Greece’s Population Shrinking at Alarming Rate: Not Enough Babies

In this Thursday, May 18, 2017 photo an elderly man walks during a rainfall in central Athens. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS – There is yet another warning about the implication of Greece’s falling birth rate that will put enormous financial pressure on an already-strained economy trying to recover from a more than 8 ½-year long crisis and still struggling, despite harsh austerity.

Greece’s population feel some 360,000 in the last seven years and is projected to drop by a further 770,000 people over the next 12 years if birthrates remain at today’s levels, according to recent data collected by experts at the National Center of Social Research (EKKE) and a special parliamentary committee on demographics and social affairs.

The population could be cut in half from today’s 10.77 million – including more than one million migrants – is nothing is done to reverse an exodus of people who fled the crisis, and the low birth rate, the report signaled.

Many of those who left, creating a so-called “Brain Drain,” were among the country’s most talented entrepreneurs and young who were also held down by a system promoting political favorites instead of being based on merit, critics have said.

As a result, Greece’s workforce will shrink even further and analysts fear this will have a devastating impact on the economy and the country’s already severely burdened social insurance system.

Successive Greek governments, including the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who promised to help put people back to work and help the young have done essentially nothing to help.

GOING DOWN

Without a policy on demographics, analysts said handouts to families isn’t enough to slow the population decline and called on the government to form a force that would come up with recommendations.

The only attempt at tackling the issue was the creation in 2005, on EKKE’s urging, of the Institute of Demographic Policy – under the auspices of the Health Ministry – but it was never implemented.

The Greek population is decreasing for the first time since WWII, the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) said in a bulletin earlier in December, noting that the population in Greece had been increasing steadily before the crisis due to immigration and the consumption boom of the 2000s, yet these factors had masked the fact that, in real numbers, the difference between deaths and births had been negligible since the late 1990s. Then, during the years of the crisis, everything changed and births plummeted by 29,380 between 2009 and 2017. This reduction was roughly the same as that experienced by the country during the 1940s, when the number of births fell by 30,000. As a result of this sharp drop, according to SEV, the population has been decreasing.

“It could prove temporary or be reversed as the economy begins to pick up,” the bulletin continued. If the population does not recover, however, “all the children that weren’t or won’t be born will be missing from the workforce of the 2030s and 2040s and this will mire the country’s potential for growth.”

Greece has a duty to reverse the demographic decline, the bulletin concluded, something that can be achieved through rethinking the country’s priorities in terms of its fiscal and migration policies.

11 Comments

  1. True of most all of Europe and coming to North America soon.

    1. Greek women aren’t attracted to Euro-lazy, chain smoking, frappe drinking perpetual complainers and momma’s boys. Culture of manhood attacked and dead.

    2. Greek women want to come to the US or Britain and marry up. God bless America.

    3. Greek women don’t want babies because their men don’t practice PPP—procreate, provide, protect.

    4. Greek government puts homosexual and trans issues front and center as if it’s # 1 global issue. Homosexuals and trans cannot create babies and grow the species, by and large.

    5. By 2050, Greece will be a majority Hindi, Arab, African, Persian, Georgian, The “Stans”, Russian and CHINEESE who could care less about homosexual trans issues.

    6. The fake Greek “good life” is over with. The Greeks will have to fight to survive.

    7. The Greek Church and Patriarchate did NOTHING to address these issues.

    8. No one wants to acknowledge that the culture is rotted to the core. A strong American Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic Church could counter balance this trend. Unfortunately, both churches are weak in all respects.

    That’s where it approximately stands.

    PS: For all you Russia lovers. Their situation is as bad and getting worse. They are growing smaller and smaller and more Muslim ever single year. Russian women want to move to California and be on reality tv shows and marry NBA stars. Putin and his clergy henchmen have a huge problem societally. Russian demographics have drastically decreased as well. Don’t be fooled by their rhetoric.

