March 31, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Greece: more deaths than births

Greece currently has more deaths than births, according to the study.

Demographic “fading”, to a greater or lesser extent, is typical for the entire country, and not just for some of its regions. In particular, over the past decade, out of 325 municipalities, only 56 had a positive natural balance (more births than deaths), and in 1 out of 3 municipalities this excess as a percentage of the population in 2011 was insignificant (less than 1%), the newspaper writes.

Of the remaining 269 municipalities, where the number of deaths exceeded the number of births, in 50 the natural balance exceeded 10%, and in 139 – 5% of the population. Thus, if the migration balance (birth-death) were equal to zero, then more than half of the “aged” municipalities (139 out of 269) would lose from 5 to 20% of their population in one decade according to the 2011 census.

These data are the result of research by Professors Byron Kotsamanis and Vassilis Pappas, and are presented in the latest digital edition of the “FlashNews” series produced by the Demographic Trends in Research and Practice in Greece project funded by ELIDEK and implemented by ELKE University of Thessaly.

In the publication “National and Regional Natural Balances in the Decade 2011-20 and Their Contribution to the Decline in the Greek Population”, two researchers are not optimistic about the outlook. Because, according to their estimates, in the next two decades the death rate will continue to exceed the birth rate, and the natural balance, as expected, will not change its negative sign.

This is due, according to experts, to two main reasons:

1) mortality, after an initial decline in the post-pandemic years, will continue to rise due to demographic aging, i.e. increasing the number and proportion of people aged 65 and over in the total population;

2) fertility is not expected to recover, even if younger generations stop having fewer children at an ever older age, since the decline in the number of women of childbearing age, which has been going on in our country since the mid-2000s, will continue (20-49-year-olds from 2 35 million in 2010 will fall to 1.95 million in 2021 and will not exceed 1.7 million in 2041).

According to Mr. Kotzamanis, aging and low birth rates will inevitably lead to further population decline, a situation that has been going on for a decade, and immigration cannot prevent this process, it will only slow it down.

At the same time, given that, on the one hand, the aging of the population is irreversible, which means that the number of deaths will increase, on the other hand, the number of people who have reached childbearing age is becoming less and less, the only possible is to take measures that will keep young people in our country by giving them the opportunity to have the number of children they want but cannot have.

That is, first of all, it is required to stop the further decline in the birth rate, and secondly, to create conditions for its increase.

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