Background: 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. In January 2011, Portugal assumed a nonpermanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2011-12 term.
Location: Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain
Area land: 91,470 sq km
Area water: 620 sq km
Coastline: 1,793 km
Country name conventional long form: Portuguese Republic
Country name conventional short form: Portugal
Country name former: Portuguese Republic
Population: 10,760,305 (July 2011 est.)
Age structure: 0-14 years: 16.2% (male 910,012/female 835,025); 15-64 years: 65.8% (male 3,539,457/female 3,541,989); 65 years and over: 18% (male 791,950/female 1,141,872) (2011 est.);
Population growth rate: 0.212% (2011 est.)
Birth rate: 9.94 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Death rate: 10.8 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
Net migration rate: 2.98 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.067 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.7 male(s)/female; total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2011 est.);
Infant mortality rate: total: 4.66 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 5.11 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 4.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.);
Life expectancy at birth: total population: 78.54 years; male: 75.28 years; female: 82.01 years (2011 est.);
Total fertility rate: 1.5 children born/woman (2011 est.);
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate: 0.6% (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS: 42,000 (2009 est.);
HIV/AIDS - deaths: fewer than 500 (2009 est.);
Nationality: noun: Portuguese (singular and plural); adjective: Portuguese;
Ethnic groups: homogeneous Mediterranean stock; citizens of black African descent who immigrated to mainland during decolonization number less than 100,000; since 1990 East Europeans have entered Portugal;
Religions: Roman Catholic 84.5%, other Christian 2.2%, other 0.3%, unknown 9%, none 3.9% (2001 census);
Languages: Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official - but locally used);
Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 93.3%; male: 95.5%; female: 91.3% (2003 est.);
GDP (purchasing power parity): $247 billion (2010 est.); $244.5 billion (2009 est.); $251 billion (2008 est.);
GDP (official exchange rate): $223.7 billion (2010 est.);
GDP - real growth rate: 1% (2010 est.); -2.6% (2009 est.); 0% (2008 est.);
GDP - per capita (PPP): $23,000 (2010 est.); $22,800 (2009 est.); $23,500 (2008 est.);
GDP - composition by sector: agriculture: 2.6%; industry: 23%; services: 74.5% (2010 est.);
Population below poverty line: 18% (2006);
Household income or consumption by percentage share: lowest 10%: 3.1%; highest 10%: 28.4% (1995 est.);
Labor force: 5.57 million (2010 est.);
Labor force - by occupation: agriculture: 11.7%; industry: 28.5%; services: 59.8% (2009 est.);
Unemployment rate: 10.7% (2010 est.); 9.5% (2009 est.);
Budget: revenues: $93.61 billion; expenditures: $110.2 billion (2010 est.);
Industries: textiles, clothing, footwear, wood and cork, paper, chemicals, auto-parts manufacturing, base metals, dairy products, wine and other foods, porcelain and ceramics, glassware, technology, telecommunications; ship construction and refurbishment; tourism;
Industrial production growth rate: 0.9% (2010 est.);
Electricity - production: 44.47 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - consumption: 48.78 billion kWh (2007 est.);
Electricity - exports: 1.313 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Electricity - imports: 10.74 billion kWh (2008 est.);
Statistics: CIA World Factbook.
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The I.G.S. will connect activists, advocates, organizations, policy makers, practitioners, innovators, businesses and green leaders from around the globe.
Having the advantage of a large coastline open to the Atlantic and a government willing to commit to the enterprise, the Portuguese are well placed to lead the world in wave-generated energy.
Today, Portugal’s more than 150 forts and castles are enduring monuments to the nation’s will to be independent.
Try a three-day weekend visit to the islands of the Azores, which has breathtaking views of volcanic crater lakes, lush hillsides that sweep down to deep blue-green water.