Survey on Living Conditions, Origins and Trajectories of Population Resident in Portugal


According to the results of the Survey on Living Conditions, Origins and Trajectories of the Resident Population in Portugal (ICOT), people aged 18 to 74 self-identified in terms of ethnic origin or belonging as follows: 6.4 million with the white ethnic group; 169.2 thousand with the black group; 56.6 thousand with the asian group; 47.5 thousand with the gypsy ethnic group; and 262.3 thousand reported having a mixed origin or belonging. The population who self-identifies as asian, mixed origin or belonging, black and gypsy has a younger age structure than that who self-identifies as white.

In Portugal, 1.4 million people have an immigrant background, of which 947,5 thousand are first-generation immigrants, and they are most represented in Algarve (31.0% and 24.2%, respectively) and Área Metropolitana de Lisboa (29.2% and 18.8%, respectively). The population that identifies with the black, asian and mixed ethnic groups has the highest proportions of immigrant background (90.3%, 83.7% and 69.2%, respectively). The majority of first-generation immigrants (65.2%) live in Portugal for more than ten years. Family and professional reasons are determining factors in coming to Portugal.

More than three quarters of the population (76.3%) say they feel a strong or very strong attachment to Portugal and only just over half (53.5%) feel the same way about Europe. The population with an immigrant background and first-generation immigrants are more attached to Portugal than to their family’s country of origin or their country of birth.

More than 4.7 million people aged 18 to 74 were employed (62.4%), with the ethnic groups of mixed origin or belonging (67.9%), blacks (64.3%) and whites (62.9%) standing out. More than two million people needed to work while studying and 1.7 million were forced to leave school earlier than they would have liked.

In addition to Portuguese, 486,4 thousand people spoke another language at home until the age of 15. Currently, 661,7 thousand speak Portuguese at home and another language. Languages from other European countries and PALOP (Portuguese-speaking African Countries) languages or dialects are the most widely spoken.

More than 1.2 million people (16.1%) have experienced discrimination in Portugal, most commonly felt by people who identify themselves as gypsy (51.3%), black (44.2%) or of mixed origin or belonging (40.4%), as well as by women (17.5%), younger people (18.9%), those highly educated (18.3%) and the unemployed (24.9%).

More than 4.9 million people (65.1%) believe there is discrimination in Portugal and 2.7 million (35.9%) have witnessed it. Ethnic group, skin colour, sexual orientation and territory of origin are the most relevant factors in perceived and witnessed discrimination.

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