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The Algarve (UK: / -/,, US: / -/,, Portuguese: [alˈɣaɾvɨ] ⓘ) is the southernmost NUTS II region of continental Portugal. It has an area of 4,997 km2 (1,929 sq mi) with 467,495 permanent inhabitants and incorporates 16 municipalities (concelhos or municípios in Portuguese).
Distrito de Faro
|• Total||4,996.80 km2 (1,929.28 sq mi)|
|• Total||467,495 (5th)|
|Time zone||UTC+0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (WEST)|
|ISO 3166 code||PT-08|
very high · 4th
|GDP (PPP)||2019 estimate|
|– Total||€9,274 billion|
|– Per capita||€24,900|
|GDP (nominal)||2019 estimate|
|Statistics from INE (2005); geographic detail from Instituto Geográfico Português (2010)|
The region has its administrative centre in the city of Faro, where both the region's international airport and public university, the University of Algarve, are located. The region is the same as the area included in the Faro District and is subdivided into two zones, one to the West (Barlavento) and another to the East (Sotavento). Tourism and related activities are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve's summer economy. Production of food which includes fish and other seafood, as well as different types of fruit and vegetables such as oranges, figs, plums, carob pods, almonds, avocados, tomatoes, cauliflowers, strawberries, and raspberries, are also economically important in the region.
Although Lisbon surpasses the Algarve in terms of tourism revenue, the Algarve is still, overall, considered to be the biggest and most important Portuguese tourist region, having received an estimated total of 4.2 million tourists in 2017. Its population triples in the peak holiday season due to seasonal residents. Due to the high standards of quality of life, mainly regarding safety and access to public health services, as well as due to cultural factors and considerably good weather conditions, the Algarve is becoming increasingly sought after, mostly by central and northern Europeans, as a permanent place to settle. Several studies and reports have concluded that the Algarve is among the world's best places to retire.
The Algarve is the fourth most developed Portuguese region–in 2019, it was placed fourth out of seven regions with a human development index (HDI) of 0.847 (Portugal's HDI average was 0.864 in 2019). With a GDP per capita at 85.2% of the European Union average, it has the second highest purchasing power in the country only behind the Lisbon Metropolitan Area.