Anti-record 2020: the population of Greece decreased by 46,000 people

2020 was the worst year in Greek history in terms of birth-to-death ratio (excluding World War II), the Greek Statistical Office (ELSTAT) said Monday.

With the exception of the period from 1940 to 1955, for which ELSTAT does not have complete data, never in the entire history of Greece in the country has there been a decrease in population of 46,000 people in one year. The second worst year was 2019, when birth rates lagged behind deaths by 40,000.

ELSTAT statistics say the 132,000 deaths recorded last year represent a new anti-record in the entire history of Greece. Approximately 85,600 births were in line with the previous minimum set in 2019.

Death rates last year were affected not only by the pandemic, but also by the challenges citizens faced in gaining access to health care. While 2020 was also the 10th consecutive year that the birth-death balance was negative.

Fertility has declined steadily since the country introduced financial assistance in 2010: before that, fertility averaged 117,000–118,000. Then, according to the Ministry of Labor, it fell below 100,000 in 2012 and to 90,000 in 2016.

This year, according to forecasts, the population will decline by no less than 42,000-45,000 and will amount to 10,364,074 at the end of the year.

Trends in the population of Greece in 2021

Below are the rates of change in the population of Greece, calculated for 2021:

Fertility: an average of 255 children per day (10.61 per hour). Mortality: an average of 299 people per day (12.47 per hour). Migration population growth: on average -70 people per day (-2.92 per hour). The population decline rate in Greece in 2021 will be 115 people per day.

In absolute numbers:

1,478,174 people under 15 years of age (men 761,200, women 716,974). 6 888 362 people over 14 and under 65 years of age (men 3 438 458, women 3 450 009). 2,039,370 people over 64 years old (men 892,836, women 1,146,638).

Religion in Greece

Religion Number of followers Percentage of total
population Christianity 9,179,680 88.3% Non-religious and atheists 644,553 6.2% Islam 550 989 5.3% Popular beliefs 10,396 0.1% Hinduism 10,396 0.1%

Source: Pew Research Center. The Global Religious Landscape

Number of followers (29.03.2021 – ).

The total dependency ratio is calculated as the ratio of the dependent part of the population to the able-bodied or productive part of the population.

For Greece, the dependency ratio is 51.1%.

This attitude means that Greece is experiencing a relatively high social burden on society. That is, each working person must provide more than 1.5 times more goods and services than would be necessary for himself.

Potential replacement rate

Potential replacement ratio (child load ratio) is calculated as the ratio of the population below the working age to the working age population.

Child dependency ratio in Greece is 21.5%.

Aged dependency ratio

Aged dependency ratio is calculated as the ratio of the population above the working age to the working age population.

Aged dependency ratio in Greece is 29.6%.

Source: The data in this section is based on the latest publications of the United Nations Department of Statistics in the field of demographic and social statistics.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy is one of the most important demographic indicators. It shows the average number of years of a person’s life ahead. That is, the number of years that a person can theoretically live, provided that the current fertility and mortality rates remain unchanged throughout a person’s life. Generally, “life expectancy” refers to life expectancy at birth, that is, at age 0 years.

Total life expectancy (both sexes) at birth for Greece is 79.9 years.
This is above the world average life expectancy, which is around 71 years (according to the Population Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs).

The average life expectancy for men is 77.4 years.
Average life expectancy for women is 82.7 years.

Population literacy

We estimate that in Greece about 8,720,677 people over the age of 15 can read and write in any language. This represents 97.68% of the total adult population. In this case, the adult population means all people over the age of 15. Accordingly, about 207,264 adults are illiterate.

The adult male literacy rate is 98.53% (4,267,537).
63,757 are illiterate.
The female adult literacy rate is 96.88% (4,453,140).
143,507 are illiterate.

Youth literacy rates are 99.53% and 99.36% for men and women, respectively. The overall youth literacy rate is 99.45%. The concept of youth in this case covers the population aged 15 to 24, inclusive.

Source: The estimation data for section “Greece population literacy” is based on the latest data published by UNESCO Institute for Statistics (retrieved March 13, 2016)

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