Portugal Population Distribution


The population of the Portuguese Republic on 1 December 1930 amounted to 6,825,883 residents, including the Azores and Madeira, and 6,360,347 for the continent alone. Going back a little over fifty years, it is noted that on January 1, 1864, the time of the first official census, the population was 3,829,618 residents for the continent and 4,188,410 residents with the adjacent islands.

According to ask4beauty, the rapid increase (66%), which occurred from 1864 to 1930, is mainly due to the high birth rate; Portugal is in fact among the European countries that have a very high birth rate, surpassed only by the URRS, Bulgaria and Romania; in the decade 1910-19 the birth rate was 31.9 per 1000 residents, increased again in the following decade (33.8 per 1000 residents). The population increase would have been even greater than that already noted, if mortality had not also reached a very high index (22.8 per 1000 residents In the decade 1910-1919; 20.8 per 1000 residents In the following decade) due to the very unfavorable health conditions, the lack of doctors in small centers, the spread of infectious diseases and especially tuberculosis. With all this the surplus of births over deaths has increased; it was 9.1 per 1000 residents in the decade 1910-1919, and 13.0 in the decade 1920-1929. In 1931 the surplus of births over the dead per 1000 residents it was 13.2.

From an ethnic point of view, the Portuguese population is one of the most homogeneous in Europe: about 99% is represented by the Portuguese.

In 1932 there were 15,074 foreigners in Portugal, of which the largest number is represented by the Spaniards (8329), the Brazilians (1609), the English (1181), the French (1019). There were 362 Italians. Foreigners live mainly in the cities of Lisbon (11,555) and Oporto (1611).

Population Distribution

The population of Portugal, excluding the adjacent islands, amounted to 6,360,347 residents on 1 December 1930 with an average density of 71 residents per sq km. This density is slightly lower than that of France (75.9), but is much higher than that of Spain (47), and shows strong variations from district to district.

The different population density between northern and southern Portugal is mainly due to the way in which the property is divided; in northern Portugal, where small and medium ownership prevails, the population density is higher than the country average (91 residents per sq. km.); while in southern Portugal, where large estates still exist, the population density is much lower than the average (30 residents per sq. km.). In southern Portugal, due to the fertility of the soil, which has particularly favorable conditions for human settlement, the Algarve reaches a density of 59 residents per sq. km. The districts of southern Portugal, in which the lowest densities are found, are those of Beja (23), Évora (24), and Portalegre (27), all three located in the Alemtejo. In northern Portugal only the Traz os Montes region has an average population density below the average for the whole country (40 residents per sq. Km.); here, despite the fertility of the soil, and the efforts made by man to constantly try to buy new land for agriculture, there are still, due to the relief, sparsely cultivated and consequently sparsely populated areas: Vila Rial district (59), Bragança (28). The Entre Douro and Minho region was instead densely populated since ancient times; the calculation of the population that was made in the years 1527-1532 assigned to the aforementioned region 55,066 families, the 1930 census instead recorded 335,310. This massive increase in population is mainly due to the significant boost that has been given to agriculture, fishing, industry, to trade; currently the Entre Douro and Minho region encompasses 8% of the Portuguese territory and 20% of the total population. Also in Beira the population density is above average (72 residents per sq. Km); but much higher densities are found in Extremadura and precisely in the district of Lisbon (330), due not only to the favorable agricultural and commercial conditions, but also to the force of attraction exerted by the city of Lisbon, which for 700 years has been the capital of Portugal.

Only two centers exceed 100,000 residents: Lisbon with 594,395 residents, located on the magnificent estuary of the Tagus, a great center of ocean trade, and Oporto with 232,280 residents. on the Duero estuary, where much of the maritime activity of northern Portugal is concentrated. Lisbon and Oporto are the only large gates through which the Portuguese republic maintains relations with abroad and also the points of convergence for communications with the interior. Between Oporto and Setúbal which has 46,398 residents there is no deadline for passage; cities with more than 20,000 residents besides Setúbal there are only three: Coimbra (27,333 residents), Braga (26,962 residents), Évora (22,061 residents); cities with more than 10,000 residents there are about 30 and the main ones are Faro (18,019 residents) and Covilha (15,640 residents).

Emigration movements have considerable importance in Portugal; Portugal, after the Irish Free State, is the country with the highest figures for emigration. In 1920 the number of emigrants amounted to 64,783 and in 1926 to 42,067; from 1926 onwards Portugal tried to limit this strong migratory current: in 1930 the number of emigrants was 23,196, and in 1933 it was 8939. The main cause of emigration is to be found in the fact that Portugal has a strong excess of birth rate, but does not have sufficient economic resources to cope with the increase in population.

Emigration is directed above all towards the agricultural countries of America and especially in Brazil, an ancient colony of Portugal, where the identity of the language and the considerable number of Portuguese who have already settled there for a long time still attract numerous emigrants. In Brazil head about 4 of the emigrants; then followed by Argentina and the United States. There is a constant movement of emigration towards the Portuguese colonies, especially towards those of East and West Africa, which attempts are being made to intensify by various means in order to enhance the considerable wealth they possess.

Portugal Population Distribution

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