kids encyclopedia robot

Macau facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Macao Special Administrative 
Region of the People's
Republic of China

  • 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區
  • Região Administrativa Especial de Macau da República Popular da China
Flag of Macau
Emblem of Macau
Clockwise from top right:Ruins of St. Paul's; Casino Lisboa; St Joseph Seminary Church; Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge; A-Ma Temple; Guia Fortress; Macau Tower.
Clockwise from top right:
Ruins of St. Paul's; Casino Lisboa; St Joseph Seminary Church; Governor Nobre de Carvalho Bridge; A-Ma Temple; Guia Fortress; Macau Tower.
Location of Macau
Official languages
Spoken languages
  • Cantonese
  • Macanese Portuguese
  • Macanese (Patuá)
Ethnic groups
Demonym(s) Macanese
Government Special administrative region
• Chief Executive
Ho Iat Seng
• Administration and Justice Secretary
Florinda Chan
• Court President
Sam Hou Fai
Legislature Legislative Assembly
• Portuguese administration
• Portuguese colony
1 December 1887
• Transfer of
20 December 1999
• Total
29.5 km2 (11.4 sq mi) (235th)
• Water (%)
• 2012a estimate
568,700 (167th)
• 2011 census
552,503 (167th)
• Density
18,568/km2 (48,090.9/sq mi) (1st)
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
• Total
US$47.19 billion (98th)
• Per capita
US$82,400 (4th)
GDP (nominal) 2012 estimate
• Total
US$44.300 billion (98th)
• Per capita
US$77,353 (4th)
HDI (2007) Steady 0.944
very high · 25th
Currency Macanese pataca (MOP)
Time zone UTC+8 (MST)
• Summer (DST)
not observed
Driving side left
Calling code +853
ISO 3166 code MO
Internet TLD .mo
  1. Second quarter.
Lua error in Module:Infobox_multi-lingual_name at line 403: attempt to call field '_is_ietf_code' (a nil value).

The Macao Special Administrative Region (Macau or Macao, simplified Chinese: 澳门; traditional Chinese: 澳門; Mandarin 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.

Today, Macao mostly lives off of offshore gambling. In fact, Macau generated 7 times greater gambling revenue than Las Vegas in 2013. People in Macau also make some money from exporting clothing.

As Macau was previously a Portuguese colony, you can easily find traces of how the Portuguese culture is presented in the city. One of them is itinerary for couples, who are intending to spend a day exploring Macau.

Economy of Macau

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.

Images for kids

kids search engine
Macau Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.