The region of present-day Portugal was inhabited by
Homo sapiens, who roamed the border-less region of the northern Iberian peninsula. These were subsistence societies and although they did not establish prosperous settlements, they did form organized societies. Neolithic Portugal experimented with domestication of herding animals, the raising of some cereal crops and fluvial or marine fishing.
It is believed by some scholars that early in the first millennium BC, several waves of
different tribes. Another theory suggests that Celts inhabited western Iberia / Portugal well before any large Celtic migrations from Central Europe. In addition, a number of linguists expert in ancient Celtic have presented compelling evidence that the Tartessian language, once spoken in parts of SW Spain and SW Portugal, is at least proto-Celtic in structure.
Modern archaeology and research shows a Portuguese root to the Celts in Portugal and elsewhere. During that period and until the Roman invasions, the Castro culture (a variation of the Urnfield culture also known as Urnenfelderkultur) was prolific in Portugal and modern Galicia.
This culture, together with the surviving elements of the Atlantic megalithic culture
Castro Culture. This designation refers to the characteristic Celtic populations called 'dùn', 'dùin' or 'don' in Gaelic and that the Romans called castrae in their chronicles.
Romans first invaded the Iberian Peninsula in 219 BC. The Carthaginians, Rome's adversary in the Punic Wars, were expelled from their coastal colonies. During the last days of Julius Caesar, almost the entire peninsula was annexed to the Roman Republic.
The Roman conquest of what is now part of Portugal took almost two hundred years and took many lives of young soldiers and
the lives of those who were sentenced to a certain death in the slave mines when not sold as slaves to other parts of the empire. It suffered a severe setback in 155 BC, when a rebellion began in the north. The Lusitanians and other native tribes, under the leadership of Viriathus, wrested control of all of western Iberia.
Rome sent numerous legions and its best generals to Lusitania to quell the rebellion, but to no avail – the Lusitanians kept conquering territory. The Roman leaders decided to change their strategy. They bribed Viriathus's allies to kill him. In 139 BC, Viriathus was assassinated and Tautalus became leader of the Lusitanians.
Rome installed a colonial regime. The complete Romanization of Lusitania only took place in the
In 27 BC, Lusitania gained the status of Roman province. Later, a northern province of Lusitania was formed, known as Gallaecia, with capital in Bracara Augusta, today's Braga.
There are still many ruins of castros (
hill forts) throughout modern Portugal and remains of the Castro culture
Some urban remains are quite large, like
National Monument. Conímbriga lies 16 kilometres (10 miles) from Coimbra, which in turn was the ancient Aeminium
. The site also has a museum that displays objects found by archaeologists during their excavations.
Several works of engineering, such as baths, temples, bridges, roads, circuses, theatres and laymen's homes are preserved throughout the country. Coins, some coined in Lusitanian land, as well as numerous pieces of ceramics, were also found. Contemporary historians include
Alenquer (from old Germanic Alan kerk, temple of the Alans), Coimbra and Lisbon.
About 410 and during the 6th century it became a formally declared Kingdom of the Suebi, where king Hermeric made a peace treaty with the Gallaecians before passing his domains to Rechila, his son. In 448 Rechila died, leaving the state in expansion to Rechiar.
After the defeat against the Visigoths, the Suebian kingdom was divided, with Frantan and Aguiulfo ruling simultaneously. Both reigned from 456 to 457, the year in which Maldras (457–459) reunified the kingdom. He was assassinated after a failed Roman-Visigothic conspiracy.
Although the conspiracy did not achieve its true purposes, the Suebian Kingdom was again divided between two kings:
Frumar (Frumario 459–463) and Remismund (Remismundo, son of Maldras) (459–469) who would re-reunify his father's kingdom in 463. He would be forced to adopt Arianism in 465 due to the Visigoth influence.
By 500, the Visigothic Kingdom had been installed in Iberia, it was based in Toledo and advancing westwards. They became a threat to the Suebian rule.
After the death of Remismund in 469 a dark period set in, where virtually all written texts and accounts disappear. This period lasted until 550. The only thing known about this period is that Theodemund (Teodemundo) most probably ruled the Suebians.
The dark period ended with the reign of Karriarico (550–559) who reinstalled Catholic Christianity in 550. He was succeeded by Theodemar (559–570) during whose reign the 1st Council of Braga (561) was held.
The councils represented an advance in the organization of the territory (paroeciam suevorum (Suebian parish) and the
Saint Martin of Braga (São Martinho de Braga).
After the death of Teodomiro, Miro (570–583) was his successor. During his reign, the 2nd Council of Braga (572) was held.
The Visigothic civil war began in 577. Miro intervened. Later in 583 he also organized an unsuccessful expedition to reconquer Seville. During the return from this failed operation Miro died.
In the Suebian Kingdom many internal struggles continued to take place.
Andeca (Audeca 584–585), who failed to prevent the Visigothic invasion led by Leovigildo. The Visigothic invasion, completed in 585, turned the once rich and fertile kingdom of the Suebi into the sixth province of the Gothic kingdom.
For the next 300 years and by the year 700, the entire Iberian Peninsula was ruled by the Visigoths. Under the Visigoths, Gallaecia was a well-defined space governed by a doge of its own. Doges at this time were related to the monarchy and acted as princes in all matters. Both 'governors' Wamba and Wittiza (Vitiza) acted as doge (they would later become kings in Toledo). These two became known as the 'vitizians', who headquartered in the northwest and called on the Arab invaders from the South to be their allies in the struggle for power in 711. King Roderic (Rodrigo) was killed while opposing this invasion, thus becoming the last Visigothic king of Iberia. From the various Germanic groups who settled in western Iberia, the Suebi left the strongest lasting cultural legacy in what is today Portugal, Galicia and western fringes of Asturias.
According to Dan Stanislawski, the Portuguese way of living in regions North of the Tagus is mostly inherited from the Suebi, in which small farms prevail, distinct from the large properties of Southern Portugal.
Bracara Augusta, the modern city of
Orosius, at that time resident in Hispania, shows a rather pacific initial settlement, the newcomers working their lands or serving as bodyguards of the locals.
Another Germanic group that accompanied the Suebi and settled in Gallaecia were the
Buri. They settled in the region between the rivers Cávado and Homem, in the area known as Terras de Bouro (Lands of the Buri).
Islamic period and the Reconquista
The Caliphate of Cordoba in the early 10th century
Today's continental Portugal, along with most of modern Spain, was part of al-Andalus between 726 and 1249, following the Umayyad Caliphate conquest of the Iberian Peninsula. This rule lasted from some decades in the North to five centuries in the South.
After defeating the
Abd-ar-Rahman I with the establishment of the Emirate of Córdoba. After almost two centuries, the Emirate became the Caliphate of Córdoba in 929, until its dissolution a century later in 1031 into no less than 23 small kingdoms, called Taifa kingdoms.
