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By Charles F. Gritzner, Douglas A. Phillips

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By Charles F. Gritzner, Douglas A. Phillips

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The figures do, however, point to some possible future problems. For example, 17 percent of Portugal’s population is 65 years of age or older, a situation quite common throughout most of Europe. That percentage, however, can be somewhat misleading. 36 percent a year, nearly all of which is the result of in-migration. Pictured here is former Portuguese president Mario Soares visiting women in an elderly people’s home in Porto, Portugal, in 2006. oldest populations for many decades because of very high rates of out-migration of young adults.

5 million people in the Americas claim Portuguese ancestry. Another 55 56 Portugal 30 percent went to Brazil, where some one million Portuguese were living toward the end of the twentieth century. During the 1960s and 1970s, the population fell by about 300,000 people. At that time, however, an estimated 80 percent of those people immigrated to European countries, many illegally. France and (at the time) West Germany were the preferred destinations. In fact, according to one estimate, 8 percent of Portugal’s population lived in France.

D. The city’s name suggests its early (and continuing) function: an important port (porto means “port” in Portuguese). The city is world famous for port wine, which is produced from grapes grown within the region. Braga (Minho Province, north of Porto), Setúbal (south of Lisbon, in Estremadura Province), and Coimbra (on the Mondégo River, situated roughly halfway between Lisbon and Porto) are important regional economic centers. People and Culture Population Distribution Portugal’s population is not evenly distributed throughout the country.

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