ATHENS – Greece’s eight-year austerity and economic crisis, that has driven scores of thousands of people scurrying to other countries in search of jobs and a better life and seen birth rates fall, has combined to drain the population by 355,000.
That began in 2011 and is continuing at a pace that will see the country some 1.1 million people by 2050 and fall to about a population of 2050, said the statistics agency ELSTAT in a report.
Even more troubling is that if the trend continues the numbers could fall to about 7.2 million by 2080 and continue to shrink.
The findings were in a study called The Greek Population Under Siege, authored by Ira-Emke Poulopoulos, a Paris University professor, member of the New York Academy of Sciences and Vice-President of the Hellenic Society for Demographic Studies.
“The aim of the book is to prove that during the crisis large sections of the Greek population have been ‘persecuted,’ in that they are systematically subjected to discomforts that have led to or will end in the future with their departure from Greece, their family, their work, their friends, even life,” she told the state-run ANA-MPA news agency.
With a jobless rate the European Union’s highest, in 2015 a study found the fertility rate had hit a record low of 1.1-1.3 births and that at that point when the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA took power that at least 139,000 Greek university graduates had left the country, a 2016 survey from the University of Macedonia showed.