Located across the Pearl River estuary from Hong Kong, Macau had a population of around 568,000 people as of 2012. The population is spread across a total land area of approximately 31 square kilometers. The number of registered vehicles ranged at approximately 217,000 in 2012, a figure that roughly constitutes to one vehicle per two inhabitants.
Due to the rapid economic growth in the last decade, Macau’s unemployment rate had dropped to a record low of two percent in 2012. The work force in Macau is mainly composed of gaming services and hotels and restaurants. In respond to the fast growing economy and a shortage of labor, especially in the manufacturing industry, the Macau government has made use of the supply of labor from the neighboring regions and imported labor from mainland China, the Philippines and India.
Tourism and gambling are the backbone of Macau’s economy. The revenue from gaming and gambling in Macau has skyrocketed in the last several years. In 2001, the gaming industry in Macau was liberalized. Several well-known casino operators have entered the market since then. In 2006, Macau became the world’s largest gaming market, surpassing Las Vegas. However, an anti-corruption campaign in mainland China has significantly dampened the gambling demand in the last two years.