Visigoth nobles. Pelagius called for the remnant of the Christian Visigothic armies to rebel against the Moors and regroup in the unconquered northern Asturian highlands, better known today as the Cantabrian Mountains, in what is today the small mountain region in north-western Spain, adjacent to the Bay of Biscay.
Pelagius' plan was to use the Cantabrian mountains as a place of refuge and protection from the invading Moors. He then aimed to regroup the Iberian Peninsula's Christian armies and use the Cantabrian mountains as a springboard from which to regain their lands. In the process, after defeating the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga in 722, Pelagius was proclaimed king, thus founding the Christian Kingdom of Asturias and starting the war of Christian reconquest known in Portuguese as the Reconquista Cristã.
At the end of the 9th century, the region of Portugal, between the rivers Minho and Douro, was reconquered from the Moors by the nobleman and knight Vímara Peres on the orders of King Alfonso III of Asturias. Finding that the region had previously had two major cities – Portus Cale in the coast and Braga in the interior, with many towns that were now deserted – he decided to repopulate and rebuild them with Portuguese and Galician refugees and other Christians.
Apart from the Arabs from the South, the coastal regions in the North were also attacked by
Olaf II Haraldsson
in 1014 against the Galician nobility who also stopped further advances into the County of Portugal.
Count Vímara Peres organized the region he had reconquered, and elevated it to the status of County, naming it the County of Portugal after the region's major port city – Portus Cale or modern Porto. One of the first cities Vimara Peres founded at this time is Vimaranes, known today as Guimarães – the "birthplace of the Portuguese nation" or the "cradle city" (Cidade Berço in Portuguese).
After annexing the County of Portugal into one of the several counties that made up the Kingdom of Asturias, King Alfonso III of Asturias knighted Vímara Peres, in 868, as the First Count of Portus Cale (Portugal). The region became known as Portucale, Portugale, and simultaneously Portugália – the County of Portugal.
Later the Kingdom of Asturias was divided into a number of Christian Kingdoms in Northern Iberia due to dynastic divisions of inheritance among the king's offspring. With the forced abdication of Alfonso III "the Great" of Asturias by his sons in 910, the Kingdom of Asturias split into three separate kingdoms. The three kingdoms were eventually reunited in 924 under the crown of León.
Teresa of León, for his role in reconquering the land from Moors. Henry based his newly formed county in Bracara Augusta (modern Braga
), capital city of the ancient Roman province, and also previous capital of several kingdoms over the first millennia.
During the Reconquista period, Christians reconquered the Iberian Peninsula from Moorish domination. Afonso Henriques and his successors, aided by military monastic orders, pushed southward to drive out the Moors. At this time, Portugal covered about half of its present area. In 1249, the Reconquista ended with the capture of the Algarve and complete expulsion of the last Moorish settlements on the southern coast, giving Portugal its present-day borders, with minor exceptions.
In one of these situations of conflict with the
Treaty of Alcañices (1297), which stipulated that Portugal abolished agreed treaties against the kingdom of Castile for supporting the infant Juan de Castilla. This treaty established among other things the border demarcation between the kingdom of Portugal and the kingdom of Leon, where the disputed town of Olivenza
Portugal also spearheaded European exploration of the world and the
Henry the Navigator, son of King John I of Portugal, became the main sponsor and patron of this endeavour. During this period, Portugal explored the Atlantic Ocean, discovering the Atlantic archipelagos the Azores, Madeira, and Cape Verde; explored the African coast; colonized selected areas of Africa; discovered an eastern route to India via the Cape of Good Hope; discovered Brazil, explored the Indian Ocean, established trading routes throughout most of southern Asia; and sent the first direct European maritime trade and diplomatic missions to China and Japan
In 1415, Portugal acquired the first of its overseas colonies by conquering Ceuta, the first prosperous Islamic trade centre in North Africa. There followed the first discoveries in the Atlantic: Madeira and the Azores, which led to the first colonization movements.
In 1422, by decree of King John I, Portugal officially abandoned the previous dating system, the
Era of Caesar, and adopted the Anno Domini system, therefore becoming the last catholic realm to do so.
The Treaty of Tordesillas, intended to resolve the dispute that had been created following the return of Christopher Columbus, was made by Pope Alexander VI, the mediator between Portugal and Spain. It was signed on 7 June 1494, and divided the newly discovered lands outside Europe between the two countries along a meridian 370 leagues west of the Cape Verde islands (off the west coast of Africa).
Disregarding traditional Portuguese institutions of governance, John V acted as an absolute monarch, nearly depleting the country's tax revenues on ambitious architectural works, most notably
, and on commissions and additions for his sizeable art and literary collections.
Owing to his craving for international diplomatic recognition, John also spent large sums on the embassies he sent to the courts of Europe, the most famous being those he sent to Paris in 1715 and Rome in 1716.
Official estimates – and most estimates made so far – place the number of Portuguese migrants to Colonial Brazil during the gold rush of the 18th century at 600,000. This represented one of the largest movements of European populations to their colonies in the Americas during colonial times.
As the King's confidence in Carvalho e Melo increased, the King entrusted him with more control of the state. By 1755, Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo was made Prime Minister. Impressed by British economic success that he had witnessed from his time as an Ambassador, he successfully implemented similar economic policies in Portugal. He abolished slavery in mainland Portugal and in the Portuguese colonies in India, reorganized the army and the navy, restructured the University of Coimbra, and ended legal discrimination against different Christian sects in Portugal by abolishing the distinction between Old and New Christians.
Carvalho e Melo's greatest reforms were economic and financial, with the creation of several companies and guilds to regulate every commercial activity. He created one of the first appellation systems in the world by demarcating the region for production of Port to ensure the wine's quality; and this was the first attempt to control wine quality and production in Europe. He ruled with a strong hand by imposing strict law upon all classes of Portuguese society from the high nobility to the poorest working class, along with a widespread review of the country's tax system. These reforms gained him enemies in the upper classes, especially among the high nobility, who despised him as a social upstart.
devastated Portugal with an estimated magnitude between 8.5 and 9.0.
Disaster fell upon Portugal in the morning of 1 November 1755, when Lisbon was struck by a violent earthquake with an estimated moment magnitude of 8.5–9. The city was razed to the ground by the earthquake and the subsequent tsunami and ensuing fires. Carvalho e Melo survived by a stroke of luck and then immediately embarked on rebuilding the city, with his famous quote: "What now? We bury the dead and take care of the living."
Despite the calamity and huge death toll, Lisbon suffered no epidemics and within less than one year was already being rebuilt. The new city centre of Lisbon was designed to resist subsequent earthquakes. Architectural models were built for tests, and the effects of an earthquake were simulated by having troops march around the models. The buildings and large squares of the Pombaline Downtown still remain as one of Lisbon's tourist attractions. Carvalho e Melo also made an important contribution to the study of seismology by designing a detailed inquiry on the effects of the earthquake, the Parochial Memories of 1758, that was sent to every parish in the country; this wealth of information allows modern scientists to reconstruct the event with some degree of scientific precision while also giving current historians an immense amount of demographic, topographic and prosopographic information on the rest of the kingdom as well as information on its urban and rural areas.
