The south side of the Erechtheion with the "Porch of the Maidens," composed of six draped female figures (caryatids) as supporting columns. One of the six figures was removed in the early 19th century and is now in the British Museum in London; it was replaced by a copy. The Acropolis Museum in Athens holds the remaining original five figures, which have been replaced onsite by replicas.
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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 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 - the first two with the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the IMF; and the third in 2015 with the European Stability Mechanism - worth in total about $300 billion. The Greek Government formally exited the third bailout in August 2018.

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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: 97

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Alabama

Area comparison map
Area comparison map

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

11,853 sq km (2019)

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

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% (male 1,057,317/female 1,322,176) (2020 est.)

2022 population pyramid
2022 population pyramid

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 57.7

youth dependency ratio: 22.2

elderly dependency ratio: 35.5

potential support ratio: 2.8 (2021 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: 80.7% of total population (2023)

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

Major urban areas - population

3.154 million ATHENS (capital), 815,000 Thessaloniki (2023)

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

30.7 years (2020 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

Gross reproduction rate

0.68 (2023 est.)

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.)

Current health expenditure

7.8% of GDP (2019)

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.)

Alcohol consumption per capita

total: 6.33 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

beer: 2.13 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

wine: 2.66 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

spirits: 1.45 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

other alcohols: 0.08 liters of pure alcohol (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 66

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 (2020)

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 36.9%

male: 33.5%

female: 41.5% (2021 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: 80.7% of total population (2023)

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: 2020: Katerina SAKELLAROPOULOU (independent) elected president by Parliament - 261 of 300 votes; note - SAKELLAROPOULOU is Greece's first woman president

2015: Prokopis PAVLOPOULOS (ND) elected president by Parliament - 233 of 300 votes

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 court(s): 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]
New Democracy or ND [Kyriakos MITSOTAKIS]
PASOK - Movement for Change or PASOK-KINAL [Nikos ANDROULAKIS]
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

tourism- and shipping-based EU economy; clientelism economic culture and systemic corruption; new structural reforms for fiscal solvency; high public debts and unemployment; increasing Chinese port control; oil and gas disputes with Turkey

Real GDP (purchasing power parity)

$314.427 billion (2021 est.)

$289.97 billion (2020 est.)

$318.662 billion (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 55

Real GDP growth rate

8.43% (2021 est.)

-9% (2020 est.)

1.88% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36

Real GDP per capita

$29,500 (2021 est.)

$27,100 (2020 est.)

$29,700 (2019 est.)

note: data are in 2017 dollars

country comparison to the world: 71

GDP (official exchange rate)

$209.79 billion (2019 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices)

1.22% (2021 est.)

-1.25% (2020 est.)

0.25% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 36

Credit ratings

Fitch rating: BB (2020)

Moody's rating: Ba3 (2020)

Standard & Poors rating: BB- (2019)

note: The year refers to the year in which the current credit rating was first obtained.

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 rate

14.8% (2021 est.)

16.3% (2020 est.)

17.31% (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 193

Youth unemployment rate (ages 15-24)

total: 36.9%

male: 33.5%

female: 41.5% (2021 est.)

country comparison to the world: 22

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

252.29% of GDP (2020 est.)

212.38% of GDP (2019 est.)

208.84% of GDP (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 1

Fiscal year

calendar year

Current account balance

-$13.858 billion (2021 est.)

-$12.413 billion (2020 est.)

-$3.112 billion (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 199

Exports

$87.521 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$59.022 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$81.184 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 48

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

$103.532 billion (2021 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$71.758 billion (2020 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

$83.192 billion (2019 est.) note: data are in current year dollars

country comparison to the world: 45

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

$14.447 billion (31 December 2021 est.)

$11.931 billion (31 December 2020 est.)

$8.507 billion (31 December 2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 74

Debt - external

$484.888 billion (2019 est.)

$478.646 billion (2018 est.)

country comparison to the world: 24

Exchange rates

euros (EUR) per US dollar -

0.845 (2021 est.)

0.876 (2020 est.)

0.893 (2019 est.)

0.847 (2018 est.)

0.885 (2017 est.)

