The Orthodox Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea in downtown Athens is dedicated to Saint Mary. It was built over a pagan temple in about A.D. 1050 making it one of the oldest churches in Athens.
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Introduction

Background

Greece achieved independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. In World War II, Greece was first invaded by Italy (1940) and subsequently occupied by Germany (1941-44); fighting endured in a protracted civil war between supporters of the king and other anti-communist and communist rebels. Following the latter's defeat in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. In 1967, a group of military officers seized power, establishing a military dictatorship that suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country. In 1974 following the collapse of the dictatorship, democratic elections and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy. In 1981, Greece joined the EC (now the EU); it became the 12th member of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in 2001. Greece has suffered a severe economic crisis since late 2009, due to nearly a decade of chronic overspending and structural rigidities. Beginning in 2010, Greece entered three bailout agreements - with the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), the IMF, and the third in 2015 with the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) - worth in total about $300 billion. The Greek Government formally exited the third bailout in August 2018.

Visit the Definitions and Notes page to view a description of each topic.

Geography

Location

Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea, between Albania and Turkey

Geographic coordinates

39 00 N, 22 00 E

Area

total: 131,957 sq km

land: 130,647 sq km

water: 1,310 sq km

country comparison to the world: 102

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Alabama

<p>slightly smaller than Alabama</p>

Land boundaries

total: 1,110 km

border countries (4): Albania 212 km; Bulgaria 472 km; North Macedonia 234 km; Turkey 192 km

Coastline

13,676 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 6 nm

continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate

temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers

Terrain

mountainous with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands

Elevation

highest point: Mount Olympus 2,917

lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m

mean elevation: 498 m

note: Mount Olympus actually has 52 peaks but its highest point, Mytikas (meaning "nose"), rises to 2,917 meters; in Greek mythology, Olympus' Mytikas peak was the home of the Greek gods

Natural resources

lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential

Land use

agricultural land: 63.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 19.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 8.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 34.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 30.5% (2018 est.)

other: 6.1% (2018 est.)

Irrigated land

15,550 sq km (2012)

Population distribution

one-third of the population lives in and around metropolitan Athens; the remainder of the country has moderate population density mixed with sizeable urban clusters

Natural hazards

severe earthquakes

volcanism: Santorini (367 m) has been deemed a Decade Volcano by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; although there have been very few eruptions in recent centuries, Methana and Nisyros in the Aegean are classified as historically active

Geography - note

strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits; a peninsular country, possessing an archipelago of about 2,000 islands

Map description

Greece map showing major cities as well as parts of surrounding countries and water bodies.

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Greek(s)

adjective: Greek

Ethnic groups

Greek 91.6%, Albanian 4.4%, other 4% (2011 est.)

note: data represent citizenship; Greece does not collect data on ethnicity

Languages

Greek (official) 99%, other (includes English and French) 1%

major-language sample(s):
Το Παγκόσμιο Βιβλίο Δεδομένων, η απαραίτητη πηγή βασικών πληροφοριών. (Greek)

The World Factbook, the indispensable source for basic information.

Greek audio sample:

Religions

Greek Orthodox 81-90%, Muslim 2%, other 3%, none 4-15%, unspecified 1% (2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 14.53% (male 794,918/female 745,909)

15-24 years: 10.34% (male 577,134/female 519,819)

25-54 years: 39.6% (male 2,080,443/female 2,119,995)

55-64 years: 13.1% (male 656,404/female 732,936)

65 years and over: 22.43% (2020 est.) (male 1,057,317/female 1,322,176)

This is the population pyramid for Greece. A population pyramid illustrates the age and sex structure of a country's population and may provide insights about political and social stability, as well as economic development. The population is distributed along the horizontal axis, with males shown on the left and females on the right. The male and female populations are broken down into 5-year age groups represented as horizontal bars along the vertical axis, with the youngest age groups at the bottom and the oldest at the top. The shape of the population pyramid gradually evolves over time based on fertility, mortality, and international migration trends. <br/><br/>For additional information, please see the entry for Population pyramid on the Definitions and Notes page.

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 56.1

youth dependency ratio: 21.3

elderly dependency ratio: 34.8

potential support ratio: 2.9 (2020 est.)