Following the earthquake,
Jesuits were suppressed and expelled from the country and their assets confiscated by the crown. Carvalho e Melo spared none involved, even women and children (notably, eight-year-old Leonor de Almeida Portugal, imprisoned in a convent for nineteen years). This was the final stroke that crushed all opposition by publicly demonstrating even the aristocracy was powerless before the King's loyal minister. Joseph I ennobled Carvalho e Melo as Count of Oeiras
, but by 1763 the status quo between Spain and Portugal before the war had been restored.
Following the Távora affair, the new Count of Oeiras knew no opposition. Further titled "Marquês de Pombal" in 1770, he effectively ruled Portugal until Joseph I's death in 1777.
The new ruler, Queen Maria I of Portugal, disliked the Marquês de Pombal because of the power he amassed, and never forgave him for the ruthlessness with which he dispatched the Távora family, and upon her accession to the throne, she withdrew all his political offices. The Marquês de Pombal was banished to his estate at Pombal, where he died in 1782.
However, historians also argue that Pombal's "enlightenment," while far-reaching, was primarily a mechanism for enhancing autocracy at the expense of individual liberty and especially an apparatus for crushing opposition, suppressing criticism, and furthering colonial economic exploitation as well as intensifying book censorship and consolidating personal control and profit.
With the invasions by Napoleon, Portugal began a slow but inexorable decline that lasted until the 20th century. This decline was hastened by the independence of Brazil, the country's largest colonial possession.
The frontispiece of the 1826 Portuguese Constitution featuring King-Emperor Pedro IV and his daughter Queen Maria II
As a result of the change in its status and the arrival of the Portuguese royal family, Brazilian administrative, civic,
French Invasion of Portugal and by 1815 the situation in Europe had cooled down sufficiently that João VI would have been able to return safely to Lisbon. However, the King of Portugal remained in Brazil until the Liberal Revolution of 1820, which started in Porto
, demanded his return to Lisbon in 1821.
Thus he returned to Portugal but left his son Pedro in charge of Brazil. When the Portuguese Government attempted the following year to return the Kingdom of Brazil to subordinate status, his son Pedro, with the overwhelming support of the Brazilian elites, declared Brazil's independence from Portugal. Cisplatina (today's sovereign state of Uruguay), in the south, was one of the last additions to the territory of Brazil under Portuguese rule.
Brazilian independence was recognized in 1825, whereby Emperor Pedro I granted to his father the titular honour of Emperor of Brazil. John VI's death in 1826 caused serious questions in his succession. Though Pedro was his heir, and reigned briefly as Pedro IV, his status as a Brazilian monarch was seen as an impediment to holding the Portuguese throne by both nations. Pedro abdicated in favour of his daughter,
to reinstall his daughter and establish a constitutional monarchy in Portugal. The war ended in 1834, with Miguel's defeat, the promulgation of a constitution, and the reinstatement of Queen Maria II.
Pedro V (Peter V) modernized the country during his short reign (1853–1861). Under his reign, roads, telegraphs, and railways were constructed and improvements in public health advanced. His popularity increased when, during the cholera outbreak of 1853–1856, he visited hospitals handing out gifts and comforting the sick. Pedro's reign was short, as he died of cholera in 1861, after a series of deaths in the royal family, including his two brothers Infante Fernando and Infante João, Duke of Beja, and his wife, Stephanie of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Pedro not having children, his brother, Luís I of Portugal
(Louis I) ascended the throne and continued his modernization.
At the height of European colonialism in the 19th century, Portugal had already lost its territory in South America and all but a few bases in Asia. Luanda, Benguela, Bissau, Lourenço Marques, Porto Amboim and the Island of Mozambique were among the oldest Portuguese-founded port cities in its African territories. During this phase, Portuguese colonialism focused on expanding its outposts in Africa into nation-sized territories to compete with other European powers there.
in Mozambique, started to be built to link coastal areas and selected inland regions.
Other episodes during this period of the Portuguese presence in Africa include the 1890 British Ultimatum. This forced the Portuguese military to retreat from the land between the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola (most of present-day Zimbabwe and Zambia), which had been claimed by Portugal and included in its "Pink Map", which clashed with British aspirations to create a Cape to Cairo Railway.
bankrupt twice – first on 14 June 1892, and then again on 10 May 1902 – causing social turmoil, economic disturbances, angry protests, revolts and criticism of the monarchy. His second and youngest son, Manuel II of Portugal, became the new king, but was eventually overthrown by the 5 October 1910 Portuguese republican revolution, which abolished the monarchy and installed a republican government in Portugal, causing him and his royal family to flee into exile in London
Portugal remained neutral in World War II.
From the 1940s to the 1960s, Portugal was a founding member of NATO, OECD and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Gradually, new economic development projects and relocation of mainland Portuguese citizens into the overseas provinces in Africa were initiated, with Angola and Mozambique, as the largest and richest overseas territories, being the main targets of those initiatives. These actions were used to affirm Portugal's status as a transcontinental nation and not as a colonial empire.
After India attained independence in 1947, pro-Indian residents of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, with the support of the Indian government and the help of pro-independence organizations, separated the territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli from Portuguese rule in 1954. In 1961, Fort of São João Baptista de Ajudá's annexation by the Republic of Dahomey was the start of a process that led to the final dissolution of the centuries-old Portuguese Empire.
According to the census of 1921 São João Baptista de Ajudá had five inhabitants and, at the moment of the ultimatum by the Dahomey Government, it had only two inhabitants representing Portuguese Sovereignty.
Another forcible retreat from overseas territories occurred in December 1961 when Portugal refused to relinquish the territories of Goa, Daman and Diu in India. As a result, the Portuguese army and navy were involved in armed conflict in its colony of Portuguese India against the Indian Armed Forces.
The operations resulted in the defeat and surrender of the limited Portuguese defensive garrison, which was forced to surrender to a much larger military force. The outcome was the loss of the remaining Portuguese territories in the Indian subcontinent. The Portuguese regime refused to recognize Indian sovereignty over the annexed territories, which continued to be represented in Portugal's National Assembly until the military coup of 1974.
Throughout the colonial war period Portugal had to deal with increasing dissent, arms embargoes and other punitive sanctions imposed by most of the international community. However, the authoritarian and conservative Estado Novo regime, first installed and governed by António de Oliveira Salazar and from 1968 onwards led by Marcelo Caetano, tried to preserve a vast centuries-long intercontinental empire with a total area of 2,168,071 km2 (837,097 sq mi).
Portuguese refugees fled the former Portuguese provinces as white settlers were usually not considered part of the new identities of the former Portuguese colonies in Africa and Asia. Mário Soares and António de Almeida Santos were charged with organizing the independence of Portugal's overseas territories. By 1975, all the Portuguese African territories were independent and Portugal held its first democratic elections
in 50 years.
