Macau Population 2022

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Macau, or, officially, the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, is located to the west of the Pearl River estuary in southern China. Formerly a Portuguese colony, having been leased as a trading post by the Ming Dynasty in 1557 before falling under direct Portuguese control in 1887, China regained full control in 1999.

The territory has now become a major resort city and one of the world’s top destinations for gambling tourism with up to 38 million visitors each year. In 2019, Macau has a population of about 623,000 with a population density of 55,270 per square mile (21,340/km).


According to official demographics data, the racial and ethnic composition of Macau is made up as:

  • 88.8% Chinese
  • 4.6% Filipino
  • 2.4% Vietnamese
  • 1.8% Portuguese/Macanese
  • 2.8% Other

Large portions of the Macau population are Portuguese citizens, a legacy of the Portuguese colonial rule. At the time of Macau being returned to Chinese ownership in 1999, 107,000 residents held Portuguese passports.

The main language spoken in Macau is Cantonese. 87.5% of the population speaks Cantonese, followed by 2.3% of the country speaking Portuguese, still recognised as an official language. With an incredibly dense population of 21,340 people per square kilometer, Macau is the most densely populated region in the entire world.


It's believed that the region that came to be Macau was first settled upon during the Han dynasty, the second dynasty of Imperial China, which reigned from 206 BCE to 220 CE. Macau did not become a major settlement until the 16th century with the arrival of the Portuguese.

What was initially a small population of Portuguese merchants soon became a growing city. By the end of the 16th century, the city had reached its peak and was prospering. The following century however, dogged by many Portuguese misfortunes, saw Macau enter a period of decline. Japan halted all trade in 1639, and 5 years later so did China. Following the establishment of Hong Kong in the 1840s, Macau lost its position as a major port.

The Chinese Civil war in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s brought a huge influx of Chinese refugees, leading to Macau building a large workforce. This enabled a thriving economy as it expanded its textiles, tourism, and gambling industries.

After major rioting over colonial status in 1966, Portugal lost most of its control over Macau, relinquishing it fully in 1974. In 1986, after first arranging the declaration for Hong Kong’s return from British rule, China entered negotiations with Portugal for the ownership of Macau. These were concluded a year later, and in 1999 Macau saw its return to Chinese rule after 442 years.

Each decade since the 1960s has seen a rise of roughly 100,000 in the population of Macau, with a 1.7% annual change. The Chinese Civil War from the late 1920s to late 1940s saw a huge influx in the number of Chinese residents fleeing to the country. Today almost 90% of the country is made up of Chinese people, and not even 2% claiming to have Portuguese/Macanese heritage. Despite having the world's most dense population, Macau's population continues its steady growth.

The current population of Macau is 695,168 based on projections of the latest available data.

Macau Growth Rate

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Macau Cities

Macau Population Pyramid 2022


Macau Population by Age

There are 577,693 people over age 18 in Macau.

Census Years

Year Date
199130 August 1991
200123 August 2001
200619 August 2006
201126 August 2011
201621 August 2016
2021August 2021

Macau Population Pyramid

Year Population Growth Rate Density (km²)

Macau Population by Year (Historical)

Year Population Growth Rate Density (km²)

Macau Population by Year (Future)

Macau is a country that exists south of China’s coastline. It is an interesting country in that not everyone regards Macau as an actual country. Many people view Macau as part of China, even though Macau has been declared an individual, independent nation as of 1999. This confusion stems from a misunderstanding regarding the country’s position and government status.

While Macau is not separate from China in a physical sense, the land mass is considered its own country. In December of 1999, Macau was officially recognized as a separate entity from China, though the Chinese government still rules the country. Macau’s official lengthy title - the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China - depicts the area’s situation with more clarity. Macau is under the rule of China, yet still recognized as a country all on its own.

China surrounds Macau along every border except for in the southeast. From there, Macau shares a border with the Pacific Ocean. Vietnam is to the southwest of Macau, and the island nation of Taiwan is situated to the east of Macau.

GPS Coordinates and Surrounding Borders of Macau

Macau is positioned at a latitude of 22.1987° N and a longitude of 113.5439° E. As depicted by Macau’s coordinates, the country is found to the north of the equatorial plane. The country’s GPS coordinates indicate that Macau is also in the northern and eastern hemispheres of the world.

Size and Population: How Big is Macau?

The total land area of Macau is approximately 109 square miles, of which not a single mile is comprised of water in any form. Macau is entirely made up of land. Macau’s total area is not considered a country of its own on the list of countries ranked by total area. However, its total area is comparable to the size of San Marino, which ranks as the 192nd largest country in the world.

With a total area of 109 square miles and an accumulative population size of 637,384 people, Macau is the 167th most populated country in the world. The population density of Macau is approximately 2,063 people per square mile of land. Macau happens to be the first most densely populated country in the entire world.

Macau - Location and Highlights

  1. UN World Population Prospects (2019 Revision) - United Nations population estimates and projections.
  2. City Population - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts for Cities - City Population - Population Statistics in Maps and Charts for Cities, Agglomerations and Administrative Divisions of all Countries of the World
  3. GeoNames Gazetteer