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Home > Statistics > Demographic > By-Census > Global Results of By-Census 2006
Global Results of By-Census 2006

Along with the rapid economic developments of Macao, the demographic characteristics of its population have changed considerably as well. The Statistics and Census Service conducted the By-census 2006 in August and September 2006 in order to obtain up-to-date and comprehensive information on the population of Macao. Following the release of the preliminary results at the end of 2006, the global results of By-census 2006 provided more details about the population of Macao, given as follows:

Population growth accelerated in the last 5 years; growing concern over population ageing

Resident population of Macao totalled 502 113 in late August 2006, up by 15.4% compared with the Census 2001. The annual rate of population growth during this 5-year period averaged 2.9%, higher than the 1.0% annual growth observed during the By-census 96 and Census 2001 period, signifying the acceleration in the rate of population growth over the last five years.

As a consequence of the influx of immigrants and expatriates, the proportion of the elderly population (aged 65 and above) dropped slightly from 7.3% in 2001 to 7.0% in 2006. The median age of the resident population was 35.3, an increment of 2 years compared with 5 years ago. The ageing ratio, a gauge of population ageing that was the proportion of the elderly population to the youth population aged 0-14, had increased from 26.7% in 1996 to 33.6% in 2001, and surged further to 46.3% in 2006. The prolonged life expectancy and the comparatively low fertility brought about an ageing population in Macao as in many countries and territories worldwide.

Higher elderly ratio in Coloane and São Lázaro, lowest in Taipa; nearly 40% changed residence

In terms of number of residents by parish, Nossa Senhora de Fátima parish continued to lead with more than 200,000; it also had the largest proportion (16.7%) of youth population. As regards proportion of the elderly population, the highest was observed in Coloane Island and the São Lázaro parish that accounted for 10.0% each, whilst the lowest marked in Taipa Island (4.4%).

During last 5 years, 38.2% of the resident population had changed residence (including immigration to Macao and internal migration within Macao). More than half of the population in Taipa Island had moved in during the last 5-year period; meanwhile, 70.6% of the population in Santo António parish did not change residence in the past 5 years, the highest among all the parishes.

Slight rebound in population density

Land area of Macao has expanded from 25.8 km2 in 2001 to 28.6 km2 in 2006 due to continuous land reclamation; nevertheless, population density rebounded as the rate of increment of land area (annual growth averaged at 2.1%) was lower than that of the population during the last 5-year period. In 2006, population density of Macao was 17,556/km2 in 2006, higher than the 16,870/km2 in 2001 but lower than the 19,352/km2 in 1996.

Santo António parish continued to be the most densely populated area with more than 100,000/km2, whilst the lowest population density was in Coloane Island, with only 433/km2.

Proportion of the never-married grew slightly

Regarding the marital status of the resident population, the proportion of those never-married took up 42.7% of the total, up slightly by 0.7 percentage point over 2001. Number of never-married male aged 15-29, as well as those aged 60 and above exceeded the never-married female by nearly 1,500 whereas the number of never-married male aged 30-59 was less than the female by more than 1,400. Furthermore, the proportion of the separated/divorced went up by 0.7 percentage point compared with 5 years ago.

Tendency toward smaller household; multi-households a rare scenario

The average household size was 3 persons per household in 2006, down from 3.38 persons in 1996 and 3.14 persons in 2001, revealing the tendency moving towards smaller household has continued. Meanwhile, the average number of household per housing unit also declined from 1.05 in 1996 to 1.02 in 2006, as the scenario of multi-households in a living quarter became a rare scenario, most of the living quarters (96.8%) comprised only one household. In addition, the proportion of one-person household ascended by 1.3 percentage points over 2001 to 18.4%.

Educational attainment of residents showed advancement

In 2006, proportion of resident population with primary or lower education was 43.0%, down by 11.6 percentage points over that of Census 2001; those with senior secondary education and above accounted for 32.4% of the total, an increase of 9.4 percentage points compared with 5 years ago. 

