ATHENS – An eight-year economic and austerity crisis followed by the COVID-19 pandemic have combined to see so many Greeks fleeing the counry or deciding against having children that the population is falling faster.
It shrank another 39,933 people in 2020 when the pandemic struck hard, data published by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said, reporting the population on Jan. 1, 2021 was estimated at 10,678,632.
With 5,196,048, males made up 48.7 percent and females were 51.3 percent, at 5,482,584 as the country so far doesn’t include any other gender categories in its reporting.
ELSTAT said this resulted from “the natural decrease of the population,” which amounted to 45,902 persons (84,767 births as opposed to 130,669 deaths) and the net migration, estimated at 6,384 persons, said Kathimerini.
Those under 14 were 14.1 percent of the population with 15-64 being the largest grouping at 63.3 percent but the elderly making up 22.6 percent, among the highest in the European Union.
The largest population group in the country – estimated every four years – were those aged 50-54, with 807,051 being counted.
Migration did slow compared to 2019 with a net effect of 34,439 although Greece is seeing scores of thousands of refugees seeking asylum, many of those on five islands near the coast of Turkey which allows human traffickers to keep sending them after they went there from their homelands.