Europe

Greece struggling with aging population, demographic imbalances

For 1st time since World War II, Greece's overall natural balance has been consistently negative since 2010, says report

Derya Gülnaz Özcan   | 29.06.2022
Greece struggling with aging population, demographic imbalances FILE PHOTO ( Ayhan Mehmet - Anadolu Agency )

ATHENS

While the aging population is among the key issues in Greece, statistics reveal that the country's demographic balance is also changing.  

Greece, one of the EU's fastest aging countries, is experiencing an increase in the aging population as well as a rise in the number of foreigners. 

According to a recent report, titled "The contribution of foreigners to natural balances in Greece (2009-2020)" and published by academics from the University of Thessaly and Athens University, the overall natural balance in Greece since 2010 has consistently been negative for the first time after the end of World War II. 

"During the last three decades, foreigners increased significantly from 200,000 in 1991 to about 900,000 today," the study revealed. 

Statistics between 2004 and 2020 indicated that the death rate of the Greek population in the country was higher than the birth rate, while it was vice versa for the foreign population in the country. 

Figures also show a dramatic decline in total population by 252,163 from 2009 to 2020.   

'Ticking time bomb' 

Meanwhile, speaking at an event on Greece's demography earlier this month, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis warned of the potential dangers posed by population imbalances. 

The demography is like a "ticking time bomb," said the Greek premier, who warned of the pension system collapse as a result of the shrinking population. 

Also mentioning the decline in the number of financially active citizens, Mitsotakis said the aging population can have negative consequences for social security and health systems. 

This issue is more important than Turkish-Greek problems and the economy, in the long run, he added.

Meanwhile, according to Eurostat figures, Greece's population decline, which has been continuing since 2011, will result in the country having the oldest people in the EU by 2030.


- Median age is about 42 years

With a total population of approximately 10.8 million, the median age in the country is 41.9 years, with women corresponding to 51% of the population, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority.

According to 2011 data, there are 199,121 EU citizens living in Greece, whereas there are over 700,000 third-country citizens in the country.

Albanian origin people account for more than half of all foreigners, followed by Bulgarian, Romanian, Pakistani, and Georgian origin people in the country.

Greece has an average life expectancy of 82 years.

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