Median age

total: 45.3 years

male: 43.7 years

female: 46.8 years (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 9

Birth rate

7.61 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 220

Death rate

12.04 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 14

Net migration rate

1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 65

Population distribution

one-third of the population lives in and around metropolitan Athens; the remainder of the country has moderate population density mixed with sizeable urban clusters

Urbanization

urban population: 80.4% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.11% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Major urban areas - population

3.154 million ATHENS (capital), 814,000 Thessaloniki (2022)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.14 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.71 male(s)/female

total population: 0.95 male(s)/female (2022 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

29.9 years (2019 est.)

Maternal mortality ratio

3 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 178

Infant mortality rate

total: 3.55 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 3.94 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 3.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 196

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 81.49 years

male: 78.96 years

female: 84.2 years (2022 est.)

country comparison to the world: 40

Drinking water source

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

Physicians density

6.31 physicians/1,000 population (2019)

Hospital bed density

4.2 beds/1,000 population (2018)

Sanitation facility access

improved: urban: 100% of population

rural: 100% of population

total: 100% of population

unimproved: urban: 0% of population

rural: 0% of population

total: 0% of population (2020 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

17,000 (2020 est.)

note: estimate does not include children

country comparison to the world: 88

HIV/AIDS - deaths

(2020 est.) <100

note: estimate does not include children

Tobacco use

total: 33.5% (2020 est.)

male: 36.5% (2020 est.)

female: 30.5% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 18

Literacy

definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 97.9%

male: 98.5%

female: 97.4% (2018)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 20 years

male: 20 years

female: 20 years (2019)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 35%

male: 31.4%

female: 39.3% (2020 est.)

Environment

Environment - current issues

air pollution; air emissions from transport and electricity power stations; water pollution; degradation of coastal zones; loss of biodiversity in terrestrial and marine ecosystems; increasing municipal and industrial waste

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protection, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Climate Change-Paris Agreement, Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping-London Convention, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 2006, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Heavy Metals, Air Pollution-Multi-effect Protocol, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds

Air pollutants

particulate matter emissions: 15.69 micrograms per cubic meter (2016 est.)

carbon dioxide emissions: 62.43 megatons (2016 est.)

methane emissions: 9.8 megatons (2020 est.)

Climate

temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers

Land use

agricultural land: 63.4% (2018 est.)

arable land: 19.7% (2018 est.)

permanent crops: 8.9% (2018 est.)

permanent pasture: 34.8% (2018 est.)

forest: 30.5% (2018 est.)

other: 6.1% (2018 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 80.4% of total population (2022)

rate of urbanization: 0.11% annual rate of change (2020-25 est.)

Revenue from coal

coal revenues: 0.04% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 32

Waste and recycling

municipal solid waste generated annually: 5,477,424 tons (2014 est.)

municipal solid waste recycled annually: 1,040,711 tons (2014 est.)

percent of municipal solid waste recycled: 19% (2014 est.)

Total water withdrawal

municipal: 1.991 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

industrial: 208.3 million cubic meters (2017 est.)

agricultural: 9.041 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Total renewable water resources

68.4 billion cubic meters (2017 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Hellenic Republic

conventional short form: Greece

local long form: Elliniki Dimokratia

local short form: Ellas or Ellada

former: Hellenic State, Kingdom of Greece

etymology: the English name derives from the Roman (Latin) designation "Graecia," meaning "Land of the Greeks"; the Greeks call their country "Hellas" or "Ellada"

Government type

parliamentary republic

Capital

name: Athens

geographic coordinates: 37 59 N, 23 44 E

time difference: UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

etymology: Athens is the oldest European capital city; according to tradition, the city is named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom; in actuality, the appellation probably derives from a lost name in a pre-Hellenic language

Administrative divisions

13 regions (perifereies, singular - perifereia) and 1 autonomous monastic state* (aftonomi monastiki politeia); Agion Oros* (Mount Athos), Anatoliki Makedonia kai Thraki (East Macedonia and Thrace), Attiki (Attica), Dytiki Ellada (West Greece), Dytiki Makedonia (West Macedonia), Ionia Nisia (Ionian Islands), Ipeiros (Epirus), Kentriki Makedonia (Central Macedonia), Kriti (Crete), Notio Aigaio (South Aegean), Peloponnisos (Peloponnese), Sterea Ellada (Central Greece), Thessalia (Thessaly), Voreio Aigaio (North Aegean)