Most of the residents spoke Cantonese at home; about 40% were able to speak Mandarin

Among the resident population aged 3 and above, 85.7% spoke Cantonese at home, 3.2% spoke Mandarin and 6.7% spoke other Chinese dialects. In Nossa Senhora de Fátima parish, 8.4% spoke Hokkien, while in Coloane Island, 11.9% spoke English.

In terms of the language ability, 91.9% of the resident population aged 3 and above were able to speak Cantonese, 38.5% spoke Mandarin.

Proportion of population with disability was 17 per thousand

In By-census 2006, an individual with disability was defined “as a result of one’s physical, mental or emotional condition (not less than 6 months) that even with the help of auxiliary equipment, one still requires assistance from others in order to move around, communicate with others, take care of oneself and perform other daily activities”. In Macao, number of persons with disability totalled 8,298, sharing 1.7% of the total resident population, with 42.8% were male and 57.2% were female. Among the elderly population aged 65 and above, those with disability accounted for 13.4% of the respective age group. About 70% of the population with disability used services designated for the disabled, such as health rehabilitation services, special education services and financial assistance, etc. that were provided by government departments or other institutions.

Growing proportion of tenant-households

72.9% of the households were owner-occupiers of their living quarter and 23.3% were tenants. Compared with 2001, the proportion of owner-occupiers declined by 3.8 percentage points whereas that of the tenants rose by 4.3 percentage points.

Among the owner-occupiers, except the 71.0% that was mortgage free, the median monthly mortgage payment of the rest was MOP 2,642, a decrease of 5.6% compared with 2001. With respect to the rent payment of the tenants, the median monthly rent payment soared by 88.9% over 2001 to MOP 1,511.

About 70% of households had computers; over half of the population used them

The proportion of households with possession of computers surged from 44.9% in Census 2001 to 68.1% in By-census 2006. More than half of the resident population aged 3 and above used computer in the 3-month reference period, a remarkable increase of 1.4 times over the last 5 years. The highest proportion of computer-users marked in the population aged 15-24, accounting for 30.4% of the total computer-users.

Regarding the using of Internet services, 46.4% of the resident population aged 3 and above accessed the Internet during the 3-month reference period. Purposes of accessing the Internet included searching for information, receiving and sending e-mail, reading newspapers and magazines, participating in chatroom/ICQ, etc.

30% of the employed went to work by bus; over half of households had motor vehicles

By-census 2006 introduced additional questions on the hour of day leaving home to work and the means of transportation used by the employed population. Among them, 31.2% left home at 8 a.m.-9 a.m., while 12.5% at 8 p.m.-7 a.m. In terms of means of transportation used, 31.2% went to work by bus, 27.9% on foot, 21.6% by motorcycle and 13.7% by automobile.

Regarding the possession of motor vehicles by households, 52.1% had motorcycle or private automobile, up by 7.7 percentage points over 2001. Among them, 73.5% had motorcycles and 57.0% had private automobiles. In Taipa Island, number of households possessing private automobiles accounted for 25.7% of the respective total in Macao.

Participation of leisure activities

In order to evaluate the leisure time-use of the resident population after work, school or doing housework, for the first time in By-census 2006, information on participation of leisure activities and outbound travel was collected from non-institutionalized resident population aged 14 and above. Among them, 98.0% had participated in recreational activities, using the Internet, etc. during the reference week.

Analyzed by gender, the participation rate of self-learning, recreational activities, as well as voluntary and charity activities was higher for female, whereas that of sport activities and using the Internet was higher for male.

Resident population aged 14-24 tended to participate more actively in different kinds of leisure activities, primarily in using the Internet, sports activities, etc. Meanwhile, 44.2% of the population aged 55 and above participated in sports activities. The median time used in leisure activities was 22.7 hours per week. Furthermore, 33.0% had travelled outbound during the reference week.

Detailed results and information on the By-census 2006 is available on the website of Statistics and Census Service (http://dsec.gov.mo). 

Related Information: Global Results of By-Census 2006
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