Greece Demographics

What is the population of Greece?

Population 10,607,051
Population Growth Rate 0.04%
Urban Population 61.4%
Population in Major Urban Areas ATHENS (capital) 3.414 million; Thessaloniki 883,000
Nationality Noun Greek(s)
Nationality Adjective Greek
Ethnic Groups Greek 93%, other (foreign citizens) 7%

note: percents represent citizenship, since Greece does not collect data on ethnicity
Languages Spoken Greek (official) 99%,
Language Note Greek

Greece Learning

What is school like in Greece?


Children are obligated to attend nine years of school in Greece, primary level being the first six. Today there are thoughts that school should be obligatory for 12 years and it is very likely that this law will soon be applied. Primary level schools are always in a different building than secondary schools. They hold around 100 children for each class. Half of the primary level schools in big cities are old buildings that have always been schools and have some history. There are also many new buildings that were built to accommodate children as the population increased. However in some areas far from the city center they do not have adequate buildings to be used for schooling or the buildings used don’t have the right technical specifications. Small villages almost always have new buildings for schools. However, there is usually one school in each region and many children have to walk a long distance regardless the weather.

Classrooms have desks and chairs for each child and a lot of free space. There is a board and a desk for the teacher. Classrooms have toys especially toys that teach numbers and letters and it is also common to have musical instruments for children, usually small electric pianos, xylophones and harmonicas. Electronic and audiovisual equipment is usually available in a private classroom and not in each classroom. Teachers either move the equipment to the classroom when they want to use it or take the children to that classroom to attend the lesson there. This applies to schools in small villages as well, as these areas are usually the first to implement advanced technological changes.

Schools usually have a kiosk selling fast food in the school yard. These kiosks are normally private and therefore not controlled by the school. Many children buy snacks from there and eat them during breaks.


A typical school day for young children starts at eight o’clock in the morning. Classes are approximately 45 minutes followed by a 15 minute break. There is always a longer break for lunch. Children can either eat something that their parents have prepared and given them or buy a snack from the kiosk. Their day ends at one o’clock for the most. There are many schools that occupy children until 4 o’clock but that also depends on the region.

The subjects that are taught in primary schools are the same for every school: Greek language, mathematics, geography, history, music, painting, English and German language. As children grow older, more subjects are introduced.

It is compulsory for all children to attend the secondary school. In cases of severe health difficulties children can attend a special school or be taught at home. Teachers in schools are responsible for taking care of the children. In cases of disputes or conflicts the matter reaches the headmaster who is responsible for both children and teachers. Matters of discipline are solved in the school and rarely reach a higher authority. However, there are no clear instructions on every aspect of the procedures. Children are not obligated to wear uniforms nor do they greet adults in a specific way. They are obligated however, to be polite and much attention is given to the way they behave towards teachers and to each other.

School occupies life until the age of 18 in most cases. About 85% of students who finish school, continue to higher education through universities, colleges or other seminars. It is not common for someone who has no higher education to get a job in Greece. During the first years of education children also begin their extracurricular activities. English courses, gymnastics and music are preferred. There is a very high percentage of children that attend English courses and music schools to learn to play an instrument most of the times in private schools. There is also a high percentage that attends swimming pools with water polo being their preferred game. Many of these activities are stopped as the child reaches higher classes as studying takes up all of their time. Children living in urban areas follow the same program. It is very common for these kids to attend dancing courses that teach traditional Greek dances. These groups are supported financially and almost always give children the chance to visit foreign countries and take part in traditional dance competitions or festivals.

Greece Health Information

What are the health conditions in Greece?

Contraceptive Prevalence Rate - female 15-49 76.2%
Contraceptive Prevalence - note note: percent of women aged 16-45
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 10.9
Drinking Water Source - percent of rural population improved 99.4%
Drinking Water Source - percent of total population unimproved 0.2%
Drinking Water Source - percent of urban population improved 100%
Health Expenditures - percent of GDP 9%
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate 0.1%
HIV/Aids Deaths 450
Hospital Bed Density - beds/1,000 population 4.9
Infant Mortality Rate - female deaths/1,000 live births 4.34
Infant Mortality Rate - male deaths/1,000 live births 5.33
Infant Mortality Rate - total deaths/1,000 live births 4.85
Maternal Mortality Rate - deaths/100,000 live births 3
Mean Age for Mother's First Birth 29.2
Obesity - adult prevalence rate 20.1%
People Living with HIV/AIDS 8,800
Physicians Density - physicians/1,000 population 6.04
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of total population unimproved 1.4%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of urban population improved 99.4%
Sanitation Facility Access - percent of rural population improved 97.5%
Total Fertility Rate - children born/woman 1.4

Greece Life Expectancy

How long do people live in Greece?

