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Portugal Country Guide

Explore Portugal in Europe

Portugal with the capital city Lisbon is located in Europe (Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean). It covers some 92,391 square kilometres (slightly smaller than Indiana) with 10,676,000 citizens.

Interactive map of Portugal

The topography includes mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south. The average density of population is approximately 116 per km². The notable climate conditions in Portugal can be described as maritime temperate with cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south. Possible natural disasters include Azores subject to severe earthquakes.

To reach someone in Portugal dial +351 prior to a number. There are 4,049,000 installed telephones. And there are 15,178,000 registered mobile phones. The cellular networks commonly support frequencies of 900/1800/3G MHz. Websites registered in this country end with the top level domain ".pt". If you want to bring electric equipment on your trip (e.g. laptop power supply), note the local power outlet of 230V - 50Hz.

About the flag and history of Portugal

Portugal Flag Icon

Two vertical bands of green (hoist side, two-fifths) and red (three-fifths) with the national coat of arms (armillary sphere and Portuguese shield) centered on the dividing line; explanations for the color meanings are ambiguous, but a popular interpretation has green symbolizing hope and red the blood of those defending the nation.

Following its heyday as a global maritime power during the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with the destruction of Lisbon in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence of its wealthiest colony of Brazil in 1822. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy; for most of the next six decades, repressive governments ran the country. In 1974, a left-wing military coup installed broad democratic reforms. The following year, Portugal granted independence to all of its African colonies. Portugal is a founding member of NATO and entered the EC (now the EU) in 1986.

Geography Quick-Facts

SummaryContinent: Europe
Neighbours: Spain
Capital: Lisbon
Size92,391 square kilometers (km² or sqkm) or 35,672 square miles (mi² or sqmi)
slightly smaller than Indiana
CurrencyName Euro, Currency Code:EUR
Country Top Level Domain (cTLD).pt
Telephone Country Prefix+351
Mobile Phone Connections15,178,000
Landline Phone Connections4,049,000

Country Position in World Rankings

Information about single country attributes and how these compare against the rest of the world. The information below is compiled with data from 2013. As such, it may differ a bit to the Information above in the text (which is from 2010).


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Area92,090 (sq km)111

People and Society

Value nameValueWorld Rank
Population10,799,270 80
Population growth rate0.15 (%)179
Birth rate9.59 (births/1,000 population)199
Death rate10.91 (deaths/1,000 population)40
Net migration rate2.82 (migrant(s)/1,000 population)31
Maternal mortality rate8.00 (deaths/100,000 live births)163
Infant mortality rate4.54 (deaths/1,000 live births)188
Life expectancy at birth78.85 (years)49
Total fertility rate1.51 (children born/woman)189
Health expenditures11.00 (% of GDP)20
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.60 (%)63
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS42,000 60
HIV/AIDS - deaths500 82
Obesity - adult prevalence rate24.00 (%)69
Education expenditures5.80 (% of GDP)46
Unemployment, youth ages 15-2430.10 (%)23


Value nameValueWorld Rank
GDP (purchasing power parity)250,600,000,000 52
GDP - real growth rate-3.20 (%)213
GDP - per capita (PPP)23,800 65
Labor force5,480,000 73
Unemployment rate15.30 (%)148
Distribution of family income - Gini index38.50 71
Investment (gross fixed)16.10 (% of GDP)131
Taxes and other revenues44.50 (% of GDP)28
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-6.00 (% of GDP)172
Public debt119.70 (% of GDP)9
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2.90 (%)73
Central bank discount rate1.75 (%)124
Commercial bank prime lending rate5.71 (%)146
Stock of narrow money86,550,000,000 38
Stock of broad money298,300,000,000 31
Stock of domestic credit390,400,000,000 31
Market value of publicly traded shares82,000,000,000 46
Industrial production growth rate-2.00 (%)156
Current account balance-6,000,000,000 168
Exports57,800,000,000 57
Imports67,030,000,000 46
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold21,340,000,000 56
Debt - external508,300,000,000 26
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home128,200,000,000 31
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad64,250,000,000 32


