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Macao History Timeline

Macao's Information

Flag of Macao
Land Area 28 km2
Total Area 28km2
Population 597,425 (#168)
Population Density 21,336.61/km2
Government Type Presidential Limited Democracy; A Special Administrative Region Of The PRC
GDP (PPP) $63.22 Billion
GDP Per Capita $96,100
Currency Pataca (MOP)
Largest Cities
221BC - 1600AD
  • (221BC - 206BC) During Qin Dynasty, region was under jurisdiction of the Nanhai Prefecture of Guangdong Province
  • (265AD - 420AD) Macau was part of Dongguan Prefecture in Jin Dynasty
  • (960 - 1279) During Song Dynasty, Macau was under jurisdiction of new Xiangshan County
  • (1277) Over 50,000 people sought refuge in Macau from invading Mongols
  • (1368 - 1644) Fishermen migrated to Macau during Ming Dynasty
  • (1513) Portuguese landed on Lintin Island, claimed island for King of Portugal
  • (1516) Portuguese traders used Macau as staging port
  • (1521) Chinese expelled Portuguese adventurers from coast of Guangdong
  • (1536) Portuguese traders allowed to anchor at Haojingao following a ship wreck
  • (1540s) Portuguese helped China in eliminating coastal pirates
  • (1552 - 1553) Portuguese received permission to erect storage sheds onshore
  • (1557) China ceded Macau to Portugal in recognition of their help in defeating pirates
  • (1557) Portuguese opened first trading post in Asia in Macau
  • (1560s) Jesuits arrived in Macau, began constructing churches, including Cathedral of Saint Paul and schools
  • (1564) Portuguese established western trade with India, Japan and China
  • (1580s) Dominicans arrived in Macau, began construction of schools and St. Dominic's Church
  • (1587) King Philip II of Spain promoted Macau to "City of the Name of God"
1600 - 1900
  • (1662) Battle of Macau: Dutch attacked Macau, but were defeated
  • (1639) Japan was closed to trade with Portuguese, which removed one of the vital trade links for Macau control
  • (1641) Macau lost its trade with the Far East, causing financial distress
  • (1680) Portuguese appointed first government, but remained under partial Chinese control
  • (1750 - 1840) Commerce was restricted to local trade, Macau became refuge for European traders and Protestant missionaries
  • (1841) British occupied Hong Kong, surpassed Macau as financial hub of southern China, Macau's economy nearly collapsed
  • (1844) Portuguese legalized gambling in Macau
  • (1845) Portugal declared Macau to be a free port, expelled Chinese soldiers and officials, levied taxes on Chinese residents
  • (1848 - 1870s) Macau served as transit port for trade of slave laborers from southern China who were shipped to Cuba and South American countries
  • (1887) Chinese government accepted perpetual sovereignty of Portugal over Macau in Treaty of Peking
  • (1890) Qingzhou was incorporated into Macau's territory
  • (1939 - 1945) During World War II, Macau was only neutral port in South China, became refugee center
  • (1943 - 1945) Japanese created virtual protectorate over Macau
  • (1951) Portugal designated Macau to be a separate overseas province
  • (1954) Macau Grand Prix was established
  • (1962) Syndicate formed by Hong Kong and Macau businessmen brought in all forms of gambling
  • (1966) Riots broke out between pro-Communist Chinese and Macau police over building permits
  • (1966) Portugal offered to hand over administration of Macau to China, offer was declined
  • (1974) Following Carnation Revolution in Portugal , Lisbon removed all troops, offered colony back to China
  • (1979) Portugal and People's Republic of China established diplomatic relations, Macau was acknowledged as "Chinese territory under Portuguese administration"
  • (1987) Agreement reached between Portugal and China that Macau would be returned to China in 1999
  • (1995) Macau International Airport opened
  • (1999) Transfer of Sovereignty took place, People's Republic of China assumed full sovereignty
  • (1999) Edmund Ho elected head of the first post-colonial government
  • (2001) American firms built new gambling facilities, half of government revenue was from gambling
  • (2005) Macau's Banco Delta Asia was accused of being "a willing pawn for the North Korean government to engage in corrupt financial activities", caused a run on the bank
  • (2005) Macau government began construction of over 8,000 social housing apartments
  • (2006) Local residents rioted in protests against outsiders who were taking jobs from middle-aged Macanese
  • (2006) Government official, Ao Man Long, found guilty of bribe-taking, sentenced to prison
  • (2006) Macau overtook Las Vegas as world's strongest casino market
  • (2007) Rally against labor shortages turned violent
  • (2008) Typhoon Neoguri swept through Macau, forced over 200,000 to evacuate
  • (2009) Macau passed its own version of China's Article 23, banning sedition
  • (2009) Fernando Chui became chief executive of Macau in the first leadership change since 1999
  • (2010) Protests about universal suffrage, housing prices, took place on the anniversary of the transfer of sovereignty
  • (2010) Macau labor protest against alleged corruption and illegal labor occurred
  • (2011) Gambling revenues were $33 billion
  • (2012) Ng Man-sun, a senior figure in Macau's gambling industry was severely beaten by six men in a restaurant
  • (2013) Gambling revenue increased to about $46 billion
  • (2014) Some of the world's largest casino operators announced expansion plans
This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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