Macau - MO - MAC - East and Southeast Asia

Last updated: February 20, 2024
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Macau Factbook Data

Dependency status

special administrative region of the People's Republic of China

Diplomatic representation from the US

embassy: the US has no offices in Macau; US Consulate General in Hong Kong is accredited to Macau

Age structure

0-14 years: 14.42% (male 47,202/female 45,056)

15-64 years: 70.73% (male 211,278/female 241,366)

65 years and over: 14.86% (2023 est.) (male 44,657/female 50,412)
2023 population pyramid
This is the population pyramid for Macau. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends.

For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Geographic coordinates

22 10 N, 113 33 E

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.89 male(s)/female

total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2023 est.)

Heliports

4 (2024)

Natural hazards

typhoons

Area - comparative

less than one-sixth the size of Washington, DC

Background

Colonized by the Portuguese in the 16th century, Macau was the first European settlement in the Far East. Pursuant to an agreement signed by China and Portugal on 13 April 1987, Macau became the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China on 20 December 1999. In this agreement, 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. However, following a multi-year crackdown by China against a pro-democracy movement in nearby Hong Kong, the governments of China and the Macau Special Administrative Region similarly worked to limit Macau's political autonomy by suppressing opposition activity in the 2021 legislative elections.

Environment - current issues

air pollution; coastal waters pollution; insufficient policies in reducing and recycling solid wastes; increasing population density worsening noise pollution

Population below poverty line

NA

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: NA

highest 10%: NA

Exports - commodities

jewelry, broadcasting equipment, watches, telephones, clothing and apparel (2021)

Exports - partners

Hong Kong 66%, China 9% (2019)

Administrative divisions

none (special administrative region of the People's Republic of China)

Agricultural products

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

Military and security forces

no regular indigenous military forces; Macau Public Security Police Force (includes the Police Intervention Tactical Unit or UTIP for counterterrorism operations)

Budget

revenues: $18.119 billion (2019 est.)

expenditures: $10.165 billion (2019 est.)

Imports - commodities

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

Climate

subtropical; marine with cool winters, warm summers

Coastline

41 km

Constitution

history: previous 1976 (Organic Statute of Macau, under Portuguese authority); latest adopted 31 March 1993, effective 20 December 1999 (Basic Law of the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China serves as Macau's constitution)

amendments: proposed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), the People’s Republic of China State Council, and the Macau Special Administrative Region; submittal of proposals to the NPC requires two-thirds majority vote by the Legislative Assembly of Macau, approval by two thirds of Macau's deputies to the NPC, and consent of the Macau chief executive; final passage requires approval by the NPC; amended 2005, 2012

Exchange rates

patacas (MOP) per US dollar -

Exchange rates:
8.006 (2021 est.)
7.989 (2020 est.)
8.07 (2019 est.)
8.073 (2018 est.)
8.026 (2017 est.)

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)

cabinet: Executive Council appointed by the chief executive

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by National People's Congress for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 10 March 2023 (next to be held in March 2028); chief executive chosen by a 400-member Election Committee for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 24 August 2019 (next to be held in 2024)

election results: 2019: HO lat Seng (unopposed; received 392 out of 400 votes) 

2014: Fernando CHUI Sai (unopposed; received 380 of 396 votes)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Flag description

green with a lotus flower above a stylized bridge and water in white, beneath an arc of five gold, five-pointed stars: one large in the center of the arc and two smaller on either side; the lotus is the floral emblem of Macau, the three petals represent the peninsula and two islands that make up Macau; the five stars echo those on the flag of China

Illicit drugs

Asian organized crime groups involved in drug trafficking and money laundering

 


Independence

none (special administrative region of China)

Industries

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

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Court of Final Appeal of Macau Special Administrative Region (consists of the court president and 2 associate justices)

judge selection and term of office: justices appointed by the Macau chief executive upon the recommendation of an independent commission of judges, lawyers, and "eminent" persons; judge tenure NA

subordinate courts: Court of Second Instance; Court of First instance; Lower Court; Administrative Court

Land boundaries

total: 3 km

regional borders (1): China 3 km

Land use

agricultural land: 0% (2018 est.)

other: 100% (2018 est.)