Portugal continued to be governed by a
Junta de Salvação Nacional until the Portuguese legislative election of 1976. It was won by the Portuguese Socialist Party (PS) and Mário Soares, its leader, became Prime Minister of the 1st Constitutional Government on 23 July. Mário Soares would be Prime Minister from 1976 to 1978 and again from 1983 to 1985. In this capacity Soares tried to resume the economic growth and development record that had been achieved before the Carnation Revolution, during the last decade of the previous regime. He initiated the process of accession to the European Economic Community
(EEC) by starting accession negotiations as early as 1977.
(IMF)-monitored stabilization programmes in 1977–78 and 1983–85.
In 1986, Portugal, along with Spain, joined the
structural and cohesion funds
and Portuguese companies' easier access to foreign markets.
Portugal's last overseas and Asian colonial territory, Macau, was peacefully handed over to the People's Republic of China (PRC) on 20 December 1999, under the 1987 joint declaration that set the terms for Macau's handover from Portugal to the PRC. In 2002, the independence of East Timor (Asia) was formally recognized by Portugal, after an incomplete decolonization process that was started in 1975 because of the Carnation Revolution, but interrupted by an Indonesian armed invasion and occupation.
On 26 March 1995, Portugal started to implement Schengen Area rules, eliminating border controls with other Schengen members while simultaneously strengthening border controls with non-member states. In 1996 the country was a co-founder of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) headquartered in Lisbon. In 1996, Jorge Sampaio became president. He won re-election in January 2001. Expo '98 took place in Portugal and in 1999 it was one of the founding countries of the euro and the eurozone. On 5 July 2004, José Manuel Barroso, then Prime Minister of Portugal, was nominated President of the European Commission, the most powerful office in the European Union. On 1 December 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into force, after it had been signed by the European Union member states on 13 December 2007 in the Jerónimos Monastery, in Lisbon, enhancing the efficiency and democratic legitimacy of the Union and improving the coherence of its action. Ireland was the only EU state to hold a democratic referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. It was initially rejected by voters in 2008.
Economic disruption and an unsustainable growth in
The territory of Portugal includes an area on the Iberian Peninsula (referred to as the continent by most Portuguese) and two archipelagos in the Atlantic Ocean: the archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores. It lies between latitudes 30° and 42° N, and longitudes 32° and 6° W.
Mainland Portugal is split by its main river, the Tagus, that flows from Spain and disgorges in the Tagus Estuary, in Lisbon, before escaping into the Atlantic. The northern landscape is mountainous towards the interior with several plateaus indented by river valleys, whereas the south, including the Algarve and the Alentejo regions, is characterized by rolling plains.
Portugal's highest peak is the similarly named Mount Pico on the island of Pico in the Azores. This ancient volcano, with a height of 2,351 m (7,713 ft) is an iconic symbol of the Azores, while the Serra da Estrela on the mainland (the summit being 1,991 m (6,532 ft) above sea level) is an important seasonal attraction for skiers and winter sports enthusiasts.
The archipelagos of Madeira and the Azores are scattered within the Atlantic Ocean: the Azores straddling the Mid-Atlantic Ridge on a tectonic triple junction, and Madeira along a range formed by in-platehotspot geology. Geologically, these islands were formed by volcanic and seismic events. The last terrestrial volcanic eruption occurred in 1957–58 (Capelinhos) and minor earthquakes occur sporadically, usually of low intensity.
Köppen climate classification map of continental Portugal
Portugal is mainly characterized by a
river basin. There are however, variations from the highlands to the lowlands: Spanish biologist Salvador Rivas Martinez presents several different bioclimatic zones for Portugal. The Algarve, separated from the Alentejo region by mountains reaching up to 900 metres (3,000 ft) in Alto da Fóia
, has a climate similar to that of the southern coastal areas of Spain or Southwest Australia.
In some areas, such as the Guadiana basin, annual diurnal average temperatures can be as high as 26 °C (79 °F), and summer's highest temperatures are routinely over 40 °C (104 °F). The record high of 47.4 °C (117.3 °F) was recorded in Amareleja, although this might not be the hottest spot in summer, according to satellite readings.
as one of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe and as one of the 100 most beautiful beaches in the world.
Snowfalls occur regularly in the winter in the interior North and Centre of the country in districts such as
Serra do Gerês, Serra do Marão and Serra de Montesinho. In these places snow can fall any time from October to May. In the South of the country snowfalls are rare but still occur in the highest elevations. While the official absolute minimum by IPMA is −16.0 °C (3.2 °F) in Penhas da Saúde and Miranda do Douro, lower temperatures have been recorded, such as −17.5 °C (0.5 °F) by Bragança
Polytechnic Institute in the outskirts of the city in 1983, and below −20.0 °C (−4.0 °F) in Serra da Estrela.
Continental Portugal receives around 2,300 to 3,200 hours of sunshine a year, an average of 4–6 hours in winter and 10–12 hours in the summer, with higher values in the south-east, south-west and the Algarve coast and lower in the north-west. Insolation values are lower in the archipelagos, with around 1,600 hours in the humid
Portugal's central west and southwest coasts have an extreme ocean seasonal lag, sea temperatures are warmer in October than in July and are their coldest in March.
The average sea surface temperature on the west coast of mainland Portugal varies from 14–16 °C (57.2–60.8 °F) in January−March to 19–21 °C (66.2–69.8 °F) in August−October while on the south coast it ranges from 16 °C (60.8 °F) in January−March and rises in the summer to about 22–23 °C (71.6–73.4 °F), occasionally reaching 26 °C (78.8 °F). In the Azores, around 16 °C (60.8 °F) in February−April to 22–24 °C (71.6–75.2 °F) in July−September, and in Madeira, around 18 °C (64.4 °F) in February−April to 23–24 °C (73.4–75.2 °F) in August−October.
Both the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira have a subtropical climate, although variations between islands exist, making weather predictions very difficult (owing to rough topography). The Madeira and Azorean archipelagos have a narrower temperature range, with annual average temperatures exceeding 20 °C (68 °F) in some parts of the coast (according to the Portuguese Meteorological Institute). Some islands in Azores do have drier months in the summer. Consequently, the islands of the Azores have been identified as having a
(Cfb) at higher altitudes, according to Köppen-Geiger classification.
Porto Santo Island in Madeira has a warm semi-arid climate (BSh). The Savage Islands, which are part of the regional territory of Madeira and a nature reserve are unique in being classified as a desert climate (BWh) with an annual average rainfall of approximately 150 mm (5.9 in). The sea surface temperature in these islands varies from 18.5 °C (65.3 °F) in winter to 23–24 °C (73.4–75.2 °F) in the summer occasionally reaching 25 °C (77.0 °F).
These geographical and climatic conditions facilitate the introduction of exotic species that later turn to be invasive and destructive to the native habitats. Around 20% of the total number of extant species in continental Portugal are exotic. In Madeira, around 36% and in the Azores, around 70% species are exotic. Due to this, Portugal was placed 168th globally out of 172 countries on the Forest Landscape Integrity Index in 2019.