Independence

3 February 1830 (from the Ottoman Empire); note - 25 March 1821, outbreak of the national revolt against the Ottomans; 3 February 1830, signing of the London Protocol recognizing Greek independence by Great Britain, France, and Russia

National holiday

Independence Day, 25 March (1821)

Constitution

history: many previous; latest entered into force 11 June 1975

amendments: proposed by at least 50 members of Parliament and agreed by three-fifths majority vote in two separate ballots at least 30 days apart; passage requires absolute majority vote by the next elected Parliament; entry into force finalized through a "special parliamentary resolution"; articles on human rights and freedoms and the form of government cannot be amended; amended 1986, 2001, 2008, 2019

Legal system

civil legal system based on Roman law

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Greece

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years

Suffrage

17 years of age; universal and compulsory

Executive branch

chief of state: President Ekaterini SAKELLAROPOULOU (since 13 March 2020)

head of government: Prime Minister Kyriakos MITSOTAKIS (since 8 July 2019)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister 

elections/appointments: president elected by Hellenic Parliament for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 22 January 2020 (next to be held by February 2025); president appoints as prime minister the leader of the majority party or coalition in the Hellenic Parliament

election results: Katerina SAKELLAROPOULOU (independent) elected president by Parliament - 261 of 300 votes; note - SAKELLAROPOULOU is Greece's first woman president

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Hellenic Parliament or Vouli ton Ellinon (300 seats; 280 members in multi-seat constituencies and 12 members in a single nationwide constituency directly elected by open party-list proportional representation vote; 8 members in single-seat constituencies elected by simple majority vote; members serve up to 4 years);  note - only parties surpassing a 3% threshold are entitled to parliamentary seats; parties need 10 seats to become formal parliamentary groups but can retain that status if the party participated in the last election and received the minimum 3% threshold

elections: last held on 7 July 2019 (next to be held by July 2023)

election results: percent of vote by party - ND 39.9%, SYRIZA 31.5%, KINAL 8.1%, KKE 5.3%, Greek Solution 3.7%, MeRA25 3.4%, other 8.1%; seats by party - ND 158, SYRIZA 86, KINAL 22, KKE 15, Greek Solution 10, MeRA25 9; composition - men 244, women 56, percent of women 18.7%

Judicial branch

highest courts: Supreme Civil and Criminal Court or Areios Pagos (consists of 56 judges, including the court presidents); Council of State (supreme administrative court) (consists of the president, 7 vice presidents, 42 privy councilors, 48 associate councilors and 50 reporting judges, organized into six 5- and 7-member chambers; Court of Audit (government audit and enforcement) consists of the president, 5 vice presidents, 20 councilors, and 90 associate and reporting judges

judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges appointed by presidential decree on the advice of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), which includes the president of the Supreme Court, other judges, and the prosecutor of the Supreme Court; judges appointed for life following a 2-year probationary period; Council of State president appointed by the Greek Cabinet to serve a 4-year term; other judge appointments and tenure NA; Court of Audit president appointed by decree of the president of the republic on the advice of the SJC; court president serves a 4-year term or until age 67; tenure of vice presidents, councilors, and judges NA

subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal and Courts of First Instance (district courts)

Political parties and leaders

Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow or ANTARSYA [collective leadership]
Coalition of the Radical Left or SYRIZA [Alexios (Alexis) TSIPRAS]
Communist Party of Greece or KKE [Dimitrios KOUTSOUMBAS]
Democratic Left or DIMAR [Athanasios (Thanasis) THEOCHAROPOULOS]
European Realistic Disobedience Front or MeRA25 [Ioannis (Yanis) VAROUFAKIS]
Greek Solution [Kyriakos VELOPOULOS]
Independent Greeks or ANEL [Panagiotis (Panos) KAMMENOS]
Movement for Change or KINAL [Nikos ANDROULAKIS]
New Democracy or ND [Kyriakos MITSOTAKIS]
Popular Unity or LAE [Nikolaos CHOUNTIS]
Union of Centrists or EK [Vasileios (Vasilis) LEVENTIS]