Legal system

civil law system based on the Portuguese model

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)

elections: last held on 12 September 2021 (next to be held in September 2025)

election results: percent of vote - ACUM 20.1%, UPD 18%, NE 13.8%, UMG 12.7%, UPP 11.4%, ABL 10.8%, PS 6.6%, other 6.6%; seats by political group - ACUM 3, UPD 2, UMG 2, UPP 2, ABL 2, NE 2, PS 1; composition NA

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.1%

male: 98.5%

female: 95.9% (2021)

Maritime claims

not specified

International organization participation

ICC (national committees), IHO, IMF, IMO (associate), Interpol (subbureau), ISO (correspondent), UNESCO (associate), UNWTO (associate), UPU, WCO, WMO, WTO

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

Nationality

noun: Chinese

adjective: Chinese

Natural resources

NEGL

Geography - note

essentially urban; an area of land reclaimed from the sea measuring 5.2 sq km and known as Cotai now connects the islands of Coloane and Taipa; the island area is connected to the mainland peninsula by three bridges

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

Political parties and leaders

Alliance for a Happy Home or ABL [WONG Kit-cheng]
Association of Synergy of Macau ("Synergy Power" or Poder da Singeria) or PS [Vitor VAI]
Macau-Guangdong Union or UGM [MAK Soi-kun]
New Hope or NE [José Maria Pereira COUTINHO]
Union for Development or UPD [HO Sut Heng]
Union for Promoting Progress or UPP or UNIPRO [HO Ion-sang]
United Citizens Association of Macau or ACUM [CHAN Meng-kam]
Women's General Association of Macau or AGMM [HO Teng-iat]

note: there is no political party ordinance, so there are no registered political parties; politically active groups register as societies or companies

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Macau

Suffrage

18 years of age in direct elections for some legislative positions, universal for permanent residents living in Macau for the past 7 years; note - indirect elections are limited to organizations registered as "corporate voters" and an election committee for the chief executive drawn from broad regional groupings, municipal organizations, central government bodies, and elected Macau officials

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Macau’s economy and GDP have been on a roller coaster ride since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020; the Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China is heavily dependent on tourists coming from the mainland and Hong Kong to play in Macau’s many casinos, but the ensuing lock downs contributed to a dramatic fall in visitor numbers as well as income; this too, has had a major effect on the telecom sector (particularly in the mobile segment) with short-stay visitors as well as foreign workers on temporary-stay visas being forced to stay away.; total mobile subscription numbers are estimated to have dropped from a high of 2.8 million in 2019 (representing a whopping 442% penetration rate in a region with a population of just 700,000) to less than half that by the end of 2021: 1.3 million subscribers; Macau had almost the highest mobile penetration rate in the world; it is now sitting at a more ‘reasonable’ level of 200%; a significant bounce back can be expected to follow the easing of travel restrictions, although perhaps not up to the same lofty heights achieved in 2019; asecond factor behind the steep fall in 2020 was the introduction of a Cyber Security Law that required all prepaid SIM cards to become registered or face being deactivated in October 2020; the combined effect of the pandemic and the new restrictions meant that prepaid subscriber numbers fell by more than 80%; postpaid accounts, largely the domain of Macau’s permanent residents, were barely affected by the external upheaval; they continued to increase in number, year-on-year, and provided better returns to the operators thanks to substantially increased data usage during the lock downs; the mobile broadband market has experienced the same dramatic fluctuations as the broader mobile segment over the last two years, at least in terms of subscriber numbers; but this is largely because mobile broadband uptake is inextricably tied to the base mobile offering in Macau; with total mobile broadband data traffic going up, not down, between 2019 and 2021, that again points to the strength of the contract segment helping to drive future growth in Macau’s telecom sector (2022)

domestic: fixed-line nearly 16 per 100 and mobile-cellular roughly 410 per 100 persons (2021)

international: country code - 853; landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-3 submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Africa, Australia, the Middle East, and Europe; HF radiotelephone communication facility; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2019)

Terrain

generally flat

Government type

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

Military - note

defense is the responsibility of China; the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) maintains a garrison in Macau