, have many endemic species that have evolved independently from their European, African and occasionally American relatives.
The Portuguese west coast is part of the four major Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems of the ocean. This seasonal upwelling system typically seen during the summer months brings cooler, nutrient rich water up to the sea surface promoting phytoplankton growth, zooplankton development and the subsequent rich diversity in pelagic fish and other marine invertebrates.
cetacean roam through the Azores, making it one of four places in the world where most species of this infraorder occur. Starting in the mid-19th century and ceasing in 1984, whaling (especially of sperm whale) heavily exploited this diversity. Beginning in the early 90s, whale watching quickly grew to popularity and is now one of the main economic activities in the Portuguese archipelago.
The President, who is elected to a five-year term, has an executive role: the current President is
oversees the constitutionality of the laws.
Portugal operates a multi-party system of competitive legislatures/local administrative governments at the national, regional and local levels. The Assembly of the Republic, Regional Assemblies and local municipalities and parishes, are dominated by two political parties, the
Democratic and Social Centre – People's Party
, which garner between 5 and 15% of the vote regularly.
The Government is headed by the presidentially appointed Prime Minister, also including one or more Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers, Secretaries of State and Under-Secretaries of State.
The Government is both the organ of sovereignty that conducts the general politics of the country and the superior body of the public administration.
It has essentially Executive powers, but has also limited legislative powers. The Government can legislate about its own organization, about areas covered by legislative authorizations conceded by the Assembly of the Republic and about the specific regulation of generalist laws issued by the Assembly.
The Council of Ministers – under the presidency of the Prime Minister (or the President of Portugal at the latter's request) and the Ministers (may also include one or more Deputy Prime Ministers) – acts as the cabinet. Each government is required to define the broad outline of its policies in a programme, and present it to the Assembly for a mandatory period of debate. The failure of the Assembly to reject the government programme by an absolute majority of deputies confirms the cabinet in office.
The Assembly of the Republic, in Lisbon, is the national parliament of Portugal. It is the main legislative body, although the Government also has limited legislative powers.
The Assembly of the Republic is a unicameral body composed of up to 230 deputies. Elected by universal suffrage according to a system of closedparty-list proportional representation, deputies serve four-year terms of office, unless the President dissolves the Assembly and calls for new elections.
There are two international territorial disputes, both with Spain:
Olivenza. Under Portuguese sovereignty since 1297, the municipality of Olivenza was ceded to Spain under the Treaty of Badajoz in 1801, after the War of the Oranges. Portugal claimed it back in 1815 under the Treaty of Vienna. However, since the 19th century, it has been continuously ruled by Spain which considers the territory theirs not only de facto but also de jure.
The Ilhas Selvagens (
Exclusive Economic Zone of Portugal considerably to the south.
The armed forces have three branches: Navy, Army and Air Force. They serve primarily as a self-defence force whose mission is to protect the territorial integrity of the country and provide humanitarian assistance and security at home and abroad. As of 2008[update], the three branches numbered 39,200 active personnel including 7,500 women. Portuguese military expenditure in 2009 was 5 billion US$, representing 2.1 per cent of GDP. Military conscription was abolished in 2004. The minimum age for voluntary recruitment is 18 years.
The Army (21,000 personnel) comprises three brigades and other small units. An
Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon
as the main combat aircraft.
In addition to the three branches of the armed forces, there is the National Republican Guard, a security force subject to military law and organization (gendarmerie) comprising 25,000 personnel. This force is under the authority of both the Defence and the Interior Ministry. It has provided detachments for participation in international operations in Iraq and East Timor.
The United States maintains a military presence with 770 troops in the
, near Lisbon.
In the 20th century, Portugal engaged in two major conflicts:
Portugal also conducted several independent unilateral military operations abroad, as were the cases of the interventions of the Portuguese Armed Forces in Angola in 1992 and in Guinea-Bissau in 1998 with the main objectives of protecting and withdrawing of Portuguese and foreign citizens threatened by local civil conflicts.
The Portuguese legal system is part of the civil law legal system, also called the continental family legal system. The main laws include the Constitution (1976, as amended), the Portuguese Civil Code (1966, as amended) and the Penal Code of Portugal (1982, as amended). Other relevant laws are the Commercial Code (1888, as amended) and the Civil Procedure Code (1961, as amended).
Portugal is also known for having decriminalized the usage of all common drugs in 2001, the first country in the world to do so. Portugal decriminalized possession of effectively all drugs that are still illegal in other developed nations including
LSD. While possession is legal, trafficking and possession of more than "10 days worth of personal use" are still punishable by jail time and fines. People caught with small amounts of any drug are given the choice to go to a rehab facility, and may refuse treatment without consequences. Despite criticism from other European nations, who stated Portugal's drug consumption would tremendously increase, overall drug use has declined along with the number of HIV infection cases, which had dropped 50 percent by 2009. Drug use among 16- to 18-year-olds also declined, however the use of marijuana rose only slightly among that age group.
– PJ (Judicial Police), a highly specialized criminal investigation police that is overseen by the Public Ministry.
Portugal has 49 correctional facilities in total run by the Ministry of Justice. They include seventeen central prisons, four special prisons, twenty-seven regional prisons, and one 'Cadeia de Apoio' (Support Detention Centre). As of 1 January 2021[update], their current prison population is about 11,234 inmates, which comes to about 0.11% of their entire population. Their incarceration rate has been on the rise since 2010, with a 15% increase over the past eight years.
The Portuguese government is heavily indebted, and received a 78-billion-euro bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in May 2011. The ratio of Portugal's debt to its overall economy, was 107 per cent when it received the bailout. As part of the deal, the country agreed to cut its budget deficit from 9.8 per cent of GDP in 2010 to 5.9 per cent in 2011, 4.5 per cent in 2012 and 3 per cent in 2013.
After the bailout was announced, the Portuguese government headed by
Portugal Telecom which gave it veto power over vital decisions. In 2012, all public servants had already seen an average wage cut of 20% relative to their 2010 baseline, with cuts reaching 25% for those earning more than 1,500 euro per month.
The IMF, the European Commission (EC) and the European Central Bank (ECB) said in September 2012 that Portugal's debt would peak at 124 per cent of gross domestic product in 2014. The IMF previously said in July 2012 that Portugal's debt would peak at about 118.5 per cent of GDP in 2013. In September 2013, the Portuguese Government reviewed again the public debt of Portugal for 2013 to 127.8 per cent, after a peak of 130.9 per cent in that month.
structural and cohesion funds were mismanaged across almost four decades.
Two Portuguese banks, Banco Português de Negócios (BPN) and Banco Privado Português (BPP), had been accumulating losses for years due to bad investments, embezzlement and accounting fraud. The case of BPN was particularly serious because of its size, market share, and the political implications – Portugal's then President, Cavaco Silva and some of his political allies, maintained personal and business relationships with the bank and its CEO, who was eventually charged and arrested for fraud and other crimes. On grounds of avoiding a potentially serious financial crisis in the Portuguese economy, the Portuguese government decided to give them a bailout, eventually at a future loss to taxpayers and to the Portuguese people in general.
high-tech sector. Consequently, business services have overtaken more traditional industries such as textiles, clothing, footwear and cork (Portugal is the world's leading cork producer), wood products and beverages.
