General information: The heyday of Portugal as a world power fell on the 15th and 16th centuries; after the destruction of Lisbon by an earthquake in 1755, the conquest of the country during the Napoleonic Wars and the secession in 1822 of Brazil, which was a colony of Portugal, the country lost most of its wealth and lost its status. In 1910 there was a revolution that abolished the monarchy; for 60 years, with short pauses, the country was ruled by dictatorial regimes. In 1974, the left wing of the military carried out a coup and carried out sweeping democratic reforms. The following year, Portugal granted independence to all of its colonies in Africa. In 1985 Portugal joined the EU.
Location: Southwestern Europe, located on the Atlantic coast, west of Spain. See franciscogardening.com to know more about Portugal Geography.
Geographic coordinates: 39° 30′ N. latitude, 8° 00′ W
Reference map: Europe.
Area: total: 92,391 km2; land surface area: 91,951 km2; water surface area: 440 km2; note: includes the Azores and Madeira.
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the state of Indiana.
Land borders: total: 1,214 km; with neighboring states: with Spain 1,214 km.
Coastline: 1,793 km.
Maritime claims: continental shelf: to a depth of 200 m or to the depth of exploitation; exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: temperate, maritime; cool and rainy in the north, warmer and drier in the south.
Terrain: mountainous area north of the Tagus River, rolling plains in the south.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m; highest point: Ponta do Pico on the island of Pico in the Azores 2,351 m.
Natural resources: fish, timber (cork), tungsten, iron ore, uranium ore, marble, arable land, hydropower.
Land use: arable land: 26%; cultivated land: 9%; pastures: 9%; forests and plantations: 36%; others: 20% (1993 est.).
Irrigated land: 6,300 km2 (1993 est.).
Natural Hazards: Strong earthquakes to which the Azores are prone.
Actual problems of the environment: soil erosion; air pollution from industrial waste and vehicle emissions; water pollution, especially in coastal areas.
International agreements on environmental protection: contributor: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Pollution, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 1983, Tropical Timber 1994, Wetlands; signed but not ratified: Air Pollution – Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution – Volatile Organic Compounds, Kyoto Protocol, Environmental Change, Nuclear Test Ban.
Geography Note: The Azores and Madeira occupy an important strategic position on the western approaches to the Strait of Gibraltar.
Population: 10,066,253 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 16.96% (men 877,139; women 830,242); 15 to 64 years old: 67.42% (male 3,321,473; female 3,465,481); over 65: 15.62% (male 637,207; female 934,471) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.18% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 11.51 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 10.21 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: 0.5 people /1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.07 male/female; under 15: 1.06 male/female; 15 to 64 years old: 0.96 male/female; over 65: 0.68 male/female; for the general population: 0.92 male/female (2001 est.);
Child mortality: 5.94 deaths/1000 births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 75.94 years; men: 72.44 years; women: 79.68 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.48 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of adult population infected with HIV: 0.74% (1999 est.).
Number of people infected with HIV: 36,000 (1999 est.).
AIDS deaths: 280 (1999 est.).
Nationality: noun: Portuguese; adjective: Portuguese.
Ethnic groups: homogenous Mediterranean race; the number of Africans who have emigrated to the former metropolis is less than 100,000.
Believers: Catholic 94%, Protestant (1995).
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 87.4%; men: no data; women: no data.
conventional long form: Portuguese Republic;
conventional short form: Portugal; local long form: Republica Portuguese local short form: Portugal
State structure: parliamentary democracy.
Administrative division: 18 districts (distrito) and 2 autonomous regions* (regiaoautonoma); Aveiro, Azores*, Beja, Braga, Bragança, Viana do Castelo, Viseu, Vila Real, Guarda, Castelo Branco, Coimbra, Leria, Lisbon, Madeira Islands*, Portalegre, Porto, Santarem, Setubal, Faro, Evora.
Independence: since 1140 (republic proclaimed 5 October 1910).
National holiday: Portugal Day, 10 June (1580).
Constitution: adopted April 25, 1976, revised October 30, 1982, June 1, 1989, November 5, 1992, and September 3, 1997
Legal system: civil law system; The Constitutional Tribunal reviews the constitutionality of legislative acts; accepted, with reservation, compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.
chief of state: President Jorge SAMPAIO (since 9 March 1996);
head of government: Prime Minister António Manuel de Oliveira GUTERRES (since 28 October 1995);
government: the council of ministers, appointed by the president on the advice of the prime minister; note: there is also a Council of State which acts as an advisory body to the president; elections: the president is directly elected for a term of 5 years; elections last held 14 January 2000 (next to be held in January 2006); after legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or majority coalition is usually appointed by the president as prime minister; election results: Jorge SAMPAIO elected president; percent of the vote – Jorge SAMPAIO (socialist) 55.8%, Joaquim FERREIRA do Amaral (social democrat) 34.5%, Antonio ABREU (communist) 5.1%.
Legislature: unicameral Assembly of the Republic (Assembleia da Republica) (230 seats; members of the chamber are directly elected for a four-year term); elections: last held 10 October 1999 (next to be held in October 2003); election results: distribution of votes among parties – no data; distribution of seats between parties – PS 115, PSD 81, PCP 15, PP 15, PEV 2, Left bloc 2.
Judiciary: Supreme Court, judges are appointed for life by the Supreme Judicial Council.
Political parties and leaders: Greens (PEV) (leader – no data), People’s Party (PP) (Paulo PORTAS [Paulo PORTAS]); Portuguese Communist Party-United Democratic Coalition (PCP-CDU) (Carlos CAR-VALHAS [Carlos CARVALHAS]); Portuguese Socialist Party (PSP) (Antonio GUTIERRES); Social Democratic Party (PSD) (leader post vacant); Left block (no leader).
Political influence groups and their leaders:
Participation in international organizations: AfDB, Australia Group, BIS, CCC, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MINURSO, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNTAET, UPU, WCL, WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC.
Diplomatic representation in the USA: Head of Mission: Ambassador Joao Alberto Bacelar ROCHA PARIS; office: 2125 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC 20008; phone:  (202) 328-8610; fax: [U] (202) 462-3726; consulates general: Boston, New York, Newark (New Jersey), San Francisco. Consulates: Los Angeles, New Bedford (Massachusetts), Providence (Rhode Island).
US Mission: Chief of Mission: Ambassador Gerald S. MCGOWAN; embassy: Avenida das Forcas Armadas, 1600 Lisbon; postal address: PSC 83, APO AE 09726; phone:  (21) 727-3300; fax:  (21) 726-9109; Consulate: Ponta Del Gada (Azores).
Flag Description: two vertical stripes of green (hoist side, two-fifths of the field width) and red (three-fifths of the field width) with the coat of arms of Portugal placed in the center of the dividing pine.