Portugal facts and figures


Following its heyday as a world 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
in 1822 of Brazil as a colony. 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 entered the EC (now the EU) in 1986.


Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain


total: 92,391 sq km

land: 91,951 sq km

note: includes Azores and Madeira Islands

water: 440 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 1,214 km

border countries: Spain 1,214 km


maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south


mountainous north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in south

Land use:

arable land: 20.57%

permanent crops: 7.74%

other: 71.69% (1999 est.)


10,102,022 (July 2003 est.)


noun: Portuguese (singular and plural)

adjective: Portuguese


Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official – but locally used)