In the second decade of the 21st century, the Portuguese economy suffered its most severe recession since the 1970s, resulting in the country having to be bailed out by the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The bailout, agreed to in 2011, required
Portugal to enter into a range of austerity measures in exchange for funding support of €78,000,000,000. In May 2014, the country exited the bailout but reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining its reformist momentum. At the time of exiting the bailout, the economy had contracted by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2014; however, unemployment, while still high, had fallen to 15.3%.
The average salary in Portugal is €1,039 per month, excluding self-employed individuals and the minimum wage, which is regulated by law, is €705 per month (paid 14 times per annum) as of 2022.
The Economist Intelligence Unit's quality of life index placed Portugal as the country with the 19th-best quality of life in the world for 2005, ahead of other economically and technologically advanced countries like France, Germany, the United Kingdom and South Korea, but nine places behind its sole neighbour, Spain. This is despite the fact that Portugal remains as one of the countries with the lowest per capita GDP in Western Europe.
The International Monetary Fund issued an update report on the economy of Portugal in late-June 2017 with a strong near-term outlook and an increase in investments and exports over previous years. Because of a surplus in 2016, the country was no longer bound by the Excessive Deficit Procedure which had been implemented during an earlier financial crisis. The banking system was more stable, although there were still non-performing loans and corporate debt. The IMF recommended working on solving these problems for Portugal to be able to attract more private investment. "Sustained strong growth, together with continued public debt reduction, would reduce vulnerabilities arising from high indebtedness, particularly when monetary accommodation is reduced."
The OECD economic reports since 2018 show recovery, albeit slow; and Portugal's growth prospects continue positive for 2020.
). In 2001, the gross agricultural product accounted for 4% of the national GDP.
"Cupa", Roman tombstones in the shape of wooden wine barrels, were used to mark the grave of winemakers in the 3rd century in Alentejo, a region to this day renowned for its wines.
Traditionally a sea power, Portugal has had a strong tradition in
Sines, Portimão and Madeira. Portuguese-processed fish products are exported through several companies, under a number of different brands and registered trademarks, such as Ramirez
, the world's oldest active canned fish producer.
Portugal is a significant European
minerals producer and is ranked among Europe's leading copper producers. The nation is also a notable producer of tin, tungsten and uranium. However, the country lacks the potential to conduct hydrocarbon exploration and aluminium, a limitation that has hindered the development of Portugal's mining and metallurgy sectors. Although the country has vast iron and coal reserves – mainly in the north – after the 1974 revolution and the consequent economic globalization, low competitiveness forced a decrease in the extraction activity for these minerals. The Panasqueira and Neves-Corvo mines are among the most recognized Portuguese mines that are still in operation.
Portugal is rich in its lithium subsoil, which is especially concentrated in the districts of Guarda, Viseu, Vila Real and Viana do Castelo, while most of the country's lithium comes from the Gonçalo aplite-pegmatite field. The largest lithium mine in Europe is operated by Grupo Mota, Felmica, in the Guarda region, which is estimated to have reserves for 30 years of production. It has five more deposits in its possession. Savannah Resources in May 2018 announced a 52% increase in the estimated lithium resources at the Mina do Barroso Lithium Project in northern Portugal, saying the country could become the first European supplier of spodumene, a lithium-bearing mineral. The company said the estimated mineral resources at the mine now stood at 14 million tonnes. Lithium prices have risen in expectation of growing demand for the mineral, which is used in batteries for electric vehicles and for storing electricity from the power grid. Europe consumes more than 20 per cent of the global supply of battery-grade lithium but currently has to import all its supplies of the mineral.
W Resources stated in 2018 that it had started a new drilling campaign at its São Martinho gold project in Portugal. The so-called reverse circulation drilling programme included 15 holes with around 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) of total drilling. The objective is to extend resources by integrating the data from 2016 drilling results with the expansion expected with the ongoing campaign.
The banking and insurance sectors performed well until the financial crisis of 2007–2008, and this partly reflected a rapid deepening of the market in Portugal. While sensitive to various types of market and underwriting risks, it has been estimated that overall both the life and non-life sectors will be able to withstand a number of severe shocks, even though the impact on individual insurers varies widely.
Travel and tourism continue to be extremely important for Portugal. It has been necessary for the country to focus upon its niche attractions, such as health, nature and rural tourism, to stay ahead of its competitors.
Portugal is among the top 20 most-visited countries in the world, receiving an average of 20,000,000 foreign tourists each year. In 2014, Portugal was elected The Best European Country by USA Today.
In 2017, Portugal was elected both Europe's Leading Destination
Also, between 5–6 million religious pilgrims visit Fatima each year, where apparitions of the Virgin Mary to three shepherd children allegedly took place in 1917. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima is one of the largest Roman Catholic shrines in the world. The Portuguese government continues to promote and develop new tourist destinations, such as the Douro Valley, the island of Porto Santo, and Alentejo.
The legend of the
calvary that is part of the collection of the Archaeological Museum located in Paço dos Condes, a gothic-style palace in Barcelos
European Innovation Scoreboard 2011, placed Portugal-based innovation in the 15th position, with an impressive increase in innovation expenditure and output. Portugal was ranked 31st in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, up from 32nd in 2019.
consumption and purchase of new automobiles set the priority for improvements in transportation. Again in the 1990s, after joining the European Economic Community
, the country built many new motorways. Today, the country has a 68,732 km (42,708 mi) road network, of which almost 3,000 km (1,864 mi) are part of system of 44 motorways. Opened in 1944, the first motorway (which linked Lisbon to the National Stadium) was an innovative project that made Portugal one of the first countries in the world to establish a motorway (this roadway eventually became the Lisbon-Cascais highway, or A5).
Although a few other tracts were created (around 1960 and 1970), it was only after the beginning of the 1980s that large-scale motorway construction was implemented. In 1972,
Vasco da Gama bridge is the longest bridge in the EU (the second longest in Europe) at 12.345 km.
ANA – Aeroportos de Portugal
. One other important airport is the Aeroporto Internacional das Lajes on the island of Terceira in the Azores. This airport serves as one of two international airports serving countries outside the European Union for all nine islands of the Azores. It also serves as a military air base for the United States Air Force. The base remains in use to the present day.
A national railway system that extends throughout the country and into Spain, is supported and administered by Comboios de Portugal (CP). Rail transport of passengers and goods is derived using the 2,791 km (1,734 mi) of railway lines currently in service, of which 1,430 km (889 mi) are electrified and about 900 km (559 mi) allow train speeds greater than 120 km/h (75 mph). The railway network is managed by Infraestruturas de Portugal while the transport of passengers and goods are the responsibility of CP, both public companies. In 2006, the CP carried 133,000,000 passengers and 9,750,000 tonnes (9,600,000 long tons; 10,700,000 short tons) of goods.
