As Greece’s Population Shrinks, So Do Student Numbers, Schools Close

September 25, 2023

ATHENS – Greece’s falling population, a trend continuing despite bonuses for families having children, is also having an effect on the education system with fewer students leading to some schools operations being suspended.

State broadcaster ERT said that the latest data revealed that the number of primary school students dropped by 16.5 percent in the five-year period from 2014 to 2019, coinciding with an economic and austerity crisis.

The number of children who went to primary school in the 2019-2020 school year fell to 95,700, from 100,000 in 2018-2019 and 114,600 in 2014-2015, adding to the troubling problem that’s also cutting into the Social Security system.

The Education Ministry has also suspended hundreds of kindergartens and primary schools for the 2023-2024 school year due to a lack of students, particularly in Epirus, northern Macedonia, and northeastern Thrace.

Future predictions are even more dire. “By 2100, the number of students in the first two levels of education is expected to decrease by 32.1 percent (413,000 fewer students),” the broadcaster said.


ATHENS - You wouldn’t imagine it from the busy streets of Athens and Greek cities buzzing with activity, people out dining, having coffee and socializing but large numbers of elderly in the country spend their days alone in remote areas.

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