The One Minute Geographer: Portugal — A Few Key Facts

Jim Fonseca
2 min readDec 5, 2021
Map from CIA World Factbook on

The map above shows Portugal in its correct size and latitude overlaid on the Mid-Atlantic region. If you flew due east from Washington DC, you’d arrive near Lisbon.

Portugal’s area of 35,600 square miles is about the size of Maine or Indiana.

Portugal’s population of 10.2 million people is close to that of Michigan or North Carolina. About a half-million of Portugal’s people live on the Atlantic islands, about evenly divided between Madeira and the Azores (about 250,000 people on each island group).

Lisbon photo by Luis Ascenso on

Lisbon, the capital and largest metropolitan area, has almost 3 million people, about the size of metro Baltimore, Denver or Tampa.

Porto ( or Oporto), the second-largest metro area with 1.7 million people is about the size of metro Providence or Jacksonville.

Check out my previous post about how close the Azores are to the USA:

And here is the first of a series of longer posts about the cultural geography of the Portuguese American community in New England

Follow me on Medium for more from the One Minute Geographer



Jim Fonseca

Geography professor (retired) writes The One Minute Geographer featuring This Fragile Earth. Top writer in Transportation and, in past months, Travel.