The two largest metropolitan areas have subway systems:
Porto Metropolitan Area, each with more than 35 km (22 mi) of lines. In Portugal, Lisbon tram services have been supplied by the Companhia de Carris de Ferro de Lisboa (Carris), for over a century. In Porto, a tram network, of which only a tourist line on the shores of the Douro remains, began construction on 12 September 1895 (a first for the Iberian Peninsula
). All major cities and towns have their own local urban transport network, as well as taxi services.
Portugal has considerable resources of wind and river power, the two most cost-effective renewable energy sources. Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been a trend towards the development of a renewable resource industry and reduction of both consumption and use of fossil fuels. In 2006, the world's largest
In 2008, renewable energy resources were producing 43% of the nation's consumption of electricity, even as hydroelectric production decreased with severe droughts. As of June 2010, electricity exports had outnumbered imports. In the period between January and May 2010, 70% of the national production of energy came from renewable sources.
Portugal's national energy transmission company, Redes Energéticas Nacionais (REN), uses sophisticated modelling to predict weather, especially wind patterns, and computer programs to calculate energy from the various renewable-energy plants.
Before the solar/wind revolution, Portugal had generated electricity from hydropower plants on its rivers for decades. New programmes combine wind and water: wind-driven turbines pump water uphill at night, the most blustery period; then the water flows downhill by day, generating electricity, when consumer demand is highest. Portugal's distribution system is also now a two-way street. Instead of just delivering electricity, it draws electricity from even the smallest generators, like rooftop solar panels. The government aggressively encouraged such contributions by setting a premium price for those who buy rooftop-generated solar electricity.
The Statistics Portugal (Portuguese: INE – Instituto Nacional de Estatística) estimates that, according to the 2021 census, the population was 10,343,066 (of which 52.4% was female and 47.6% was male). The median life expectancy in 2022 was 82.47 years.
This population has been relatively homogeneous for most of its history: a single religion (Roman Catholicism) and a single language have contributed to this ethnic and national unity.
The most important demographic influence in the modern Portuguese seems to be the oldest one; current interpretation of
mtDNA data suggests that the Portuguese have their origin in Paleolithic peoples that began arriving to the European continent around 45,000 years ago. All subsequent migrations did leave an impact, genetically and culturally, but the main population source of the Portuguese is still Paleolithic. Genetic studies show Portuguese populations not to be significantly different from other European populations. Portuguese people have a preponderancy of genetics (Iron Age Period) which belong to R1b haplogroup family along with Brythonic, Alpine and Goidelic genetical markers. Also expectable but not so common are South European (Sardinian, Italian and Balkans), broadly North-western (West Germanic) and to a lesser extent British/Irish (Brythonic/Gaelic) and French (Alpine). With a low confidence range there are Scandinavian and East European genetical markers. Other sources would point out a small presence of Berber and Jewish that would be also part of a low confidence region.
Native Portuguese are an
Despite good economic development in the past three decades, the Portuguese have been the shortest in Europe since 1890. This emerging height gap took place in the 1840s and has increased since. One of the driving factors was the modest real wage development, given the late industrialization and economic growth in Portugal compared to the European core. Another determinant was the delayed human capital formation.
The total fertility rate (TFR) as of 2015[update] was estimated at 1.52 children born/woman, one of the lowest in the world, which is below the replacement rate of 2.1, it remains considerably below the high of 5.02 children born per woman in 1911. In 2016, 52.8% of births were to unmarried women.
Like most Western countries, Portugal has to deal with low fertility levels: the country has experienced a
sub-replacement fertility rate since the 1980s. Portugal subsequently has the 17th oldest population in the world, with the average age of 43.7 years.
The structure of Portuguese society is characterized by a significant inequality which in 2016 placed the country in the lowest seventh of the Social Justice Index for the European Union.
In 2018, Portugal's parliament approved a budget plan for 2019 that includes tax breaks for returning emigrants in a bid to lure back those who left during the
ageing population. According to projections by the national statistics office, Portugal's population will fall to 7.7 million by 2080 from 10.3 million now and the population will continue to age.
In 2007, Portugal had 10,617,575 inhabitants, of whom about 332,137 were legal immigrants. In 2015, Portugal had 10,341,330 inhabitants, of whom about 383,759 were legal migrants, making up 3.7% of the population. In 2017, Portugal had 416,682 legal residents of foreign origin, of which 203,753 identified as male, and 212,929 as female. As of 2020, 32,147 residents of foreign origin acquired Portuguese nationality, of which 17,021 were female and 15,126 were male.
Top origins for foreign-born naturalized citizens of Portugal
Brazilians have Portuguese ancestry), has now become a country of net immigration, and not just from the last Indian (Portuguese until 1961), African (Portuguese until 1975), and Far East Asian (Portuguese until 1999) overseas territories. An estimated 800,000 Portuguese returned to Portugal as the country's African possessions gained independence in 1975.
Since the 1990s, along with a boom in
Russians and Chinese have also migrated to the country. Portugal's Romani
, mainly in the south where they are often exploited by organized seasonal workers' networks. The workers sometimes get paid less than half the minimum pay established by law. These migrants, who often arrive without due documentation or work contracts, make up over 90% of agricultural workers in the south of Portugal.
Most are Indo-Asians, from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Thailand. In the interior of the Alentejo there are many African workers. Significant numbers also come from Eastern Europe, Moldova, Ukraine, Romania and Brazil.
In addition, a number of
EU citizens, mostly from the United Kingdom or other northern European countries, have become permanent residents in the country (with the British community being mostly composed of retired pensioners who live in the Algarve and Madeira).
According to the 2021 Census, 80.2% of the Portuguese population was
African Traditional Religion and Chinese Traditional Religion are also felt among many people, particularly in fields related with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Traditional African Herbal Medicine. Some 14.1% of the population declared themselves to be non-religious.
Many Portuguese holidays, festivals and traditions have a Christian origin or connotation. Although relations between the Portuguese state and the Roman Catholic Church were generally amiable and stable since the earliest years of the Portuguese nation, their relative power fluctuated. In the
13th and 14th centuries, the church enjoyed power and close identification with early Portuguese nationalism and the foundation of the Portuguese educational system, including its first university
In the 15th and 16th centuries, the language spread worldwide as Portugal established a colonial and commercial empire between 1415 and 1999.
Portuguese is spoken as a native language in five different continents, with Brazil accounting for the largest number of native Portuguese speakers of any country.
In 2013 the Portuguese language is the official language spoken in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, and
Astur-Leonese group of languages. An estimate of between 6,000 and 7,000 Mirandese speakers has been documented for Portugal. Furthermore, a particular dialect known as Barranquenho, spoken in Barrancos, is also officially recognized and protected in Portugal since 2021.Minderico, a sociolect of the Portuguese language, is spoken by around 500 people in the town of Minde.
