In 1800, the population of Portugal was estimated to be approximately 2.8 million; a figure that would see gradual growth throughout the 19th century. During this time, Portugal experienced a series of political and military challenges, including an invasion by Napoleonic France, the cessation of Brazil (it's largest colony), and a civil war caused by royal succession; nonetheless, Portugal remained an international power throughout the 1800s, with significant spheres of influence on all continents.
At the turn of the 20th century, Portugal's international standing began to diminish, and its weakening position in Africa initiated a wave of civil unrest in the metropole. In 1908, following a period of political instability, King Carlos I and his heir were assassinated in Lisbon, and the 5 October 1910 Revolution permanently brought an end to the monarchy. This, however, did not end the political instability, which was further exacerbated by the impacts of the First World War and Spanish Flu pandemic (which, combined, resulted in the deaths of more than 220,000 Portuguese people). Portugal would then experience a rapid population gain following the establishment of the Second Republic (Estado Novo) in 1933, under the 34 year reign of António de Oliveira Salazar, which would see Portugal’s currency stabilized and significant economic growth lasting until the 1960s. However, Portugal’s population would decline in the early 1960s, as escalating colonial wars overseas, combined with increasing political instability at home would see many citizens emigrating elsewhere in Europe; particularly youths attempting to avoid the country’s military draft. Growth would largely resume following the end of the dictatorship with the Carnation Revolution of 1974, as many Portuguese migrants in the now independent colonies would return to Europe.
While growth would slow (and decline slightly) amidst economic troubles in the 1980s, Portugal’s population generally increased until 2008, when it peaked at 10.6 million people. From 2008 until today, a combination of the long term impacts of the 2008 financial crisis and declining fertility rates have resulted in a steady drop in the country’s population. As a result, in 2020, Portugal is estimated to have fallen to 10.2 million people, although it is also regarded as one of the most stable, peaceful and democratic countries in the world.
Population of Portugal from 1768 to 2020
Profit from the additional features of your individual account
Currently, you are using a shared account. To use individual functions (e.g., mark statistics as favourites, set
statistic alerts) please log in with your personal account.
If you are an admin, please authenticate by logging in again.
Access All Statistics. Starting from $468 / Year
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.
UN DESA, & Macmillan Publishers, & Gapminder. (June 17, 2019). Population of Portugal from 1768 to 2020 (in millions) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved May 27, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/1017212/total-population-portugal-1768-2020/
UN DESA, und Macmillan Publishers, und Gapminder. "Population of Portugal from 1768 to 2020 (in millions)." Chart. June 17, 2019. Statista. Accessed May 27, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1017212/total-population-portugal-1768-2020/
UN DESA, Macmillan Publishers, Gapminder. (2019). Population of Portugal from 1768 to 2020 (in millions). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: May 27, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1017212/total-population-portugal-1768-2020/
UN DESA, and Macmillan Publishers, and Gapminder. "Population of Portugal from 1768 to 2020 (in Millions)." Statista, Statista Inc., 17 Jun 2019, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1017212/total-population-portugal-1768-2020/
UN DESA & Macmillan Publishers & Gapminder, Population of Portugal from 1768 to 2020 (in millions) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/1017212/total-population-portugal-1768-2020/ (last visited May 27, 2022)