Portugal (GPS: 39 30 N, 8 00 W) located in Southwestern Europe, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, west of Spain. The country’s area measurements are total: 92,090 sq km; land: 91,470 sq km, water: 620 sq km. This sovereign state is slightly smaller than Indiana. The total irrigated land is 5,400 sq km (2012).
One of the critical features of Portugal: Azores and Madeira Islands occupy strategic locations along with western sea approaches to the Strait of Gibraltar.
It’s significant, and simultaneously, the principal city, Lisbon’s GPS coordinates, is 38 43 N 9 08 W. Lisbon’s local time is 5 hours ahead of Washington DC during Standard Time. The capital’s time difference: UTC 0, note; Daylight saving time: +1hr begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
Following its heyday as a global maritime power during the 15th and 16th centuries, Portugal lost much of its wealth and status with Lisbon’s destruction in a 1755 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars, and the independence of Brazil, its wealthiest colony, in 1822. A 1910 revolution deposed the monarchy, and 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.
Portugal’s names conventional long form: the Portuguese Republic, conventional short form: Portugal, local long form: Republica Portuguesa, local short form: Portugal, etymology: name derives from the Roman designation “Portus Cale” meaning “Port of Cale”; Cale was an ancient Celtic town and port in present-day northern Portugal. The name derives from the Roman designation “Portus Cale,” meaning “Port of Cale”; Cale was an ancient Celtic town and port in present-day northern Portugal.
The west-flowing Tagus River divides the country: the north is mountainous toward the interior while rolling plains characterize the south. The country’s mean elevation: 372 m, elevation extremes; lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m, highest point: Ponta do Pico on Ilha do Pico in the Azores 2,351 m.
The country’s general climate is maritime temperate: cold and rainy in the north, warmer and drier in the south.
The total number of border countries is 1, Spain 1,224 km are the neighboring nations with the indicated border lengths. Portugal’s coastline is 1,793 km. Its marital claims are territorial sea: 12 nautical miles, contiguous zone: 24 nautical miles, exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles, continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation. Waterways: 210 km (on Douro River from Porto) (2011). Land use: agricultural land: 39.7%; arable land 11.9%; permanent crops 7.8%; permanent pasture 20%; forest: 37.8%; other: 22.5% (2011 estimate).
The population in Portugal 10,355,493 (July 2018 estimate), urban population: 63.5% of total population (2015), major urban area’s population: LISBON (capital) 2.884 million; Porto 1.299 million (2015), while Portugal has concentrations are primarily along or near the Atlantic coast; both Lisbon and the second largest city, Porto, are coastal cities. Their spoken languages are Portuguese (official language), Mirandese (official language, but locally used). Main religions in Portugal are Roman Catholic 81%, other Christian 3.3%, other (includes Jewish, Muslim, other) 0.6%, none 6.8%, unspecified 8.3%note: represents population 15 years of age and older (2011 estimate). The nation uses civil law system; Constitutional Court review of legislative acts. It is a(n) semi-presidential republic, National holiday(s) Portugal Day (Dia de Portugal), 10 June (1580).
Economic overview for the country: Portugal has become a diversified and increasingly service-based economy since joining the European Community – the EU’s predecessor – in 1986. Over the following two decades, successive governments privatized many state-controlled firms and liberalized key areas of the economy, including the financial and telecommunications sectors. The country joined the Economic and Monetary Union in 1999 and began circulating the euro on 1 January 2002 and 11 other EU members.
The economy grew by more than the EU average for much of the 1990s, but the growth rate slowed in 2001-2008. After the global financial crisis in 2008, Portugal’s economy contracted in 2009. It fell into recession from 2011 to 2013, as the government implemented spending cuts and tax increases to comply with conditions of an EU-IMF financial rescue package, signed in May 2011. Portugal successfully exited its EU-IMF program in May 2014, and its economic recovery gained traction in 2015 because of strong exports and a rebound in private consumption.
GDP growth accelerated in 2016 and probably reached 2.5 % in 2017. Unemployment remained high, at 9.7% in 2017, but has improved steadily since peaking at 18% in 2013. The center-left minority Socialist government has unwound some unpopular austerity measures while managing to remain within most EU fiscal targets. The budget deficit fell from 11.2% of GDP in 2010 to 1.8% in 2017, the country’s lowest since democracy was restored in 1974, surpassing the EU and IMF projections of 3%. Portugal exited the EU’s excessive deficit procedure in mid-2017.
Main export partners for Portugal, Europe are Spain 25%, France 12.1%, Germany 11.8%, UK 6.7%, US 5.2%, Angola 4.2%, Netherlands 4% (2015) for agricultural products, foodstuffs, wine, oil products, chemical products, plastics and rubber, hides, leather, wood and cork, wood pulp and paper, textile materials, clothing, footwear, machinery and tools, base metals, while the main import partners for the country are: Spain 32.9%, Germany 12.9%, France 7.4%, Italy 5.4%, Netherlands 5.1% (2015) for agricultural products, chemical products, vehicles, and other transport material, optical and precision instruments, computer accessories and parts, semiconductors and related devices, oil products, base metals, food products, textile materials.
When you visit this country in Europe, consider the natural hazards in Portugal: the Azores subject to severe earthquakes volcanism: limited volcanic activity in the Azores Islands, Fayal or Faial (elevation 1,043 m) last erupted in 1958, most volcanoes have not erupted in centuries, historically active volcanoes include Agua de Pau, Furnas, Pico, Picos Volcanic System, San Jorge, Sete Cidades, and Terceira, while infectious diseases are N/A. Also, note that Portugal faces the following environmental issues: Soil erosion, Air pollution caused by industrial and vehicle emissions, water pollution, especially in urban centers and coastal areas.
You may also be interested in Portugal’s surrounding countries around its total 1,224 km border, like Spain.