The educational system is divided into preschool (for those under age six), basic education (nine years, in three stages, compulsory), secondary education (three years, compulsory since 2010), and higher education (subdivided in university and
The total adult literacy rate is 99.4 per cent. Portuguese primary school enrolments are 100 per cent. According to the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018, Portugal scored around the OECD average in reading, mathematics and science. In reading and mathematics, mean performance in 2018 was close to the level observed in 2009 to 2015; in science, mean performance in 2018 was below that of 2015, and returned close to the level observed in 2009 and 2012.
About 46,9% of college-age citizens (20 years old) attend one of Portugal's higher education institutions (compared with 50% in the United States and 35% in the OECD countries). In addition to being a destination for international students, Portugal is also among the top places of origin for international students. All higher education students, both domestic and international, totalled 380,937 in 2005.
Lusosphere, degree owners from other institutions, students from other institutions (academic transfer
), former students (readmission), and course change, which are subject to specific standards and regulations set by each institution or course department.
Most student costs are supported with public money. However, with the increasing tuition fees a student has to pay to attend a Portuguese state-run higher education institution and the attraction of new types of students (many as international students and part-time students or in evening classes) like employees, businessmen, parents, pensioners and foreigners (most prominently from Brazil, a Portuguese-speaking country), many departments make a substantial profit from every additional student enrolled in courses, with benefits for the college or university's gross tuition revenue and without loss of educational quality (teacher per student, computer per student, classroom size per student, etc.).
(above), and St Maria Hospital, in Lisbon (bottom)
According to the Human Development Report, the average life expectancy in Portugal had reached 82 years in 2017; in 2020 it was estimated at 82.11 years. As projected by the United Nations, the life expectancy of the Portuguese population will be over 90 years when we reach 2100. The trajectory of the Portuguese life expectancy is visualized with historical data from 1950 and future projections up to 2100, as can be seen in the graph on the left.
Portugal ranks 12th in the best public health systems in the world, ahead of other countries like the United Kingdom, Germany or Sweden.
The Portuguese health system is characterized by three coexisting systems: the National Health Service (Serviço Nacional de Saúde, SNS), special social health insurance schemes for certain professions (health subsystems) and voluntary private health insurance. The SNS provides universal coverage. In addition, about 25% of the population is covered by the health subsystems, 10% by private insurance schemes and another 7% by mutual funds.
The Ministry of Health is responsible for developing health policy as well as managing the SNS. Five regional health administrations are in charge of implementing the national health policy objectives, developing guidelines and protocols and supervising health care delivery. Decentralization efforts have aimed at shifting financial and management responsibility to the regional level. In practice, however, the autonomy of regional health administrations over budget setting and spending has been limited to primary care.
The SNS is predominantly funded through general taxation. Employer (including the state) and employee contributions represent the main funding sources of the health subsystems. In addition, direct payments by the patient and voluntary health insurance premiums account for a large proportion of funding.
Similar to the other Eur-A countries, most Portuguese die from
cardiovascular diseases (CVD) is higher than in the eurozone, but its two main components, ischaemic heart disease and cerebrovascular disease, display inverse trends compared with the Eur-A, with cerebrovascular disease
being the single biggest killer in Portugal (17%). Portuguese people die 12% less often from cancer than in the Eur-A, but mortality is not declining as rapidly as in the Eur-A. Cancer is more frequent among children as well as among women younger than 44 years. Although lung cancer (slowly increasing among women) and breast cancer (decreasing rapidly) are scarcer, cervical cancer and prostate cancer are more frequent.
Portugal has the highest mortality rate for diabetes in the Eur-A, with a sharp increase since the 1980s.
infant mortality rate
is around 2 deaths per 1000 newborns, with 2.4 deaths per 1000 live births.
People are usually well informed about their health status, the positive and negative effects of their behaviour on their health, and their use of health care services. Yet their perceptions of their health, can differ from what administrative and examination-based data show about levels of illness within populations. Thus, survey results based on self-reporting at household level, complement other data on health status and the use of services.
Only one third of adults rated their health as good or very good in Portugal (Kasmel et al., 2004). This is the lowest of the Eur-A countries reporting and reflects the relatively adverse situation of the country in terms of mortality and selected morbidity.Hospital de Santa Maria is the largest university hospital in Portugal.
(bottom) is an example of post-Millennium architecture.
Portugal has developed a specific culture while being influenced by various civilizations that have crossed the Mediterranean and the European continent, or were introduced when it played an active role during the
Age of Discovery. In the 1990s and 2000s (decade), Portugal modernized its public cultural facilities, in addition to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
Portuguese literature, one of the earliest Western literatures, developed through text as well as song. Until 1350, the
Portuguese-Galician troubadours spread their literary influence to most of the Iberian Peninsula, like King D. Dinis (1261-1325) who became famous for his poetry. Other kings would write and sponsor works of literature across Portuguese history, like D. Fernando (1367-1383) who supported Pêro Menino in writing o Livro da Falcoaria. Another notable name in Portuguese literature is Gil Vicente
(c. 1465–c. 1536), one of the founders of Portuguese dramatic traditions.
Portuguese cuisine is very diverse. The Portuguese consume a lot of dry
frango de churrasco, leitão (roast suckling pig), chanfana and carne de porco à alentejana. A very popular northern dish is dobrada, a tripe with white beans and carrots stew, often served with steamed white rice. Peri-peri chicken is a spicy charcoal chicken dish served with fries or rice and vegetables, a favourite throughout Portugal, but most common in the Algarve
Pasteis de Nata in Lisbon
Typical fast food dishes include the
pastéis de Belém (or pastéis de nata) originally from Lisbon, and ovos moles
from Aveiro are examples. Portuguese cuisine is very diverse, with different regions having their own traditional dishes. The Portuguese have a culture of good food, and throughout the country there are myriad good restaurants and typical small tasquinhas.
Portuguese wines have enjoyed international recognition since the times of the Romans, who associated Portugal with their god
Jogo do Pau, in which the fighters use staffs to confront one or several opponents. Other popular sport-related recreational outdoor activities with thousands of enthusiasts nationwide include airsoft, fishing, golf, hiking, hunting and orienteering
Portugal is one of the world's best golf destinations. It has received several awards by the World Golf Awards.
High-profile, successful competitive athleticism and sportsmanship in Portugal can be traced back to the time of
^Estos se establecieron en el norte de Portugal y el área de la Galicia actual, introduciendo en esta región la cultura de las urnas, una variante de las Urnenfelder que evolucionaría después en la cultura de los castros o castreña
^David Rohrbacher, "Orosius," in The Historians of Late Antiquity (Routledge, 2002), pp. 135–137. Rohrbacher bases the date of birth on Augustine's description of Orosius as a "young priest" and a "son by age" in the period 414–418, which would place his age at 30 or younger.
^The standard view of historians is that Cabral was blown off course as he was navigating the currents of the South Atlantic, sighted the coast of South America, thereby accidentally discovering Brazil. However, for an alternative account of the discovery of Brazil, see History of Brazil