Portugal has an exceptional homogeneous population. With a total of approximately 10.7 million inhabitants and a very impressive rise since 2000, it only counts 5 % of legal immigrants. Its population was in the beginning mainly originally Roman with also some Arab – Berbers and Jewish origins.
Lisbon and Porto count a total average of 1 million inhabitants. Then, the 3rd largest city is Vila Nova de Gaia with less than 180,000 inhabitants.
Most immigrants of Portugal come from Brazil (they also speak Portuguese), China or the region of India. The immigration has tripled since 1992. There are also a resident Gypsy population of approximately 40,000 people. All immigrants are protected by anti – racism laws that prohibit and penalize racial discrimination in all services.
Up until 1982, being homosexual was a crime in Portugal. Then in 2001, homosexual civil unions were possible, but the partners only have restricted rights, that were improved in 2006. Since 2010, the Portuguese President of the Republic Anibal Cavaco Silva has created a law allowing gay marriages, but this law is limited and does not allow gay couples to adopt children.
The biggest majority of Portuguese population is Catholic, and belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. A very small minority includes Protestants, Muslims and Hindus.
The statistics show that the population of Portugal is mainly located in and around Porto, in the Northwest part of the country, and in and around Lisbon, in the Middle – West part of the country. There are also a few little cities in the extreme southern part of the country that are very dense in population. Otherwise, if you look at the map of Portugal’s population density over the country, the general area that is populated is the coast. The rest of the country, which represents about 3/4 of the total territory has an extremely poor density of population, with the exception of just a few cities here and there with a higher density.
Portugal is a varied and wonderful place. It is growing at an awesome pace and has a very forward society. It is attached to tradition but clearly willing to embrace change when it is for the better. There are many places to visit that will be new experiences because the different areas all offer their own special twist on the history and culture surrounding the country. Many people consider their culture and cuisine among the richest there is on our planet. It is well worth investigating on your own accord.
I would highly recommend a trip to the area but remember to schedule enough time to travel the entire area. Enjoy the hospitality and cuisine. I am sure you will fall in love with this beautiful land just like I did. We appreciate any feedback from your trip there as well.