Greek population shrinks due to low birth rate, migration

Athens, Dec 31 (IANS) The Greek population kept shrinking in 2016 due to low birth rate and rising migration, official data has said.

In January 2016, the population of Greece was estimated at 10,783,748 persons, down 0.68 per cent year on year from a year earlier, Xinhua news agency cited the national statistical authority as saying on Friday.

The decline was partly attributed to a natural decrease of 29,365 persons, as the number of deaths at 121,212 outweighed those born in Greece at 91,847, the data said.

Also to blame was a net migration estimated at 44,905 persons, as 64,446 people migrated to Greece while 109,351 persons left Greece.

According to the data, the Greek population aged 0 to 14 years old amounted to 14.4 per cent of the total population at the end of 2016.

While 64.3 per cent was aged between 15 and 64 years old. Some 21.3 per cent of the total population was aged 65 years old and above.

Both the brain drain of recent years and low birth rates have been linked in several studies to the seven-year debt crisis.

With one quarter of the working force suffering from chronic unemployment, the country’s fertility rate has hit record lows of 1.1 births to 1.3 births per woman, according to a 2015 study of the Greek National Social Research Centre.

In addition, at least 139,000 Greek university graduates have since 2010 left the country, seeking jobs and a better future abroad, a 2016 survey of the University of Macedonia showed.

–IANS

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