International organization participation

Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CD, CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, Schengen Convention, SELEC, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, Wassenaar Arrangement, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Alexandra PAPADOPOULOU (since 6 February 2021)

chancery: 2217 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 939-1300

FAX: [1] (202) 939-1324

email address and website:
gremb.was@mfa.gr

https://www.mfa.gr/usa/en/the-embassy/

consulate(s) general: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Tampa (FL), San Francisco

consulate(s): Atlanta, Houston

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador George James TSUNIS (since 10 May 2022)

embassy: 91 Vasillisis Sophias Avenue, 10160 Athens

mailing address: 7100 Athens Place, Washington DC  20521-7100

telephone: [30] (210) 721-2951

FAX: [30] (210) 724-5313

email address and website:
athensamericancitizenservices@state.gov

https://gr.usembassy.gov/

consulate(s) general: Thessaloniki

Flag description

nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white; a blue square bearing a white cross appears in the upper hoist-side corner; the cross symbolizes Greek Orthodoxy, the established religion of the country; there is no agreed upon meaning for the nine stripes or for the colors

note: Greek legislation states that the flag colors are cyan and white, but cyan can mean "blue" in Greek, so the exact shade of blue has never been set and has varied from a light to a dark blue over time; in general, the hue of blue normally encountered is a form of azure

National symbol(s)

Greek cross (white cross on blue field, arms equal length); national colors: blue, white

National anthem

name: "Ymnos eis tin Eleftherian" (Hymn to Liberty)

lyrics/music: Dionysios SOLOMOS/Nikolaos MANTZAROS

note: adopted 1864; the anthem is based on a 158-stanza poem by the same name, which was inspired by the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottomans (only the first two stanzas are used); Cyprus also uses "Hymn to Liberty" as its anthem

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 18 (16 cultural, 2 mixed)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Acropolis, Athens (c), Archaeological site of Delphi (c), Meteora (m), Medieval City of Rhodes (c), Archaeological site of Olympia (c), Archaeological site of Mycenae and Tiryns (c), Old Town of Corfu (c), Mount Athos (m), Delos (c), Archaeological Site of Philippi (c)

Economy

Economic overview

Greece has a capitalist economy with a public sector accounting for about 40% of GDP and with per capita GDP about two-thirds that of the leading euro-zone economies. Tourism provides 18% of GDP. Immigrants make up nearly one-fifth of the work force, mainly in agricultural and unskilled jobs. Greece is a major beneficiary of EU aid, equal to about 3.3% of annual GDP.

 

The Greek economy averaged growth of about 4% per year between 2003 and 2007, but the economy went into recession in 2009 as a result of the world financial crisis, tightening credit conditions, and Athens' failure to address a growing budget deficit. By 2013, the economy had contracted 26%, compared with the pre-crisis level of 2007. Greece met the EU's Growth and Stability Pact budget deficit criterion of no more than 3% of GDP in 2007-08, but violated it in 2009, when the deficit reached 15% of GDP. Deteriorating public finances, inaccurate and misreported statistics, and consistent underperformance on reforms prompted major credit rating agencies to downgrade Greece's international debt rating in late 2009 and led the country into a financial crisis. Under intense pressure from the EU and international market participants, the government accepted a bailout program that called on Athens to cut government spending, decrease tax evasion, overhaul the civil-service, health-care, and pension systems, and reform the labor and product markets. Austerity measures reduced the deficit to 1.3% in 2017. Successive Greek governments, however, failed to push through many of the most unpopular reforms in the face of widespread political opposition, including from the country's powerful labor unions and the general public.

