Lisbon is the largest urban area in the EU and continues to grow with each passing year. The city houses the administration of Portugal and is, therefore, a hub for both residents of the city as well as international guests. It is estimated that over 20 million people fly in and out of Lisbon airport annually. That includes all business and personal travel, but there are also over 140,000 people who visit Lisbon each year as tourists.
When talking about the population and demographics of Lisbon it is important to consider the fact that the city limits are different from the outlying urban areas. Within the city of Lisbon, according to a 2010 census, there are 545,000 people, but when the outlying urban areas are considered, the population grows dramatically. It is estimated that in the areas surrounding Lisbon, there are 2,800,000 people. Those living in Lisbon make up 5.164% of the total population of Portugal and, according to the most recent census, the rate of growth has decreased in recent years. This means that, if the population decreases at the same level as between 2001 and 2011 – that is, at -.35% – the estimated population would be 533,920.
With a dominant Roman Catholic base, it is estimated that anywhere from 60% to 70% of the overall population identifies as Catholic. An interesting fact, however, is that even though the numbers are high for the Roman Catholic church, the number of actual attendees is relatively low. Only around 30% of all citizens of Lisbon regularly attend services.
Getting around the city of Lisbon is quite easy as there are many options for the traveler as well as the resident. Lisbon was once noted as being the land of trams, but only around one-sixth of the original tram lines are still in existence. The most popular way to get from one place to another is in the metro. The metro system was first used in 1959 but, due to growing demand, it was forced to double its efforts about 15 years ago. Metro lines run between 6:30 am until 1 am and are the fastest way to get around the city, as the traffic has increased drastically in recent years. Apart from the metro, the traveler has a choice between trains, boats, and ferries to get them where they want to go.
The education system in Lisbon is in line with the rest of Portugal. Children are not required to attend preschool from the ages of 3 to 5, but it does give them a good start on the education that lies ahead. The first four years of schooling in Lisbon is carried out by a single teacher. The second stage is for two years and covers all the basic education needed. The third and final stage of education consists of three years and involves vocational training. The choice to further one's education beyond this is optional.