Update 4 to Geopolitical Entities and Codes, the successor to FIPS PUB 10-4, was issued on 2011-04-30. It revokes the codes for the two districts.
I found the latest census results for Macau on the Web site of Macau's Statistics and Census Service (DSEC). The area of the country has grown due to landfill, so I am also listing the new areas. (The country's population as of 1991-08-30 was 355,693.)
ISO 3166-1 NEWSLETTER No. V-4 was published on 2002-05-20. It changed the official English spelling of Macau to Macao. In my experience, Macau is still more common, so I've left it unchanged here. (However, under Other names of country there is a list of languages in which Macao is the preferred spelling.) ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Number I-3 was published on 2002-08-20. It also changes the spelling from Macau to Macao, which seems redundant until you consider that 3166-1 and 3166-2 are separate standards.
Newsletter I-3 also makes it clear that either
CN-92 is an acceptable ISO code for Macau.
International standard ISO 3166-2 was published on 1998-12-15. It superseded ISO/DIS 3166-2 (draft international standard). For Macau, the draft standard showed two districts with their codes. The final standard mentions that there are two districts, but declines to specify names or codes. It says that these divisions are "not relevant".
On 1999-12-20, as planned, Macau became a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China. This is the same status as
Hong Kong. Its code according to the Chinese standard GB2260 is
When Hong Kong reverted to Chinese control, ISO 3166 left it with its own separate country code. This conforms to one of the principles
used for allocating country codes: "The list contains overlaps in those cases where entities are geographically separated from their main
entity and where a resulting interchange requirement justifies a separate code...." [ISO 3166-1988, paragraph 3.2]. So far, it appears
that the maintenance agency is also going to retain the code
MO for Macau.
Macau has been a Portuguese colony since the age of exploration. After a Sino-Portuguese treaty of 1887-12-01, its status became that of a Portuguese territory. In 1961 it was made an overseas province of Portugal. A statute of 1976-02-17 redefined it as a collective entity. On 1987-04-13, Portugal agreed that Macau would be ceded to China on 1999-12-20. On that date, Macau became a special administrative region of the People's Republic of China.
Chinese A-mangao: bay of A-ma (patron goddess of sailors)
Macau is divided into two concelhos (districts).
See the Parishes of Macau page.
Macau district is subdivided into five freguesias (parishes): Nossa Senhora de Fátima, Santo António, Santo Lázaro, Santo Lourenço, and Sé.
Ilhas: Portuguese for islands
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