 

In April 2010, a leading credit agency assigned Greek debt its lowest possible credit rating, and in May 2010, the IMF and euro-zone governments provided Greece emergency short- and medium-term loans worth $147 billion so that the country could make debt repayments to creditors. Greece, however, struggled to meet the targets set by the EU and the IMF, especially after Eurostat - the EU's statistical office - revised upward Greece's deficit and debt numbers for 2009 and 2010. European leaders and the IMF agreed in October 2011 to provide Athens a second bailout package of $169 billion. The second deal called for holders of Greek government bonds to write down a significant portion of their holdings to try to alleviate Greece’s government debt burden. However, Greek banks, saddled with a significant portion of sovereign debt, were adversely affected by the write down and $60 billion of the second bailout package was set aside to ensure the banking system was adequately capitalized.

 

In 2014, the Greek economy began to turn the corner on the recession. Greece achieved three significant milestones: balancing the budget - not including debt repayments; issuing government debt in financial markets for the first time since 2010; and generating 0.7% GDP growth — the first economic expansion since 2007.

 

Despite the nascent recovery, widespread discontent with austerity measures helped propel the far-left Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party into government in national legislative elections in January 2015. Between January and July 2015, frustrations grew between the SYRIZA-led government and Greece’s EU and IMF creditors over the implementation of bailout measures and disbursement of funds. The Greek government began running up significant arrears to suppliers, while Greek banks relied on emergency lending, and Greece’s future in the euro zone was called into question. To stave off a collapse of the banking system, Greece imposed capital controls in June 2015, then became the first developed nation to miss a loan payment to the IMF, rattling international financial markets. Unable to reach an agreement with creditors, Prime Minister Alexios TSIPRAS held a nationwide referendum on 5 July on whether to accept the terms of Greece’s bailout, campaigning for the ultimately successful "no" vote. The TSIPRAS government subsequently agreed, however, to a new $96 billion bailout in order to avert Greece’s exit from the monetary bloc. On 20 August 2015, Greece signed its third bailout, allowing it to cover significant debt payments to its EU and IMF creditors and to ensure the banking sector retained access to emergency liquidity. The TSIPRAS government — which retook office on 20 September 2015 after calling new elections in late August — successfully secured disbursal of two delayed tranches of bailout funds. Despite the economic turmoil, Greek GDP did not contract as sharply as feared, boosted in part by a strong tourist season.

 

In 2017, Greece saw improvements in GDP and unemployment. Unfinished economic reforms, a massive non-performing loan problem, and ongoing uncertainty regarding the political direction of the country hold the economy back. Some estimates put Greece’s black market at 20- to 25% of GDP, as more people have stopped reporting their income to avoid paying taxes that, in some cases, have risen to 70% of an individual’s gross income.

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$292.4 billion (2020 est.)

$318.68 billion (2019 est.)

$312.87 billion (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 55

Real GDP growth rate

1.87% (2019 est.)

1.91% (2018 est.)

1.44% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 144

Real GDP per capita

$27,300 (2020 est.)

$29,700 (2019 est.)

$29,200 (2018 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 69

GDP (official exchange rate)

$209.79 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

0.2% (2019 est.)

0.6% (2018 est.)

1.1% (2017 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB (2020)

Moody's rating: Ba3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: BB- (2019)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 4.1% (2017 est.)

industry: 16.9% (2017 est.)

services: 79.1% (2017 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 69.6% (2017 est.)

government consumption: 20.1% (2017 est.)

investment in fixed capital: 12.5% (2017 est.)

investment in inventories: -1% (2017 est.)

exports of goods and services: 33.4% (2017 est.)

imports of goods and services: -34.7% (2017 est.)

Agricultural products

maize, olives, wheat, milk, peaches/nectarines, oranges, tomatoes, grapes, milk, potatoes

Industries

tourism, food and tobacco processing, textiles, chemicals, metal products; mining, petroleum

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 12.6%

industry: 15%

services: 72.4% (30 October 2015 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 35%

male: 31.4%

female: 39.3% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 26

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.7%

highest 10%: 26.7% (2015 est.)

Budget

revenues: 97.99 billion (2017 est.)

expenditures: 96.35 billion (2017 est.)

Public debt

181.8% of GDP (2017 est.)

183.5% of GDP (2016 est.)

country comparison to the world: 2

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$3.114 billion (2019 est.)

