The archipelago of the Azores (Portuguese: Açores) is an autonomous region of Portugal. This group of islands of the Atlantic Ocean is an ultra peripheral area of the European Union.
Latest census data reports just over a quarter of a million residents live on these islands but with a diaspora of more than two million living overseas, primarily in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and mainland Europe. In the Channel Islands they have for long formed a substantial minority so that public phoneboxes feature dialling instructions in the Azores dialect.
While ancient and medieval legends tell about Atlantic islands which could have been the Azores, the first known inhabitants were Portuguese, who discovered and settled them in the 15th century. The Azores became an important waypoint during the Age of Discovery.