Macao Special Administrative 
Region of the People's
Republic of China
|Government||Special administrative region|
|Ho Iat Seng|
|Sam Hou Fai|
|Lau Cheok Va|
• Portuguese administration
• Portuguese colony
|1 December 1887|
|20 December 1999|
|29.5 km2 (11.4 sq mi) (235th)|
• Water (%)
• 2012a estimate
• 2011 census
|18,568/km2 (48,090.9/sq mi) (1st)|
|GDP (PPP)||2011 estimate|
|US$47.19 billion (98th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2012  estimate|
|US$44.300 billion (98th)|
• Per capita
|HDI (2007)|| 0.944|
very high · 25th
|Currency||Macanese pataca (MOP)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (MST)|
• Summer (DST)
|ISO 3166 code||MO|
The Macao Special Administrative Region (Macau or Macao, simplified Chinese: 澳门; traditional Chinese: 澳門; pinyin: Aomen; Jyutping: Ou Mun) is one of China's two Special Administrative Regions. (The other one is Hong Kong). Macau is a small city in the southern coast in China. Like Hong Kong, Macau has a large amount of autonomy, with its own passport, currency, economic rules, and constitution.
It consists of Macau Peninsula (Aomen Bandao), Taipa Island (Dangzai Dao), Coloane Island (Luhuan Dao) and Cotai (Ludangcheng), the new reclaimed land between Taipa and Coloane. It is very densely populated, with over half a million people living in just over 12 square miles.
Macao used to be a colony of Portugal. Although Portuguese is an official language alongside Chinese (as a result of it being a Portuguese colony in the past), very few Macanese actually speak Portuguese; only about 0.7% speak it at home. As a matter of fact, English is more commonly spoken, despite it not being an official language (about 2.3% speak it at home). Cantonese is the main dialect of Chinese spoken in Macau. However, Mandarin has also become more common since Portugal returned it to China in 1999.
Economy of Macau[change | change source]
Macau’s economy relies on gambling. Eighty percent of the government’s revenue is derived from gambling. The revenue generated by gambling in 2019 was $36.5 billion, which is about 6 times larger than Las Vegas. Macau has 41 casinos including several that belong to Wynn resorts and Sands.
Macau is the only part of China where gambling is legal. Many of the customers of casinos are wealthy Chinese.
Around 2020 Chinese new year authorities closed down travel from China to Macau. Visits fell eighty percent. It is estimated by some observers that the 2019–20 coronavirus outbreak will cost Macau between 5-15 percent of its gambling revenue. 
References[change | change source]
- As reflected in the Chinese text of the Macau emblem, the text of the Macao Basic Law, and the Macao Government Website, the full name of the territory is the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Although the convention of "Macao Special Administrative Region", "Macao" and "Macau" can also be used.
- The Macau Basic Law states that the official languages are "Chinese and Portuguese." It does not explicitly specify the standard for "Chinese". While Mandarin and Simplified Chinese characters are used as the spoken and written standards in mainland China, Cantonese and Traditional Chinese characters are the long-established de facto standards in Macau.
- "Demographic Statistics for the 2nd Quarter 2012". Statistics and Census Service. Macao SAR Government. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- "Results of 2011 Population Census". Statistics and Census Service. Macao SAR Government. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- CIA World Factbook
- "Macao in Figures 2010". Statistics and Census Service, Macau SAR. 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
- "What language is spoken in Macau?".
- Riley, Charles. "Macau's gambling industry dwarfs Vegas". CNN.