Population of Greece 1881 -2020

Population of Greece from 1821 to 2020 (in 1,000s)

by Aaron O'Neill, last edited Jul 12, 2019
Population of Greece 1881 -2020 This statistic shows the total population of Greece, in thousands of people, from 1821 until 2020. Prior to 1829, the area of modern day Greece was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. In 1821, the Greeks declared their independence from the Ottomans, and within 8 years, with military aid from Britain, France and Russia, achieved it by 1829. The Independent Kingdom of Greece in 1829 made up the southern half of modern-day, mainland Greece, along with some, but not all, of the Mediterranean islands. Because of this the population between 1821 and 1907 remains relatively low, beginning at 939,000 in 1821, then falling to 752,000 by 1838 as a result of the Greek War of Independence and subsequent border changes. From 1838 until 1907 the population grows to over 2.6 million people, and then almost doubles in size between 1907 and 1920, reaching over 5 million people. This huge growth in population came as a result of territories acquired by Greece from the Ottoman Empire. What this graph doesn't show are the effects of World War I and the Greco-Turkish War, where historians estimate that 750 thousand to 900 thousand Greeks died at the hands of the Ottomans between the years 1914 and 1923.

Greek troops were also heavily involved fighting with the Allies in the Second World War, even pushing the Italian army back as they tried invading Greece via Albania in 1940. The country was then overrun when Hitler launched the Battle of Greece in April 1941, which resulted in the occupation of Greece a well as the deaths of approximately 8 perce of the Greek population due to fighting, starvation and disease. Following the liberation of Greece in 1944 the country was then plunged into a civil war, which lasted until 1949 and ended with a victory for the British and American supported government. The government defeated the Soviet-supported communist forces, and established American influence in the Aegean throughout the Cold War.

Due to the territorial changes, and displacement of people between the Balkans, Greece and Turkey, the graph does not show the impact that these events had on Greece's population in the first half of the nineteenth century. However we can see that the population grew from roughly 2.5 million at the turn of the century, to just under 8 million in 1950. From this point the population grows rather steadily until the early 2000s, during a period of increased political and economic stability beginning in the 1970s, culminating with almost 11.5 million people in 2010, before it then drops in the last decade. This sudden decline is due to the economic impact on the Greek economy during the Great Recession. Many Greeks left the country in search of work elsewhere, and the economic troubles have impacted the financial incentives that were previously available for families with many children; both factors contributing to a predicted population of 10.4 million in 2020, which is almost half a million fewer people than ten years previously.
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Population of Greece from 1821 to 2020 (in 1,000s)

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