In excess of 4 million Portuguese now live outside of Portugal, according to the records held by consulates across the world.
The Emigration Observatory data released today show that the 27 major communities around the world there are 4.022 million citizens that hold, or are entitled to, a Portuguese passport.
Between 2013 and 2014 the figure had risen by 101,000 Portuguese citizens who had contacted or registered with the consulate.
The rise between 2012 and 2013 was 296,000 citizens.
The largest increases were recorded in Canada, with over 95,000, Brazil with 63,000, South Africa with 50,000 and the UK with 41,000.
In some countries the total registered had fallen by the end of 2014 such as Venezuela to under 130,000, France to under 127,000 and the Netherlands to under 24,000.
These decreases are not due to mass exodus, they are due to emigrants from Portugal taking local citizenship and the fact that these figures are only picked up when an emigrant contacts the consulate to obtain a passport renewal or citizen’s card.
The home population is around 10.3 million and falling fast as fewer people are moving to Portugal due to the lack of job prospects, balanced by those returning from overseas due to ... lack of job prospects such as the steady flow of construction workers from Angola.
Luckily people are living longer but the additional worry for government in the longer term is the low birth rate, as pointed out in a recent Financial Times article, referring to the situation as 'a perfect demographic storm.'
On the plus side, receipts from abroad, a posh way of describing money sent to Portugal from its workers in other countries, are at record level.
This flow has been dampened only by the recent BES scandal where many overseas based depositors were caught out by the Bank of Portugal's devious move to classify their BES nest eggs, money they thought had been on deposit and covered by the €100,000 deposit guarantee scheme, as an investment in a company and hence they lost the lot.