Greece Country Overview
Where is Greece located? Greece, also known as the “Hellenic Republic”, is located in south-eastern Europe and is a country bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The time zone map of the world divides countries into world time zones. The time difference between the respective country and the official world time (also called UTC) determines which time zone a country is assigned to. This map shows that Greece belongs to the Eastern European Time Zone (EET). The EET is 2 hours ahead of the coordinated world clock. Thus, the clocks in Greece are also ahead of German time, since Germany is in Central European Time Zone (CET) As in the rest of Europe, the clocks in Greece change over to daylight saving time in the summer.
As of 2023, the latest population of Greece is 10,607,051, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||-0.31%|
|Birth rate||8.40 births per 1,000 people|
|65 years and above||21.14%|
|Median age||43.80 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||0.96|
|Population density||80.38 residents per km²|
|officially 100% Greek; Minorities of Slavs, Aromanians, Turks, Pomaks (Slavic-speaking Muslims), Roma, Armenians – proportion of foreigners 2015: 7.6%|
|Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslims 1.3%, others 0.7%|
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.872|
|HDI ranking||32nd out of 194|
People in Greece
Almost eleven million people live in Greece. Most of them are Greek, 93 percent. The largest minority are the Turks, of whom around 60,000 live in Greece. Other minorities are Romanians, Bulgarians, Albanians, North Macedonians and Armenians.
Two thirds of the Greeks live in a city. Athens and Thessaloniki are the largest cities in the country. The average age is 44.2 years (in Germany 46.8 years). Life expectancy for women is 85 years and for men 80 years.
People have always immigrated to Greece. As a country with a lot of coastline, it attracted many seafarers who landed on the coasts and brought more people with them. Conversely, many Greeks, from the coasts, looked for distant countries to settle there. Greece is on the one hand a country of immigration because many people came to the country, but also a country of emigration because many also left it.
Languages in Greece
What do they speak in Greece?
Greek, that’s logical, you might say Right! 97 out of 100 Greeks speak the Greek language, although this is modern Greek. This differs from ancient Greek that the “ancient Greeks” spoke 2000 years ago. The differences between the two languages are big, but a lot can be derived from ancient Greek.
So if you want to read the original texts of the great Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, then you have to learn ancient Greek. If you want to travel through Greece, then you will be better off with Modern Greek. The difference is something like the difference between Latin and Italian. A lot can be deduced from this, but unfortunately those who have learned Latin do not speak Italian perfectly.
There are also dialects of Modern Greek. In the north of the country people speak a little differently than in Crete, for example. Other languages are also spoken by the minorities in the country. These include Turkish or Albanian. Many – especially young Greeks – also speak English.
How do you write Modern Greek?
Modern Greek (just like ancient Greek) is written in Greek letters. A sentence in Greek looks like this, for example: Σ’αυτό το μαγαζί ψωνίζω συχνά. So if you want to learn Greek, you have to learn the Greek alphabet too! Incidentally, the sentence means “I often shop in this shop.”
Fortunately, street signs and signposts in Greece are mostly written in Greek and Latin letters. Tourists can also read where they are.
Religions in Greece
The Greeks of today no longer believe in the old gods, as you may know them from the ancient Greek legends. Most of them belong to Orthodox Christianity, which is also written into the Greek constitution as the state religion. Your church is the Greek Orthodox Church. 97 out of 100 Greeks belong to it.
Other religions are strongly in the minority. So there are few Catholics, Protestants and Muslims. Most Muslims are Turks or Roma, sometimes immigrants from Albania or Pakistan. Many refugees who seek refuge in Greece are also of Muslim faith.