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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Macau


Map of Macau, a special administrative region of China

Also known as Àomén (Jyputping Cantonese pronunciation) and Macao, MACAU is one of two special administrative regions belonging to China. The other SAR is Hong Kong; link opens in new tab or window. With a population greater than 590,000 living on about a 30 square kilometer area, Macau is one of the world's most densely populated areas. Macau is southeast of mainland China and south of the city Zhuhai, which has over 1.5 million residents. After more than 400 years of Portuguese influence, Macau's control transferred from Portugal to China in 1999.

People and Places
Natives of Macau are mostly ethnic Chinese. Some residents are Macanese, meaning they have Portuguese ancestry. Residents originally from Portugal comprise a minority in Macau. Official languages are Chinese and Portuguese, and a local dialect called Macanese Portuguese is spoken. Macau's population density of about 21,000 residents per square mile or over 54,200 residents per square mile means it is the most densely-populated territory in the world, surpassing all countries' population densities. With an average life expectancy greater than 84 years in 2015, Macau has some of the world's most longest-living humans on average. Macau consistently ranks first or somewhere nearby in global life expectancy statistics.

Communities in Macau include Coloane, Cotai, Macau, Santo António, São Lázaro, São Lourenço, and Taipa. Serving residents and visitors with aerial transportation, Macau International Airport is located on an artificial island in the South China Sea. Macau boasts strong finance and gambling industries, featuring multiple finance firms and popular casinos. Several sport venues include the East Asian Games Dome and Macau Stadium. Beaches such as Cheoc Van Beach on the south shore provide a tranquil setting for fun activities. The International Air Transport Association airport code for Macau is MFM. The currency used by Macau's people is the Macanese Pataca, and its ISO 4217 currency code is MOP.

Land Features
Land reclamation projects in historic and modern times increased Macau's area. Macau is not stopping anytime soon, as the GeoFact of the Day Blog map above shows areas proposed for future land reclamation. A recent, ambitious project connected the islands of Coloane and Taipa to a reclaimed area, where the city of Cotai now sits on. The Cotai land reclamation area is heavily developed. Connected to the Pacific Ocean, South China Sea is situated south and east of Macau. Macau is found southwest of the Pearl River Delta. The Porto Exterior bay separates the Macau Peninsula in the north to the amalgamation of islands in the south.

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