Life Expectancy at Birth 80 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - female 82 Years
Life Expectancy at Birth - male 77 Years
Median Age 43 Years
Median Age - female 44 Years
Median Age - male 42 Years

Greece Infant Mortality - per 1,000 live births

Greece median age, birth rate and death rates

Birth Rate - births/1,000 population 9
Death Rate - deaths/1,000 population 10.9
Median Age 43 Years
Median Age - female 44 Years
Median Age - male 42 Years
Net Migration Rate - migrant(s)/1,000 population 2.32
Population Growth Rate 0.04%
Sex Ratio 0-14 Years - male/female 1.06
Sex Ratio 15-24 Years - male/female 1.04
Sex Ratio 25-54 Years - male/female .99
Sex Ratio 55-64 Years - male/female .96
Sex Ratio at Birth - male/female 1.06
Sex Ratio of Total Population - male/female .96
Sex Ratio Over 64 Years - male/female .78

Greece Medical Information

What are the health conditions in Greece?

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities are adequate, and some, particularly the private clinics and hospitals in Athens and Thessaloniki, are quite good. Some private hospitals have affiliations with U.S. facilities, and generally their staff doctors have been trained in the United States or Europe.

Public medical clinics, especially on the islands, may lack resources; care can be inadequate by U.S. standards, and often, little English is spoken. Many patients-- Greeks and visitors alike-- are transferred from the provinces and islands to Athens hospitals for more sophisticated care. Others may choose to transfer from a public to a private hospital within Athens or Thessaloniki. U.S. citizens choosing to do so would arrange for an ambulance belonging to the private hospital to transport them from the public hospital to the private one. The cost of the ambulance for this transfer, as well as all expenses in a private hospital, must be borne by the patient. Private hospitals will usually demand proof of adequate insurance or cash before admitting a patient.

Nursing care, particularly in public hospitals, may be less than adequate. For special or through-the-night nursing care, it is suggested that a private nurse be hired or a family member or friend be available to assist. One parent or a private nurse should always plan to stay with a hospitalized child on a 24-hour basis, as even the best hospitals generally maintain only a minimal nursing staff from midnight to dawn on non-emergency floors or wards.

Please insure that you have an adequate supply of your prescription medications when travelling to Greece as you may not be able to find a local equivalent in the pharmacies.

Greece Education

What is school like in Greece?

Education Expenditures - percent of GDP 4.1%
Literacy - female 94.2%
Literacy - male 97.8%
Literacy - total population 96%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
School Life Expectancy - female 17 Years
School Life Expectancy - male 16 Years
Total School Life Expectancy - (primary to tertiary) 17 Years

Greece Literacy

Can people in Greece read?

Literacy - female 94.2%
Literacy - male 97.8%
Literacy - total population 96%
Literacy Definition age 15 and over can read and write
Predominant Language Greek (official) 99%,

Greece Crime

Is Greece a safe place to visit?

Crime Information

You should take the usual safety precautions you would in any urban or tourist area during a visit to Greece. Crimes against tourists (such as pick-pocketing and purse-snatching) occur at popular tourist sites and on public transportation - especially the Metro - and in some shopping areas in and around Thessaloniki. If you travel by Metro, keep track of your purse/backpack/wallet at all times. Thieves will often try to create a diversion to draw your attention away from your immediate surroundings. These diversions can include accidentally sneezing or spilling something on you and loudly accusing you of having bumped into them. Thieves ride the trains in from the Athens Airport, so be especially careful when you first arrive. You may be tired and a bit disoriented and you may have just visited the ATM or exchanged money. Be discreet when discussing plans and organizing your belongings upon your initial arrival. Always keep a close eye on your suitcase. Try to avoid standing near the doors, as thieves will often wait to strike just as the train/bus doors open and then dash onto the platform and disappear into the crowd. Omonia, Vathi, and Kolokotroni Squares in Athens, while very close to the tourist sites, are areas with high crime rates; Glyfada Square has a significant organized-crime network associated with its clubs, which should be avoided if you get a hard-sell pitch for business. Never agree to go to a bar or club with someone you have just met on the street. Sexual assaults of U.S. citizens, including date or acquaintance rape, are not uncommon. Drink alcohol in moderation and stay in control. Never leave your drink unattended in a bar or club. Some bars and clubs serve counterfeit or homemade spirits of unknown potency.

Dont buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even those widely available, along the sidewalks in Central Athens or Thessaloniki. Not only are these goods illegal to bring back into the United States, the purchase of bootlegs and knock-offs in Greece violates Greek law.

Due to an increase of card skimming at ATMs throughout Greece it is recommended that you use one located inside a bank or hotel. Do not use ATMs located in dark or isolated areas. Before using an ATM, check to see if anything is stuck to the machine and/or if it looks unusual in any way. When using an ATM, always stay focused on what you are doing, and cover the keypad with your free hand to prevent anyone from seeing your PIN.

Greece Penalties for Crime

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Greece, you are subject to its laws, even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different than our own. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Greek laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Greece are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States.

Mace or pepper-spray canisters, though legal in the U.S., are illegal in Greece. Such items will be confiscated and may result in detention and arrest.

If you are arrested in Greece, the authorities are required to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest. If you are concerned the Department of State may not be aware of your situation, you should request the police or prison officials to notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate on your behalf.

Greece Population Comparison

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