Learn more about specific causes in Macau that you can get involved in.
EnvironmentMacau peninsula is connected to mainland China by bridges.1 Rapid construction and industrialization have contributed to increased air pollution in the peninsula.2 Although new casinos and resorts are helpful to the economy, their presence also often means more pollution from traffic and increased production of waste. Macau still struggles to find a balance between a successful tourism industry and protection of the environment.3
FamilyMacau is one of the most densely populated places in the world, with close to 600,000 people living on 28 square miles of land. 92% are of Chinese descent, while the rest are a mixture of Portuguese and other Asian ancestry. The average amount of children per family is 0.94, one of the lowest in the world.1 The small nuclear family is the most important family unit amongst all the ethnic groups.2
Human RightsThe many casinos in Macau create prime conditions for illicit activities such as money laundering, prostitution, and drug trade. Since the economy is so dependent on the gaming industry, there are few laws in place to discourage these activities.1 Since 2015, an increasing number of young citizens have become active protesting against government corruption and misallocation of public funds.2 Some activists and academics reported that they were threatened against speaking out against the government on controversial affairs.3
EducationEducation in Macau is compulsory only for five years of primary school, although up to nine years of schooling are provided for free. As a result, only 25% of Macanese finish secondary school, and many schools struggle with over-crowding due to the dense population. The adult literacy rate is 90% despite most citizens only attending school for a few years.1 Most schools are co-sponsored by the state and private institutions such as churches and cultural groups. Consistency in education is a problem since it is not regulated by the state, and schools teach in multiple languages.2
PovertyAlthough the unemployment rate in Macau is only 2%, there are few opportunities for employment outside the casino and tourism industry.12 20% of people work in a casino in Macau.3 Property prices jumped drastically, forcing lower income residents to live on the mainland and commute to work. Working conditions are often difficult in the casinos, but the government provides just over $1000 per year to each citizen as an incentive for staying on the peninsula.2
Religion80% of Macanese practice Buddhism or some combination of Daoism and Confucionism. 5% are Christian, and 15% do not identify with any religion.1 Jesuit missionary influences are responsible for the Christian presence in Macau. Traditional Chinese festivals, along with Christian and Catholic celebrations all take place at different times during the year.2
Clean WaterClean water access in Macau has been weakened by polluted water along the coastline. Sewage, dead fish, and pollution from ships have contaminated the coastal water source. Water is also piped in from mainland China, so good relations and communication are essential to keeping clean water access.1
EconomyEver since Macau was established as a Portuguese territory in the 1500s, it was the center of international trade between the East and the West. It was surpassed by Hong Kong in the mid-1800’s and never returned to its status as a trade hub.1 Today, the gambling industry is the foundation of Macau’s economy. In 2016, taxes from the gaming industry accounted for 76% of the government’s revenue.1 Despite a 20% drop in GDP in 2015, Macau remains hopeful that a new push for family-friendly tourism will continue to drive revenue in the country. Offering upscale shopping and amusement parks will attract a wider demographic of visitors, but retail revenue will still only amount to 9% of the country’s income by 2020 if everything goes Read More as planned.2 Show Less
GovernmentMacau became a Special Administrative Region of China in 1999, and enjoys autonomy in all areas besides defense and international affairs.1 It was governed by a Portuguese governor until 1999, and is now represented to the Chinese government by an elected chief executive. The agreement with China guarantees that Macau will retain its capitalist economy and political autonomy and receive protection from China for 50 years.2 Corruption is a common part of the gambling industry, but Chinese government restrictions in 2015 halted the manipulation that had accounted for a large part of Macau’s GDP.3
HealthThe increased population in Macau has also put a strain on local health care. The one public hospital struggles with a high occupancy rate and understaffed doctors and nurses. The private hospitals provide better care but have higher prices.1 Patients often travel to Hong Kong to receive specialized medical care because Macau does not have the infrastructure to cater to a wide spectrum of medical needs.2
ChildrenThere are labor laws that prevent children from entering the workforce before age 16, although some parents send their children to work for casinos to help provide for the family.1,2 Police are active in preventing child abuse and trafficking and arresting perpetrators.1
AnimalsIn 2016 Macau passed its first animal protection law, outlawing animal cruelty and abuse.1 For years, animal rights activists protested the existence of a dog racing track in the country, claiming that dogs were treated poorly and even killed. Macau’s Gaming and Inspection Bureau finally gave the dog racing track an ultimatum in 2016 to either change its ways or relocate in an effort to make the country more tourist-friendly.2 Because of its widespread urbanization, Macau is not home to many indigenous animals besides birds, lizards, insects, and some crocodiles in the coastal waters.3
Check out the latest news and articles about Macau.
Share about your experience with Macau for the world to see.
PWI STORYTELLERSHARE YOUR STORY NOW
Give your spare change automatically to help Macau.Create a SWIPE ACCOUNT
Connect your card today to start giving your spare change.
The easiest way to make a real difference for Macau.
Download our browser extension and make every tab you open and ever web search you make will raise money for Macau.DOWNLOAD NOW
Create your very own campaign to help raise money for Macau.Create a GroupGive Campaign
What will you do for Macau? Start your fundraiser today and make an impact.