-$6.245 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 175

Exports

$59.02 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$81.18 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$81.87 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 53

Exports - partners

Italy 10%, Germany 7%, Turkey 5%, Cyprus 5%, Bulgaria 5% (2019)

Exports - commodities

refined petroleum, packaged medicines, aluminum plating, computers, cotton (2019)

Imports

$71.76 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$83.19 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$85.8 billion (2018 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 49

Imports - partners

Germany 11%, China 9%, Italy 8%, Iraq 7%, Russia 6%, Netherlands 5% (2019)

Imports - commodities

crude petroleum, refined petroleum, packaged medicines, cars, ships (2019)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold

$7.807 billion (31 December 2017 est.)

$6.026 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

country comparison to the world: 80

Debt - external

$484.888 billion (2019 est.)

$478.646 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 25

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.82771 (2020 est.)

0.90338 (2019 est.)

0.87789 (2018 est.)

0.885 (2014 est.)

0.7634 (2013 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines

total subscriptions: 5,028,332 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 48 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 28

Telephones - mobile cellular

total subscriptions: 11,412,995 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 109 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 82

Telecommunication systems

general assessment: Greece’s telecom market is susceptible to the country’s volatile economy, and as a result revenue among the key networks has been variable; the incumbent telco OTE, supported by the organizational and financial clout of its parent Deutsche Telekom, reported a 16.6% fall in revenue for 2020, and the economic fallout of the pandemic continued to reduce revenue into 2021; broadband subscriptions in Greece are developing steadily despite the difficult economic conditions; the main networks are concentrating investment on fiber-based next generation networks, enabling them to reach the European broadband targets for 2025; their work is also supported by government ultra-fast broadband projects, largely funded by the EC and aimed at delivering a service of at least 100Mb/s to under served areas; Greece’s well-developed mobile market is dominated by the three MNOs Wind Hellas, Vodafone Greece, and Cosmote; Networks continue to invest in LTE infrastructure and technologies to provide networks capable of meeting customer demand for data services; after extensive trials of 5G, the MNOs were able to launch commercial services in early 2021 following the December 2020 allocation of frequencies in a range of bands; the rapid rollout of 5G encouraged Cosmote to close down its 3G network (a process expected to be completed by the end of 2021) and reallocate for LTE and 5G. (2022)

domestic: microwave radio relay trunk system; extensive open-wire connections; submarine cable to offshore islands; nearly 46 per 100 subscribers for fixed-line and 110 per 100 for mobile-cellular (2020)

international: country code - 30; landing points for the SEA-ME-WE-3, Adria-1, Italy-Greece 1, OTEGLOBE, MedNautilus Submarine System, Aphrodite 2, AAE-1 and Silphium optical telecommunications submarine cable that provides links to Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia, Asia and Australia;  tropospheric scatter; satellite earth stations - 4 (2 Intelsat - 1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean, 1 Eutelsat, and 1 Inmarsat - Indian Ocean region) (2019)

note: the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a significant impact on production and supply chains globally; since 2020, some aspects of the telecom sector have experienced downturn, particularly in mobile device production; many network operators delayed upgrades to infrastructure; progress towards 5G implementation was postponed or slowed in some countries; consumer spending on telecom services and devices was affected by large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home became evident, and received some support from governments

Broadcast media

broadcast media dominated by the private sector; roughly 150 private TV channels, about 10 of which broadcast nationwide; 1 government-owned terrestrial TV channel with national coverage; 3 privately owned satellite channels; multi-channel satellite and cable TV services available; upwards of 1,500 radio stations, all of them privately owned; government-owned broadcaster has 2 national radio stations

Internet users

total: 8,346,434 (2020 est.)

percent of population: 78% (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 66

Broadband - fixed subscriptions

total: 4,257,026 (2020 est.)