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Electricity - production50,300,000,000 (kWh)52
Electricity - consumption47,810,000,000 (kWh)47
Electricity - exports3,191,000,000 (kWh)36
Electricity - imports5,814,000,000 (kWh)35
Electricity - installed generating capacity17,390,000 (kW)42
Electricity - from fossil fuels48.30 (% of total installed capacity)160
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants23.30 (% of total installed capacity)84
Electricity - from other renewable sources22.50 (% of total installed capacity)5
Crude oil - production1,926 (bbl/day)94
Crude oil - imports205,400 (bbl/day)33
Refined petroleum products - production237,000 (bbl/day)52
Refined petroleum products - consumption259,700 (bbl/day)49
Refined petroleum products - exports49,650 (bbl/day)59
Refined petroleum products - imports83,520 (bbl/day)53
Natural gas - consumption5,212,000,000 (cu m)59
Natural gas - imports5,181,000,000 (cu m)33
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy51,430,000 (Mt)60


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Telephones - main lines in use4,530,000 36
Telephones - mobile cellular12,335,000 64
Internet hosts3,748,000 28
Internet users5,168,000 45


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Airports65 77
Railways3,319 (km)53
Roadways82,900 (km)54
Waterways210 (km)96
Merchant marine109 48


Value nameValueWorld Rank
Military expenditures2.30 (% of GDP)60

Data based on CIA facts book 2010 & 2013, wikipedia, national statistical offices and their census releases

List of current world heritage sites

Alto Douro Wine Region
Wine has been produced by traditional landholders in the Alto Douro region for some 2,000 years. Since the 18th century, its main product, port wine, has been world famous for its quality. This long tradition of viticulture has produced a cultural la ...
Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores
Situated on one of the islands in the Azores archipelago, this was an obligatory port of call from the 15th century until the advent of the steamship in the 19th century. The 400-year-old San Sebastião and San João Baptista fortifications are unique ...
Convent of Christ in Tomar
Originally designed as a monument symbolizing the Reconquest, the Convent of the Knights Templar of Tomar (transferred in 1344 to the Knights of the Order of Christ) came to symbolize just the opposite during the Manueline period – the opening up of ...
Cultural Landscape of Sintra
In the 19th century Sintra became the first centre of European Romantic architecture. Ferdinand II turned a ruined monastery into a castle where this new sensitivity was displayed in the use of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance elements and i ...
Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications
The site, extensively fortified from the 17th to 19th centuries, represents the largest bulwarked dry-ditch system in the world. Within its walls, the town contains barracks and other military buildings as well as churches and monasteries. While Elva ...
Historic Centre of Évora
This museum-city, whose roots go back to Roman times, reached its golden age in the 15th century, when it became the residence of the Portuguese kings. Its unique quality stems from the whitewashed houses decorated with azulejos and wrought-iron balc ...
Historic Centre of Guimarães
The historic town of Guimarães is associated with the emergence of the Portuguese national identity in the 12th century. An exceptionally well-preserved and authentic example of the evolution of a medieval settlement into a modern town, its rich buil ...
Historic Centre of Oporto
The city of Oporto, built along the hillsides overlooking the mouth of the Douro river, is an outstanding urban landscape with a 2,000-year history. Its continuous growth, linked to the sea (the Romans gave it the name Portus, or port), can be seen i ...
Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture
The 987-ha site on the volcanic island of Pico, the second largest in the Azores archipelago, consists of a remarkable pattern of spaced-out, long linear walls running inland from, and parallel to, the rocky shore. The walls were built to protect the ...
Laurisilva of Madeira
The Laurisilva of Madeira is an outstanding relict of a previously widespread laurel forest type. It is the largest surviving area of laurel forest and is believed to be 90% primary forest. It contains a unique suite of plants and animals, including ...
Monastery of Alcobaça
The Monastery of Santa Maria d'Alcobaça, north of Lisbon, was founded in the 12th century by King Alfonso I. Its size, the purity of its architectural style, the beauty of the materials and the care with which it was built make this a masterpiece of ...
Monastery of Batalha
The Monastery of the Dominicans of Batalha was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. It was to be the Portuguese monarchy's main building project for the next two centuries. Here ...
Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon
Standing at the entrance to Lisbon harbour, the Monastery of the Hieronymites – construction of which began in 1502 – exemplifies Portuguese art at its best. The nearby Tower of Belém, built to commemorate Vasco da Gama's expedition, is a reminder of ...
Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde
The two Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley (Portugal) and Siega Verde (Spain) are located on the banks of the rivers Agueda and Côa, tributaries of the river Douro, documenting continuous human occupation from the end of the Paleolithic Age ...
University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia
Situated on a hill overlooking the city, the University of Coimbra with its colleges grew and evolved over more than seven centuries within the old town. Notable university buildings include the 12th century Cathedral of Santa Cruz and a number of 16 ...