After losing the territory of Goa and its dependencies, annexed to India in 1961, during the years 1974-75 his African empire collapsed, since the overseas provinces of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea, Cape Verde, São Tomé e Principe and Cabinda have become independent states. Self-determination is also foreseen for Macao, while Timor was annexed by Indonesia in June 1976.
Portugal is one of the most backward European countries. This is confirmed, among other things, by its demographic decline, which between 1960 and 1973 was about 320,000 residents. Compared to 1964, the year in which the population was estimated at 9,260,000 units, the losses would even amount to 700,000 people, due to strong emigration currents, mostly clandestine. Emigration is mainly generated from the provinces of Tras-os-Montes and Alentejo and mostly goes to France. Also noteworthy are the movements from the interior to the coast: the districts of Lisbon (where the metropolitan area of the capital has exceeded one million residents), Porto, Setúbal and Aveiro are the only ones to register a certain increase in population (see. tab.).
Economy. – The six-year plans launched since 1953 have not achieved the expected results and have largely remained unfulfilled, because the Fr has had to commit to considerable expenses for the defense and maintenance of the colonial territories. The least well cared for sector was the agricultural one, which however shows a certain restructuring process. In fact, from 1960 to 1973 the number of people employed in agriculture fell from 45% to 35% of the active population, while the cultivated area increased by about 3%.
Land use presents the following situation: 40.9% of the land area is occupied by arable land and arborescent crops, 6% by permanent meadows and pastures, 40.9% by forests and woods, 12.2 % is divided between uncultivated and unproductive.
Compared to 1960, the main changes concern the area destined for cereals, which – with the exception of rice which is slightly increasing – show a contraction of 30-45%, while keeping production almost unchanged: wheat (567,000 ha and 6,800,000 q in 1976) continues to hold first place, followed by maize, rye, oats and barley, which together occupy 800,000-900,000 ha per year, half of which belongs to maize alone. On the contrary, vegetable crops (tomatoes: 6,300,000 q in 1976) and fruit-bearing crops appear, which in 1976 gave a production of about 7 million q (1,580,000 apples, 1,540,000 citrus fruits). Compared to 1960 also the vine (370,000 ha; 12,500,000 hl of wine produced) reveals a certain dynamism, having gained about 35,000 ha. For Portugal 2000, please check neovideogames.com.
Some changes have then occurred with regard to the use of the forest (134,000 t of cork, 7,900,000 m 3 of timber), to the breeding of livestock (1,000,000 cattle, 1,683,000 pigs, 3,800,000 sheep; 650,000 goats, 16,200,000 birds) and fishing (340,000 tons of fish landed, about a quarter of which are sardines).
The resources of the subsoil, although present in fair quantities, are scarcely exploited; indeed, their extraction, except for tungsten (1774 t in 1976), indicates a certain decline (iron-cupriferous pyrites 235,900 t, tin 252 t, manganese 100 t, iron ore 26,000 t of Fe content, diatomite 2090 t, hard coal 192,000 t) or in any case it remains at very modest levels (asbestos 127 t, sulfur 235,000 t, gold 339 kg, lead 500 t of Pb content, zinc 700 t).
However, notable progress has been made in the energy sector: after 1960 some hydroelectric plants (Miranda, Bemposta, Tavora, Drives, Buga Cheira, Carrapatelo) came into operation which allowed to double the installed power (3,150,000 kW in 1975) and to triple the production of electricity (10,728 million kWh). This has favored industrial development.
The steel industry and metallurgy, absent until 1957, now have some coastal plants in Leixões, Seixal and Villacova, which in 1975 supplied 336,000 t of cast iron and ferroalloys, 386,000 t of steel, 2,700 t of copper, as well as a few hundred tons of tin, lead and aluminum; cement production was also greatly enhanced (3,708,000 t in 1976). Manufacturing activities record the greatest development in the textile field, which has gained over 12,000 employees, and to the traditional production of cotton and wool yarns and fabrics it has added that of artificial fibers (Sobrado, Porto, Portalegre); new initiatives, mostly due to foreign capital, were also carried out in other branches (assembly of motor vehicles, rubber), sometimes in the internal areas of the country, that is, outside the traditional coastal locations.
In addition, tourism, which until 1964 represented a negligible item, is gaining in importance in the Portuguese economy. In 1973 the Portugal was visited by 4,100,000 tourists, who spent over 9 billion escudos there. Despite this, however, the balance of payments is in strong deficit: in the period 1971-74 the value of exports (wine, oil, cork, textiles, sardines) was equal to half that of exports. The most active suppliers and customers of the Portugal have become, together with the United Kingdom, which has long held the forefront of exchanges, the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany and France.