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 41 (2020 est.)

country comparison to the world: 35

Transportation

National air transport system

number of registered air carriers: 11 (2020)

inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 97

annual passenger traffic on registered air carriers: 15,125,933 (2018)

annual freight traffic on registered air carriers: 21.91 million (2018) mt-km

Airports - with paved runways

total: 68

over 3,047 m: 6

2,438 to 3,047 m: 15

1,524 to 2,437 m: 19

914 to 1,523 m: 18

under 914 m: 10 (2021)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 9

914 to 1,523 m: 2

under 914 m: 7 (2021)

Heliports

9 (2021)

Pipelines

1466 km gas, 94 km oil (2013)

Railways

total: 2,548 km (2014)

standard gauge: 1,565 km (2014) 1.435-m gauge (764 km electrified)

narrow gauge: 961 km (2014) 1.000-m gauge

22 0.750-m gauge

country comparison to the world: 68

Waterways

6 km (2012) (the 6-km-long Corinth Canal crosses the Isthmus of Corinth; it shortens a sea voyage by 325 km)

country comparison to the world: 106

Merchant marine

total: 1,236

by type: bulk carrier 158, container ship 5, general cargo 89, oil tanker 337, other 647 (2021)

country comparison to the world: 22

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Aspropyrgos, Pachi, Piraeus, Thessaloniki

oil terminal(s): Agioi Theodoroi

container port(s) (TEUs): Piraeus (5,648,000) (2019)

LNG terminal(s) (import): Revithoussa

Military and Security

Military and security forces

Hellenic Armed Forces: Hellenic Army (Ellinikos Stratos, ES; includes National Guard reserves), Hellenic Navy (Elliniko Polemiko Navtiko, EPN), Hellenic Air Force (Elliniki Polemiki Aeroporia, EPA; includes air defense); Ministry of Shipping Affairs and Island Policy: Coast Guard (2022)

note - the police (under the Ministry of Citizen Protection) and the armed forces (Ministry of National Defense) share law enforcement duties in certain border areas; border protection is coordinated by a deputy minister for national defense

Military expenditures

3.6% of GDP (2021 est.)

2.9% of GDP (2020)

2.3% of GDP (2019) (approximately $7.95 billion)

2.5% of GDP (2018) (approximately $8.31 billion)

2.3% of GDP (2017) (approximately $7.56 billion)

country comparison to the world: 24

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 120,000 active duty personnel (85,000 Army; 15,000 Navy; 20,000 Air Force); approximately 35,000 National Guard (2021)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the inventory of the Hellenic Armed Forces consists mostly of a mix of imported weapons from Europe and the US, as well as a limited number of domestically produced systems, particularly naval vessels; Germany is the leading supplier of weapons systems to Greece since 2010; Greece's defense industry is capable of producing a range of military hardware, including naval vessels and associated subsystems (2021)

note - in addition to finalizing an update to the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement with the US, Greece also entered into a security agreement with France in 2021 that included the sale of frigates and fighter aircraft to augment its aging weapons systems

Military service age and obligation

19-45 years of age for compulsory military service; 12-month obligation for all services (note - as an exception, the duration of the full military service is 9 instead of 12 months if conscripts, after the initial training, serve the entire remaining time in certain areas of the eastern borders, in Cyprus, or in certain military units); 18 years of age for volunteers; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2021)

note(s) - approximately 40-50% of the Greek military is comprised of conscripts; as of 2019, women comprised approximately 19% of the full-time military personnel

Military deployments

approximately 1,000 Cyprus; 100 Kosovo (NATO); 150 Lebanon (UNIFIL) (2022)

Military - note

Greece joined NATO in 1952

Terrorism

Terrorist group(s)

Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS); Revolutionary Struggle; Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C)

note: details about the history, aims, leadership, organization, areas of operation, tactics, targets, weapons, size, and sources of support of the group(s) appear(s) in Appendix-T

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

Greece and Turkey continue discussions to resolve their complex maritime, air, territorial, and boundary disputes in the Aegean Sea; the mass migration of unemployed Albanians still remains a problem for developed countries, chiefly Greece and Italy

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 38,496 (Syria), 25,188 (Afghanistan), 12,657 (Iraq), 5,002 (West Bank and Gaza) (mid-year 2021); 14,887 (Ukraine) (as of 5 June 2022)

stateless persons: 5,552 (mid-year 2021)

note: 1,217,600 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-June 2022); as of the end of February 2022, Greece hosted an estimated 161,419 refugees and asylum seekers

Illicit drugs

a gateway to Europe for traffickers smuggling cannabis products and heroin from the Middle East and Southwest Asia to the West and precursor chemicals to the East; some South American cocaine transits or is consumed in Greece; money laundering related to drug trafficking and organized crime