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Greece:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

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Overview Greece

Contents

Greece:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Greece:Historical Development

Greece:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Greece:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Greece:Political and Economic Situation

Greece:Organisation and Governance

Greece:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Greece:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Greece:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Greece:Organisation of Private Education

Greece:National Qualifications Framework

Greece:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Greece:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Greece:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Greece:Funding in Education

Greece:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Greece:Higher Education Funding

Greece:Adult Education and Training Funding

Greece:Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 4 years

Greece:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 4 years

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:Primary Education

Greece:Organisation of Primary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Greece:Assessment in Primary Education

Greece:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Greece:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Greece:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Greece:Higher Education

Greece:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Greece:First Cycle Programmes

Greece:Bachelor

Greece:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Greece:Second Cycle Programmes

Greece:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Greece:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Greece:Adult Education and Training

Greece:Distribution of Responsibilities

Greece:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Greece:Main Providers

Greece:Main Types of Provision

Greece:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Greece:Teachers and Education Staff

Greece:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece: Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Greece:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Management and Other Education Staff

Greece:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Greece:Management Staff for Higher Education

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Greece:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Quality Assurance

Greece:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Greece:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Educational Support and Guidance

Greece:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Greece:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Greece:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Greece:Mobility and Internationalisation

Greece:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Mobility in Higher Education

Greece:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Greece:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Greece:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Greece:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Greece:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Greece:National Reforms in School Education

Greece:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Greece:National Reforms in Higher Education

Greece:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Greece:European Perspective

Greece:Legislation

Greece:Institutions

Greece:Glossary

Demographic situation

The demography of Greece concerns the study of the population of Greece both in terms of statistics and in qualitative terms.  In Greece censuses examining other statistics as well other than the total population and place of residence are normally conducted every ten years since 1920.  The body responsible for these, as well as for other censuses of population statistics as well, such as indicators of employment, education etc., is the Hellenic Statistical Authority.

Population

Greece is located at the southern end of continental Europe, covering a surface of 131.957 square kilometers. 

According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data, based on the 2001 census, the actual population (there is also the permanent population encompassing the individuals who were not included in the census for any reason whatsoever) in the country stands at 10.934.080 inhabitants: 5,41 mn. (49,51%) were males and 5,52 mn. (50.49%) females.

According to the revised results of the Population and Housing Census of 2011, the resident population of the country was 10,816,286 individuals of which 5,303,223 are men (49.0%) and 5,513,063 are women (51.0%).

The resident population refers to the number of persons whose regular residence is located in each region, regional unit, municipality, municipal section, municipal or local community and village of the country.  The resident population includes all people regardless their nationality, who in the framework of the Population - Housing Census 2011 declared their regular residence as being within the Greek territory.

Population trends

According to the population figures for 2012, the average life expectancy at birth stood at 77,9 years for men and 83,0 years for women (Hellenic Statistical Authority - ELSTAT, "Average life expectancy of people born during the period 1985-2012").  In fact, in comparison with the 1985 figures, an increase in life expectancy has been observed by 5.99% for men and 5.83% for women.  However, the participation rate of the age group 0-14 in the total population has dropped, while on the contrary, the participation rate of the age group over 65 years has increased.  The proportion of the population of productive age (15-64 years) increased significantly during the last two decades, particularly among men, almost exclusively due to the mass influx of economic immigrants in the country.

Based on forecasts, the population structure per age groups will be rather different in the upcoming decades due to adverse demographic changes and the trends of low birth rate and population ageing.  In particular, by virtue of the last available population projections, based on the last 2001 Census results, the total population of Greece shall stand at circa 11.500.000 individuals by 2050 (average version).  The population structure, however, will be different from the one of 2000, i.e the rate of children at the age of 0-14 is set to dwindle from 15,44% in 2001 to 13,0% in 2050, while the rate of over 65 age group is set to increase from 17,07% in 2001 to 32,1% by 2050.  The economically active population group rate aged 15-64 is forecasted to decrease by 12,3% and from 67,5% in 2000 to drop at 54,9% by 2050.

Census results show a total of  9.904.286 Greek nationals, 199.121 other EU-country nationals, 530.244 other European country nationals, 175.930 African, Caribean, South- or Central American, North American, Asian and Australian nationals and 6.705 residents without nationality or of unclear identity. The majority of foreign nationals (52,7%) residing in Greece are Albanian nationals, 8,3% are Bulgarian nationals, 5,1% are Romanian nationals and finally 3,7% are Pakistani nationals and 3,0% are Georgian nationals. (Population and Housing Census, 2011, ELSTAT 2016).

In Greece internal immigration, particularly in the postwar period, led to urban growth and the depopulation of rural areas.  Similarly, in recent years the urbanisation of the population continues to display an increasing trend.  Indeed, the participation of urban and suburban areas in the total population reached 76.6% in 2011 from 72.8% in 2001.  The rate of urbanisation, however, shows a marked slowdown in recent years, perhaps because it has already reached values that are already high for the Greek reality.