Energy

Electricity access

electrification - total population: 100% (2020)

Electricity

installed generating capacity: 21.545 million kW (2020 est.)

consumption: 46.18 billion kWh (2020 est.)

exports: 967 million kWh (2020 est.)

imports: 9.831 billion kWh (2020 est.)

transmission/distribution losses: 3.256 billion kWh (2020 est.)

Electricity generation sources

fossil fuels: 56.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

nuclear: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

solar: 10.7% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

wind: 23% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

hydroelectricity: 8.5% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

tide and wave: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

geothermal: 0% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

biomass and waste: 1.4% of total installed capacity (2020 est.)

Coal

production: 13.851 million metric tons (2020 est.)

consumption: 13.828 million metric tons (2020 est.)

exports: 7,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

imports: 305,000 metric tons (2020 est.)

proven reserves: 2.876 billion metric tons (2019 est.)

Petroleum

total petroleum production: 4,800 bbl/day (2021 est.)

refined petroleum consumption: 309,600 bbl/day (2019 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate exports: 4,100 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil and lease condensate imports: 491,300 bbl/day (2018 est.)

crude oil estimated reserves: 10 million barrels (2021 est.)

Natural gas

production: 5.748 million cubic meters (2019 est.)

consumption: 5,831,987,000 cubic meters (2020 est.)

exports: 33.244 million cubic meters (2020 est.)

imports: 5,219,409,000 cubic meters (2019 est.)

proven reserves: 991 million cubic meters (2021 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions

70.163 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from coal and metallurgical coke: 13.404 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from petroleum and other liquids: 46.401 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

from consumed natural gas: 10.358 million metric tonnes of CO2 (2019 est.)

country comparison to the world: 50

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; 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; 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 the shut down of the 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 a downturn, particularly in mobile device production; progress toward 5G implementation has resumed, as well as upgrades to infrastructure; consumer spending on telecom services has increased due to the surge in demand for capacity and bandwidth; the crucial nature of telecom services as a tool for work and school from home is still evident, and the spike in this area has seen growth opportunities for development of new tools and increased services

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: 67

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

1,466 km gas, 94 km oil (2013)

Railways

total: 2,345 km (2020) 731 km electrified

country comparison to the world: 67

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: 117

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: 21

Ports and terminals

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

oil terminal(s): Agioi Theodoroi

container port(s) (TEUs): Piraeus (5,311,810) (2021)

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

3.8% of GDP (2022 est.)

3.6% of GDP (2021)

2.9% of GDP (2020)

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

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

country comparison to the world: 20

Military and security service personnel strengths

approximately 125,000 active duty personnel (90,000 Army; 15,000 Navy; 20,000 Air Force); approximately 35,000 National Guard (2022)

Military equipment inventories and acquisitions

the military's inventory consists of a mix of imported weapons from Europe and the US, as well as a limited number of domestically produced systems; Greece's defense industry is capable of producing a range of military hardware, including naval vessels and associated subsystems (2022)

note: as of 2022, Greece was in the midst of a significant military modernization program which included major acquisitions of fighter aircraft and naval ships from France; it had also boosted purchases of US equipment, including fighter aircraft upgrades, helicopters, and naval patrol craft 

Military service age and obligation

19-45 years of age for compulsory military service for men; 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 voluntary military service for men and women (2022)

note 1: compulsory service applies to any individual whom the Greek authorities consider to be Greek, regardless of whether the individual considers himself Greek, has a foreign citizenship and passport, or was born or lives outside of Greece; Greek citizens living permanently outside of Greece have the right to postpone their conscription; they are permanently exempted from their military obligations when they reach the age of 45 years old

note 2:
up to 50% of the Greek military is comprised of conscripts

note 3: as of 2019, women comprised approximately 19% of the military's full-time personnel

Military deployments

approximately 1,000 Cyprus; 100 Kosovo (NATO); 100 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): 41,594 (Syria), 33,549 (Afghanistan), 14,228 (Iraq), 6,366 (West Bank and Gaza) (mid-year 2022); 20,955 (Ukraine) (as of 6 December 2022)

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

note: 1,234,023 estimated refugee and migrant arrivals (January 2015-January 2023)

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