Macau has no official poverty line, so the number of citizens living at that level is difficult to determine. Also, many foreign workers illegally enter Macau looking for jobs, and these individuals cannot be accounted for in official statistics. Their presence in Macau ebbs and flows, as the government fights a continuing battle to deport illegal entrants into the region.
Macau's gap between poor and rich is wide. Macau's per capita GDP was listed in 2000 at US$17,500, placing it 37th in the world. While impressive considering Macau's small size, such wealth does not get equally passed among all strata of society. Gambling, which provides
|GDP per Capita (US$)|
|Note: Data are estimates.|
|SOURCE: Handbook of the Nations , 17th,18th, 19th and 20th editions for 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 data; CIA World Factbook 2001 [Online] for 2000 data.|
more than 40 percent of Macau's income, benefits the poor very little.