Quick Facts

  • Officially the Portuguese Republic
  • The country is named after its second largest city, Porto
  • The Portuguese empire was the first global empire in history, and also the longest lived of the European colonial empires, spanning almost 600 years
  • Portugal’s international status was greatly reduced during the 19th century, especially following the independence of Brazil
  • Portugal is a founding member of NATO, and entered the ECC (now EU) in 1986
  • Portugal is a member of the United Nations, the Latin Union, OECD, Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the Eurozone, and the Schengen Agreement
  • Portugal is a developed country with a very high Human Development Index, the world’s 19th highest-quality-of-life, and a strong healthcare system
  • Portugal is one of the world’s most globalized and peaceful nations
  • Portugal is divided into 18 administrative districts, and 2 autonomous regions
  • Climate: maritime temperate; cool and rainy in north, warmer and drier in south
  • Ethnic Groups: homogeneous Mediterranean stock, citizens of black African decent who immigrated to mainland during decolonization
  • Languages: Portuguese (official), Mirandese (official, but locally used)
  • Religions: Roman Catholic 84.5%,v other Christian 2,2%
  • Population: 10.78 million
  • The capital of Portugal is Lisbon
  • Other major cities: Porto
  • Literacy rate: 93.3%
  • GDP per capita: $23,361
  • Current weather conditions –  www.weather.com
  • Tips for Travel in country – www.travel.state.gov
  • Currency exchange rates –  www.xe.com

Government in Power

Unitray Parliamentary constitutional Republic

  • President: Anibal Cavaco Silva
  • Prime Minister: Pedro Passos Coelho
  • Assembly President: Assuncao Esteves

Healthcare Statistics

  • Life Expectancy: 79.5 years
  • Maternal mortality rate: 7 deaths/100,000 live births
  • Infant mortality rate: 4.6 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Physicians Density: 3.755/1,000 population
  • Population with  HIV/AIDS: 0.6%
  • Obesity rate: 14.2%
  • The Portuguese health system is characterized by three coexisting systems: the National Health Service (NHS), special social health insurance schemes for certain professions, and voluntary private health insurance
  • The NHS provides universal coverage, predominately funded through general taxation
  • Most Portuguese die from noncommunicable diseases
  • Portugal has the highest mortality rate for diabetes in the Eur-A
  • Risk of infectious disease: Low
  • Infectious disease updates:  http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/list.htm

Images From the Field


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Area Agencies

Field Stories

        My first medical  mission trip:    In the following pages I will talk about my experiences on my first trip to Haiti following the devastating earthquake in January 2010.   The biggest “first” is it was my first medical trip outside the United States.  I had done disaster relief for Hurricane […]

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