Urbanization in Greece 2001-2011

Areas 2001
2011
Population distribution (%)
100,0
100,0
Urban and suburban areas
72,8%
76,6%
Rural areas
27,2%
24,3%

Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority 2014

Unemployment

Moreover, in the framework of the Labour Force Survey, the following table presents the percentage of the labour force in the total population, as well as the percentage of unemployed people in the total labour force, for the years 2000, 2005 and 2013, by age groups.

Employment and unemployment

Age Groups 

Percentage of labour force in the total population

Percentage of unemployed in the total labour force  

2000

2005

2013

2000

2005

2013

Total

52,2

53,2

52,9

11,4

9,9

27,3

15-19

15,4

10,4

7,4

36,5

33,5

72,9

20-24

63,1

53,4

50,9

27,4

24,8

57,5

25-29

82,6

84,2

86,0

17,6

15,1

42,8

30-44

81,4

84,9

87,7

9,1

8,9

25,8

45-64

56,1

60,1

61,5

5,0

5,2

19,3

65 +

5,3

4,2

2,7

1,0

1,6

9,4

Source: ELSTAT 2013

Greece’s 2015 average unemployment rate was 24,9% - the highest unemployment rate amongst 28 countries in Europe.  A small drop in the unemployment rate in comparison to 2013 has been noted since 2014, when rate was 26,5% (Eurostat).

July 2016’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 23,2% against July 2015’s 24,8% and June 2016’s 23,4% rates.  Employed population rose to 3.703.828 persons in July 2016.  Unemployed population rose to 1.120.843 persons and economically inactive population rose to 3.220.780 persons.

Immigration

Another interesting element in the demographic picture of Greece is the extensive inbound immigration flow, which is identified since the 1990s.

The most recent statistics for all foreigners in Greece concern 2012, where the total number thereof is 862,381 people.

Foreign citizens resident in Greece - 2012
Nationals of other EU countries
203.120
Nationals of countries outside the EU, of which
658.261
EFTA 
1.479
Candidate countries
6.957
Other non-EU countries of which
650.825
Nationals of HDI countries
478.238
Nationals of MDI countries
156.197
Nationals of LDI countries
16.390

Source: 'National Statistical Authority: Immigration statistics of population by citizenship and sex (year 2012)

According to ELSTAT (August 2013), the largest share of foreign citizens resident in Greece (52,7%) has Albanian citizenship, followed by 8,3% with Bulgarian citizenship, 5,1% with Romanian citizenship, 3,7% with Pakistani citizenship and 3,0% with Georgian citizenship.

The education of all pupils that reside in Greece is a national issue.  Immigrant pupils are also included.  The existence of different groups of pupils with various linguistic and cultural characteristics (repatriates, Roma, Thrace muslims) has led to the development of educational interventions within the framework of Cross-cultural education.  The latter helps the smooth integration of these pupils and combats the phenomenon of school dropout.

Languages

Greek is the official language of the Greek State, used in the entire territory and at all levels of education.

The Muslim minority, which accounts for approximately 1% of the total population of Greece residing in Thrace, numbers approximately 100,000 members, who are of Turkish, Pomak and Roma origin.  Minority schools are operating for the Muslim minority, where the teaching takes place in the Turkish and the Greek language at the same time.

Religions

The relations between the State and religious communities in Greece are laid down in the Constitution, implementation laws and international agreements.  There is no legal separation between the State and the Church.  According to the Greek Constitution (part Α΄, section Β΄, article 3), the prevailing religion in Greece is the religion of the Eastern Orthodox Church.  The Greek Constitution (part Β΄, article 13) also stipulates that: 1) freedom of religious consciousness is inviolable, 2) the exercise of individual and civil rights does not depend on anyone's religious beliefs, 3) every known religion is free and its worship rituals are observed unobstructedly under legal protection, 4) ministers of all established religions are subject to the same state supervision and the same obligations as ministers of the prevailing religion.

Education, in accordance with article 16 of Constitution, is a key mission of the State and aims at the moral, intellectual, professional and physical training of Greeks, the development of national and religious consciousness and at their molding as free and responsible citizens.  The Greek education system includes Ecclesiastical Education as well.  The primary task of ecclesiastical schools (Ecclesiastical Junior High Schools and Ecclesiastical Lyceums) is to educate and adequately prepare pupils and students with the values of the Orthodox faith and Christianity.  Those graduating as members of the clergy will man the Orthodox Church, whereas those graduating as seculars will contribute to the achievement of its objectives.  Lastly, since the academic year 2007/08, Higher Ecclesiastical Schools operate as Higher Ecclesiastical Academies, equivalent to higher education institutions, in accordance with Law 3432/2006.

Under the new Organisation of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs (Presidential Decree 114/2014), the purpose of the Secretariat-General for Religious Affairs is the supervision of the religious education system and the connection of religion and culture with the simultaneous promotion of action against intolerance and in favor of interreligious relationships.  The Secretariat-General for Religious Affairs comprises the Directorate of Religious Administration and the Directorate of Religious Education.