    1. Spiro I agree with much of what you say, especially regarding the decline in Western civilization. I don’t understand your closing dig at Russia or Russophiles. What do we love about Russia? We love that two million people or more will regularly stand in lines for twelve hours or longer in cold and rain to venerate a relic of the Theotokos or Saint Nicholas or Saint Spyridon. We love that churches and monasteries by the thousands destroyed by Godless communists are being reopened, rebuilt and thriving. We love that men are not ashamed to openly wear the Cross, cross themselves in public and profess a faith that would not die after decades of the most brutal oppression. We love that Russia is moving away from the culture of death including with a new law prohibiting advertising by abortion mills. This stuff is all bigger than Putin or any one leader.
      Is Russia’s demographic crisis still real? Sure it is. But at least they are trying to stem the tide and making some slight progress unseen in Greece or anywhere in Western Europe.
      And Russia is the only world power that speaks up for persecuted Christians across the globe in places from Syria to Kosovo.
      So yes, if I admire all these things, I guess I am a Russia lover in that respect, and of that I am proud. I hope this explains where many of us Greek-Americans are coming from. Wishing you and your loved ones the best for the New Year. May God through the intercession of the Holy Theotokos and your mighty patron Saint Spyridon give you health and happiness and please pray for me a sinner.

    2. Michael, I am sorry, but I find your post above condescending and littered with phony-piousness , unless you live as a monk in an honest way and are some real holy man. You cannot white-wash Russia’s corruption and tyranny with long lines to venerate icons. Venerating icons is meaningless in the total scorecard for that crowd. Stalin studied to be an Orthodox priest and was possibly the greatest mass murderer in modern history. He probably venerated icons, too. Go pitch the beauty of Russia to other suckers, not us. We’ve been suckered by the best— The Greeks. And THANK GOD we’re AMERICAN.

    3. Spiro I am disgusted that you so easily spit in the faces of tens of millions of Russian pious people. May God give you the same reception on the Last Day. You impious phony.

    4. I appears that there is no group that Spiro does like these days.

      Nevertheless, have more babies, Greeks! Do not wait until Spiro is in a good mood.

      And I hope Greek Americans have more babies as well.

    5. John as a Greek-American I am embarrassed by Spiro. He shows the disease that has destroyed our people in America. Another holier than thou hypocrite more pious in his own mind than one hundred million Russian Orthodox Christians. Thank God we have him to teach us how to tie our shoes.

    6. Yeah, well those are the facts and they are not reliant on Spiro or his mood. We have a clear picture of the future and it ain’t pretty, hence you’re trying to joke your way out of the pain.

      Groups I like:

      1. American patriots, past and present.
      2. Fathers and mothers who fight like hell to raise decent families.
      3. All US military, intelligence and law enforcement professionals, especially active-duty Orthodox chaplains.
      4. Academics and teachers who refuse to cowtow to political correctness.
      5. Conservative politicians who have other careers and don’t serve more than two terms.
      6. Farmers.
      7. My car mechanics.
      8. All Irish saloons and Irish whiskey distillers.
      9. Every Playboy Playmate I ever looked at.
      10. All the Yiayiades who sit and bake cookies for weeks on end for the church.
      11. Honest clergymen of any denomination.
      12. Padron and the cigars they make.
      13. The marching bands of all Historic Black Colleges and Universities.
      14. The Salvation Army
      15. And, above all my wife and family and extended family including our koumbari.

      Happy New Year. It will be interesting to say the least.

      My last post of 2018. I have to venerate Russian icons until next year.

    7. Spiro, I also appreciate those things, with the exception of the booze and the cigars. And I think that making the list improved your mood.

      It is good that even where we disagree, neither of us will follow the line of political correctness.

      Happy New Year!

    8. Thanks, John, I am happy to be such an inspiring example to you and hope to be the same this year, too.

  2. I wonder what is the critical number of Russian women that can move to California safely before it
    causes the Saint Andreas Fault to shift?

  3. It depends on how much Borscht they’ve consumed and whether their baggage is overweight or within limits. And if mama comes with them. And if they stop in Athens first and empty their Russian bank accounts. I thought you knew that stuff?

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