents of the Taiwan Area are also considered Chinese citizens, due to the PRC's extant claim over areas controlled by the Republic of China (ROC).

Foreign relations of Macau

Under the Basic Law, Macau's diplomatic relations and defence are the responsibility of the central government of China. Except diplomatic relations and defence, nonetheless, Macau has retained considerable autonomy in all aspects, including economic and commercial relations, customs control.

Macau Special Administrative Region passport Passports issued to Chinese citizens of Macau

The Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of Chinapassport is a passport issued to Chinese citizens who are permanent residents of Macau.

Religion in Macau Overview of the religion share in Macau

Religion in Macau is represented predominantly by Chinese folk religions and Buddhism. During the period in which the city was under Portuguese rule (1557–1999) the Catholic Church became one of the dominant faiths, but nowadays it has greatly declined.

Transfer of sovereignty over Macau Transfer of sovereignty over Macau from Portugal to China

The transfer of sovereignty of Macau from Portugal to the People's Republic of China (PRC) occurred on 20 December 1999.

12-3 incident 1966 demonstrations and rioting against Portuguese rule in Macau

The 12-3 incident refers to political demonstrations and rioting against Portuguese rule in Macau that occurred on 3 December 1966. The incident, inspired by the Cultural Revolution in the People's Republic of China, occurred in direct response to a violent police crackdown against Chinese protestors demonstrating against corruption and colonialism in Macau. The incident is known as "12-3", in reference to the date of the riots. Pressured by business leaders in Macau and the mainland Chinese government, the colonial government agreed to meet the demands of the protestors and apologized for the police crackdown. Portuguese sovereignty over Macau diminished after the incident, leading to de facto Chinese control over the territory.

Outline of Macau Overview of and topical guide to Macau

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Macau:

Capital punishment in Macau

Capital punishment in Macau was formally abolished in 1976 and reiterated in the Penal Code of Macau in the 1995.

Macau independence Political movement advocating for Macaus independence from China

Macau independence is the political movement that advocates for the independence of Macau from China. Despite receiving little attention within Macau, the issue was raised in the Legislative Assembly of Macau following the Hong Kong Legislative Council oath-taking controversy. In 2017, several Chinese media outlets warned against discussion of Macau independence, fearing that speculation would lead to further action.



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Government reports

Academic publications


  • Basic Law
  • Constitution of the People's Republic of China
  • "Criação do Instituto para os Assuntos Municipais" [Creation of the Institute for Municipal Affairs]. Act No. 9 of 2018 (PDF) (in Portuguese). Archived (PDF) from the original on 9 February 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  • "Lei sobre Residente Permanente e Direito de Residência na Região Administrativa Especial de Macau" [Law about Permanent Resident and Right of Abode in the Macao Special Administrative Region]. Act No. 8 of 1999 (PDF) (in Portuguese). Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 April 2019. Retrieved 8 February 2019.


News articles