One of the oldest independent countries on earth, Portugal is known as a popular destination for migrants from many countries across the world. With near perfect weather for much of the year, has this pattern of net migration served to swell the population of Portugal in any way?
The last official census took place in Portugal in 2011 and it was confirmed at the time that 10,561,614 people were living here. A subsequent estimate was released later that same year which suggested that the Portugal population had grown very slightly to 10,576,252 and this would make the country the 77th most populous on the planet.
Based on those numbers, it may therefore be reasonable to suggest that the Portugal population in 2012 has now exceeded the 10.6 million landmark.
Portugal is a relatively small country and its population density figures are consistent with its overall size. It has a surface area of 92,090 square kilometres which converts to 35,645 square miles and makes it the 11lth largest country in terms of land mass alone.
For every square mile of Portuguese territory, there is an average of 115 people here. This equates to 298 for every square mile and makes Portugal rank 96th in the world as far as population density is concerned.
Portugal’s population records are among the oldest on earth and as far back as 1422, there is documentation to suggest that there were 1,043,274 people living here. Surveys from this point onwards were numerous, even if they didn’t follow a strict chronological pattern. They make for interesting reading too with large population spikes interspersed with a fall in numbers to coincide with some of the more turbulent stages in Portuguese history.
By the time of the Census of 1900, the population of Portugal had grown to 5,423,132 and the pattern through the remainder of the 20th century was generally one of small but consistent growth whereby the Portugal population of 2012 is starting to approach 11 million.
Portugal has traditionally been one of the most homogenous countries in the world but steady immigration has changed that to some extent.
It may be surprising to learn however, that much of this immigration has taken place over the last twenty years and back in 1992, just 1.3% of the Portugal population was made up of other nationalities. By 2007 however, that figure had risen to 4.1%.
Portugal clearly has a growing population but it is increasing at fairly moderate rates. It currently stands at around 10.6 million and based on the current level of annual growth, it may not have even exceeded 11 million by 2020.