ATHENS - Greece's population is on a rapid decline since 2011, the first year when a negative birthrate was recorded since 1944, said on Monday Stefanos Chandakas, obstetrician-gynecologist, founder and CEO of HOPEgenesis, a Greek non-profit organization that addresses the issue of low birth rates in Greece, at an event held at the American College of Greece in Athens.
The year 2017 saw 88,553 births and 124,501 deaths in Greece, said Chandakas, who warned that "Greece's population is expected to reach 8 million people by 2050, based on conservative estimates."
The current population of Greece is 10,451,862 people, according to the latest United Nations data.
The doctor emphasized that Greece still ranks low in adopting supportive maternity, family and fertility policies, and stressed that the main objective should be creating a favorable environment to support young couples of childbearing age.
Greece's fertility rate total - which indicates the number of children each woman bears at reproductive age - rose from 1.31 in 2004 to 1.5 in 2008-2009 and dropped again, to 1.35, in 2017.
The average age of Greek women giving birth for the first time has also risen significantly, from 28.8 years of age in 2008 to 30.3 years of age in 2016.
Some 36 pct of Greece's population will be over 65 years old by 2050, up from 6 pct in the 1970s and 18-20 pct of the current population total.
Declining demographics directly impact the number of active labor force, burden the insurance network, and threaten the viability of the pension system.