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Portuguese Angolans: Wikis


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Portuguese Angolan
Total population
7,000-120,000 (July 2008 census)
Regions with significant populations
Luanda, Benguela

Portuguese, Kimbundu, Mbundu, Kikongo, and other Bantu languages


Christianity (predominantly Roman Catholic)

Related ethnic groups

Portuguese people, Portuguese Brazilian, white Brazilian, Portuguese Africans

Portuguese Angolan (Portuguese: luso-angolano) is a person of Portuguese descent born in Angola.



During the Age of Discovery in the 15th century, the Portuguese reached Angola and exported millions of native Africans for slave trade to be brought to Portugal before sending most of them to Brazil. The first Portuguese settlements in Angola were established in the 16th century. Some Portuguese settlers married native Africans resulting in a mixed-race (mulato) population. Angola was declared a formal Portuguese province in the 19th century, but only in the early 20th century did the mainland government allow large-scale white emigration and settlement to Angola and its other provinces. In the 1960s, Angola had around 400,000 Portuguese settlers, who significantly contributed to its economy. However, during the dictatorship of António de Oliveira Salazar in Portugal, several thousands of them left for other countries, especially Namibia, Brazil, and United States. The simmering revolt against Portuguese rule erupted in 1974. When independence was given in 1975, most whites left Angola. Most of them went to Portugal, where they were called retornados and were not welcomed, while others moved to neighboring Namibia (then a South African territory), Brazil[1], or United States. Among the departed Portuguese civilians, many were allowed to take with them only a single suitcase and 150 escudos, with all household goods left in their respective houses. They boarded planes at Luanda's Craveiro Lopes Airport at the rate of 500 a day, but there were not enough flights to cover demand[2]. The new government gave all remaining Portuguese settlers a few months period to choose Angolan citizenship or to leave the country. Many of them opted for Angola, while the Angolan Civil War was erupting.

When the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries was established in 1996, Portuguese and some ethnic Portuguese from Brazil entered Angola to set up businesses to improve the economy and work as teachers to increase the Portuguese-language fluency of the population. Regardless of 27 years of Civil War, many Portuguese refugees who had left for Namibia, South Africa, Brazil, and United States after independence because they were opposed to the Carnation Revolution returned to Angola. In recent years, some Portuguese have migrated to Angola for economic reasons, most importantly the recent national economic boom.[3] And in 2008, Angola was the preferred destination for Portuguese migrants in Africa.[3] Their migrations increased the Portuguese population from 7,000 to 120,000.

Language and Religion

Their native language is Portuguese, which is also the official language and lingua franca of Angola. Their dialect called Angolan Portuguese is closer to European Portuguese than Brazilian dialects. Some of them speak one of the major Bantu languages – notably Kimbundu, Mbundu, and Kikongo – as second languages. Many educated Portuguese Angolans learn English. Most of them are Christians, most are Roman Catholics (Portuguese rule made Angola a Roman Catholic nation) with some Protestants. Some are Jews, whose ancestors escaped the Inquisition.

See also


  1. ^ Portuguese Immigration (History)
  2. ^ MOZAMBIQUE: Dismantling the Portuguese Empire
  3. ^ a b [1], Radio Televisão Portuguesa, September 13, 2008

External links



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