Country name

conventional long form: Macau Special Administrative Region

conventional short form: Macau

official long form: Aomen Tebie Xingzhengqu (Chinese)/ Regiao Administrativa Especial de Macau (Portuguese)

official short form: Aomen (Chinese)/ Macau (Portuguese)

etymology: name is thought to derive from the A-Ma Temple - built in 1488 and dedicated to Mazu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen - which is referred to locally as "Maa Gok" - and in Portuguese became "Macau"; the Chinese name Aomen means "inlet gates"

Location

Eastern Asia, bordering the South China Sea and China

Map references

Southeast Asia

Irrigated land

0 sq km (2012)

Diplomatic representation in the US

none (Special Administrative Region of China)

Internet country code

.mo

GDP (official exchange rate)

$53.841 billion (2019 est.)

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: AA (2018)

Moody's rating: Aa3 (2016)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 18 years

male: 17 years

female: 19 years (2021)

Urbanization

urban population: 100% of total population (2023)

rate of urbanization: 1.46% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Broadcast media

local government dominates broadcast media; 2 television stations operated by the government with one broadcasting in Portuguese and the other in Cantonese and Mandarin; 1 cable TV and 4 satellite TV services available; 3 radio stations broadcasting, of which 2 are government-operated (2019)

National anthem

note: as a Special Administrative Region of China, "Yiyongjun Jinxingqu" is the official anthem (see China)
This is an audio of the National Anthem for Macau. The national anthem is generally a patriotic musical composition - usually in the form of a song or hymn of praise - that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, or struggles of a nation or its people. National anthems can be officially recognized as a national song by a country's constitution or by an enacted law, or simply by tradition. Although most anthems contain lyrics, some do not.

Physicians density

NA

National symbol(s)

lotus blossom; national colors: green, white, yellow

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 24.2% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 9.9% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 18.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: 0.8% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 79.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -32% (2017 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 36.9

youth dependency ratio: 20

elderly dependency ratio: 16.9

potential support ratio: 5.9 (2021 est.)

Citizenship

see China

Population distribution

population fairly equally distributed

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2021)

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 1 (2020) (registered in China)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 21 (registered in China)

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 3,157,724 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 31.84 million (2018) mt-km

Civil aircraft registration country code prefix

B-M

Ethnic groups

Chinese 89.4%, Chinese and Portuguese 1%, Portuguese 0.8%, Chinese and non-Portuguese 0.2%, Portuguese and others 0.2%, other 8.5% (2021 est.)

Religions

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

Languages

Cantonese 81%, Mandarin 4.7%, other Chinese dialects 5.4%, English 3.6%, Tagalog 2.9%, Portuguese 0.6%, other 1.8%; note - Chinese and Portuguese are official languages; Macanese, a Portuguese-based Creole, is also spoken (2021 est.)

major-language sample(s):

世界概况, 必須擁有的基本資料参考书 (Cantonese)


The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.
Cantonese audio sample

Imports - partners

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

Disputes - international

none identified


Elevation

highest point: Alto Coloane 172 m

lowest point: South China Sea 0 m

Contraceptive prevalence rate

NA

Current health expenditure

NA

Major urban areas - population

682,000 Macau (2023)

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: NA

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: NA

total: 0% of population (2020)

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 377,942 tons (2016 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 75,588 tons (2014 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 20% (2014 est.)

Air pollutants

carbon dioxide emissions: 2.07 megatons (2016 est.)

Trafficking in persons

tier rating: Tier 3 — Macau does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, therefore, Macau remained on Tier 3; the government took some steps to address trafficking, including investigating five suspected cases of traffickers using Macau residents in cyber scams in Southeast Asia, training police officers on anti-trafficking efforts, and initiating one prosecution; however, the government did not report proactively screening at-risk populations, such as commercial sex workers, for trafficking indicators; for the fourth consecutive year, officials did not identify or provide services to any victims; Macau has not convicted a trafficker since 2019 and has never identified a victim of forced labor exploitation domestically (2023)

trafficking profile: human traffickers exploit foreign victims in Macau and may exploit victims from Macau abroad; traffickers recruit most victims from China, Russia, and Southeast Asia using false job offers; adult and child victims are forced into commercial sex in massage parlors, illegal brothels, nightclubs, casinos, hotels, and private homes, where they are monitored, threatened with violence, forced to work long hours, and sometimes have their documents confiscated; Casinos and other establishments reportedly allow staff to partner with criminal networks to facilitate sex trafficking; migrant construction and domestic workers, primarily from China, Indonesia, and the Philippines, may be vulnerable to forced labor in Macau; traffickers operating cyber scam operations in Southeast Asia may recruit and exploit Macau victims in forced labor (2023)

