Portugal, with its long Atlantic coast, lies on the western side of the Iberian Peninsula, which it shares with Spain. It is the most westerly country on the European mainland.
Geography: The Tagus River bisects the country roughly east to west, dividing mountainous north from lower and more undulating south.
Climate: North is cool and moist. South is warmer, with dry, mild winters.
People and Society: A homogeneous and stable society, which is losing some of its conservative traditions. History of immigration from former colonies, and recently from eastern Europe. Urban areas and the south are more socially liberal. The north is more responsive to traditional Roman Catholic values. Family ties remain important.
The Economy: Tourism. Vegetables, fruit, wine, cars, and clothing are exported, but agriculture and manufacturing are in decline. Resilient banking sector.
Insight: Portugal is the world’s leading producer of cork, which comes from the bark of the cork oak
Official Name: Republic of Portugal
Date of Formation: 1139
Population: 10.7 million
Total Area: 35,672 sq. miles (92,391 sq. km)
Density: 302 people per sq. mile
Religions: Roman Catholic 97%, other 2%, Protestant 1%
Ethnic Mix: Portuguese 98%, African and other 2%
Government: Parliamentary system
Currency: Euro = 100 cents