Portuguese people

The Portuguese are the citizen of Portugal and their descendants, who define themselves in countries other than their own ethnic group. They often speak the Portuguese language, but a dialect associated with the Asturleonesischen ( Mirandes ) is spoken by a small minority in the villages of Miranda do Douro, which is recognized as a minority language. The Portuguese are Catholics in their majority. The Portuguese culturally and linguistically related parties are the Galicians who live in north-west Spain.

History of the population

See also: History of Portugal

The area of present-day Portugal was by speaking in ancient times before the conquest by the Romans, an Indo-European language in its linguistic precision mapping, however, controversial Lusitanians, of Celtic groups and in the south of the linguistically and culturally related to the civilization of Tartessos Cynetes or Conii inhabited.

After the conquest by the Romans and the integration into the Roman Empire, most of the territory of the province of Lusitania, the northern part of the province but Tarraconensis or since the late 3rd century to Gallaecia. The area was colonized by settlers from other parts of the empire and linguistically largely Romanized. At the time of the migration, the Germanic Visigoths and Suevi settled here.

From the 8th until the first half of the 13th century a large part of the country was under Moorish rule. The Moorish influence was stronger than in other European countries, in Portugal, they had a large share in the bloom of crafts and agriculture in the early Middle Ages. After the Reconquest, the Moors were partly expelled, enslaved but for the most part. The Jews, who formed a considerable proportion of the population in the Middle Ages were as forced the remaining Muslim population to accept Christianity.


Because of the poverty in metropolitan Portugal was for centuries a country of emigration. The main objective was Brazil, but also in the Portuguese African colonies settled up to the their independence. Other objectives were the classic immigrant countries USA, Canada and Argentina, from the second half of the 20th century, several Western European countries.

Portuguese in Europe

As a guest worker many Portuguese have emigrated to various European countries. So it is said that two-thirds of the inhabitants of the Azores living abroad. Living alone in France ~ 500,000 Portuguese citizens and Portuguese descent. Other European countries with Portuguese are Andorra ( 10.2 % of the population ), Belgium, the United Kingdom ( approximately 500,000 Portuguese citizens and Portuguese descent ), Luxembourg ( 73,700 Portuguese citizens, with 15.5 % of the total population, the largest group of foreigners ), Switzerland ( 159,700 Portuguese citizens ) and Spain ( 141,000 Portuguese citizens ).

In Germany in 2004 lived almost 117,000 and 2007 114 552 Portuguese citizens. The Portuguese Armando Rodrigues de Sá 1964 officially welcomed as the one millionth guest worker and got on this occasion gave a moped.

Portuguese in the former colonies of the 20th century

Even in the former Portuguese colonies emigrated many Portuguese. In the former colonies of the Portuguese national minorities make up the population. In some form mixed populations with large proportions of the original population of today's inhabitants:

  • Angola: 40,000, 100,000 ' Mesticos
  • Goa / India: small minority
  • Guinea- Bissau: small minority
  • Cape Verde: 1%, 71 % Mesticos
  • Macau: 24.9% Macaense (mixed population with Chinese), 3% Portuguese
  • Mozambique: 20,000
  • East Timor: Mesticos, 700 inhabitants call Portuguese as their mother language.
  • Sao Tome and Principe: Portuguese mulattoes and small minority.

Portuguese in the other countries of the world

In the former colony of Brazil, the Portuguese mostly mixed with other Europeans, Indians and Africans. From about 35 million Brazilians had at least one of the grandparents Portuguese. But in other former colonial territories traces of Portuguese population are to be found. Similarly, in many of the traditional immigration countries.

  • Argentina: 30,000 Portuguese citizens
  • Aruba and Curacao
  • Australia: 55,000 Portuguese citizens
  • Canada: 0.7 % of the population speak Portuguese
  • Malaysia: about 1,000 speak Malay- Portuguese Creole
  • Namibia
  • Sri Lanka: 30,000
  • Zimbabwe
  • South Africa: 400,000
  • Venezuela
  • United Arab Emirates ( Dubai)
  • United Kingdom: 500,000
  • United States: so-called Luso Americans