Coal

production: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 0 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 0 metric tons (2019 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 66.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 33.6% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Natural gas

production: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

consumption: 136.714 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

exports: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

imports: 133.712 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 0 cubic meters (2021 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 0 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 14,300 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 0 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 0 barrels (2021 est.)

Gross reproduction rate

0.6 (2023 est.)

Currently married women (ages 15-49)

53.5% (2023 est.)

Remittances

0.08% of GDP (2020 est.)
0.04% of GDP (2019 est.)
0.04% of GDP (2018 est.)

Labor force

404,500 (2021 est.)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 9.2% (2021 est.)

male: 11.7%

female: 6.6%

Net migration rate

3.1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Median age

total: 42 years (2023 est.)

male: 41.2 years

female: 42.5 years

Debt - external

$0 (31 December 2013)
$0 (31 December 2012)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$26.665 billion (31 December 2021 est.)
$25.145 billion (31 December 2020 est.)
$22.215 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

note: the Fiscal Reserves Act that came into force on 1 January 2012 requires the fiscal reserves to be separated from the foreign exchange reserves and to be managed separately; the transfer of assets took place in February 2012

Refined petroleum products - imports

14,180 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Public debt

0% of GDP (2017 est.)
0% of GDP (2016 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.23 children born/woman (2023 est.)

Unemployment rate

3.01% (2021 est.)
2.57% (2020 est.)
1.75% (2019 est.)

Population

639,971 (2023 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)

10% (of GDP) (2017 est.)

Internet users

total: 607,200 (2021 est.)

percent of population: 88% (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

2.012 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 0 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 1.744 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 268,000 metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

Area

total: 28 sq km

land: 28.2 sq km

water: 0 sq km

Taxes and other revenues

21.73% (of GDP) (2020 est.)

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$44.49 billion (2021 est.)
$37.303 billion (2020 est.)
$81.511 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Roadways

total: 428 km (2017)

paved: 428 km (2017)

Infant mortality rate

total: 4.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2023 est.)

male: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 4.4 deaths/1,000 live births

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 2.8 million (2021 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 410 (2021 est.)

Gini Index coefficient - distribution of family income

35 (2013 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.81% (2020 est.)
2.75% (2019 est.)
3% (2018 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Current account balance

$2.956 billion (2021 est.)
$3.926 billion (2020 est.)
$18.714 billion (2019 est.)

Real GDP per capita

$64,800 (2021 est.)
$55,200 (2020 est.)
$122,800 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 208,000 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 32 (2020 est.)

Energy consumption per capita

81.407 million Btu/person (2019 est.)

Death rate

4.8 deaths/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Birth rate

8.8 births/1,000 population (2023 est.)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 478,000 kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 5,278,600,000 kWh (2020 est.)

exports: 0 kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 4,852,600,000 kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 136 million kWh (2020 est.)

Merchant marine

total: 5 (2023)

by type: other 5

Children under the age of 5 years underweight

NA

Imports

$22.788 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$15.216 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$17.594 billion (2019 est.)

Exports

$26.625 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$15.807 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars
$45.557 billion (2019 est.)

note: includes reexports

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 92,382 (2022 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2021 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production

0 bbl/day (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 85.2 years (2023 est.)

male: 82.3 years

female: 88.2 years

Real GDP growth rate

19.27% (2021 est.)
-54.24% (2020 est.)
-2.51% (2019 est.)

Industrial production growth rate

5.17% (2021 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 0% (2016 est.)

industry: 6.3% (2017 est.)

services: 93.7% (2017 est.)

Revenue from forest resources

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Revenue from coal

0% of GDP (2018 est.)

Education expenditures

6.3% of GDP (2020 est.)

Population growth rate

0.71% (2023 est.)

Airports

1 (2024)