Academic Research on Modern Greece’s Population Growth

Greece Population GrowthProfessors at the University of Thessaly Byron Kotzamanis and E. Androulaki are working on a research paper shedding light on the population growth of modern Greece from its foundation in 1828 to date.

The turbulent history of modern Greece, as noted by the two researchers, resulted in the stabilization of the country’s territorial boundaries in 1947 with the annexation of the Dodecanese. During this first period (1830-1947), the country’s territory grew larger by firstly embodying territories and their populations and secondly by welcoming new parts of Hellenism that were returning back to their motherland.

After World War II, according to experts, Greece was a small country of Southeastern Europe with a population of 7.5 million spread in 132,000 km2. Looking back to the first period, the Greek state in 1828 comprised only of the Peloponnese, mainland Greece and the Cyclades (47,000 km2, 753 thousand inhabitants), while a quarter of a  century later (1864) the integration of the Ionian Islands increased the country’s population to 1.365 million.

With the integration of Arta and Thessaly in 1881 the population growth rates increased even more surpassing for the first time two million people in number. The end of the Balkan Wars found Greece gained both in territorial and demographic terms. It had doubled its territory (121 km2) and more than doubled its population (4,775 million). The temporary annexation of Western Thrace and the islands of Imbros and Tenedos (1919-1920) will be followed by the Lausanne Treaty. This treaty resulted in the final annexation of Western Thrace, but also in massive population exchanges in the wake of the Asia Minor disaster and significant increases in the population growth of the country between 1920 and 1928.

The massive exodus of Greek populations from Kemalist Turkey was preceded by the return of the Greek minorities from the Eastern Balkan countries of Bulgaria and Romania, where nationalist parties were beginning to gain power. After the Greco-Turkish war (1919-1922) the Greeks from Constantinople and Egypt also returned to Greece. On the other hand, during the decade 1940-1950 minority populations of Northern Greece fled the country as well as some tens of thousands of residents of northern Greece who found shelter in the socialist countries after the defeat of the Democratic Army in the Civil War.

On the eve of the Nazi attack against Greece in 1940, the country’s  population numbered 7.34 million. The war losses to follow were balanced with the annexation of the Dodecanese in 1947. Right before the Civil War broke out, Greece had its definitive borders of 132,000 km2 and a population of 7,563 million inhabitants. Since then, any changes in the size of the population are solely due to the difference between the natural balance (births and deaths) and migratory balance (departing and arriving migrants).

According to the study, Greece’s population continued to increase smoothly in the second half of the 20th century although with a clearly differentiated pace reflecting the different rates between natural and migratory balance. Thus, in the first two postwar decades characterized by relatively high positive natural balances (significant surplus of births per year), the massive external migration to transoceanic countries initially and afterwards to Western Europe played a negative role causing a drop in the average annual rates of the population growth.

In the transition period 1971-1981, the natural balance was shrinking but, according to Mr. Kotzamanis, there was a significant wave of  Greek migrants from the previous period returning to the motherland while migration from Greece to other countries slowed down, which resulted in both the natural and migratory balance to be positive and equal to a significant increase in the country’s population (addition of 970,000 people). Experts believe that this will probably be the last time that Greece will record such a positive population growth.

After 1981, the natural balance tends to zero (reduced birth rates and increased mortality due to aging) and any growth recorded in the population after 2000 is attributed to positive migratory balances. However, the crisis brought a change in these positive balances, since part of the migrants who visited Greece before 2010 are now returning to their own countries, while simultaneously more and more Greeks travel abroad in search of better job prospects.

The two authors conclude that the above mentioned trends and the impact of the ongoing crisis (reduced procreation and increased mortality rates) will inevitably lead to a decrease in the population of Greece to the extent that both natural balances (births-deaths) and migratory balances (arriving-departing) will now be negative.


  1. There is definitely a concerted plot to take total control over the EU Med countries by the north, so be awake and aware and very careful EU Citizens because these devious Elites from the IMF, ECB and the EU Commission are trying to control Greece, Spain, Italy and Portugal to make you slaves to their dictates from Brussels and Germany… And the standard News Media today is not what you think, and has been taken over by the Elites years ago, for the purpose to “make sure” you are NOT getting the REAL News or TRUTH or facts about what is really going on because it is about TOTAL CONTROL and the Elites do not care who they destroy or walk over in their conquests.
    The Kathimerini News paper (for example) is just “one of many” deceiving Press outlets, with the sole purpose of advancing and supporting the diabolical agenda of IMF, ECB & EU Commission, and these Press Media on TV and newspapers are now working hand-in-hand with the two corrupt criminal parties of PASOK and New Democracy, who destroyed Greece yet are amazingly…still running the government after all they’ve done, and in the “disgraceful manner” of a bold DICTATORSHIP!
    Arise soon Greek Patriots!! and take back you beloved country before it’s too late!!!!

  2. Crimes that were committed by us Greeks towards the innocent women and children in Epirus. It indeed shames us all.

  3. Don’t forget the crime committed by us Albanians on the innocent Greek women and children when we attacked Greece along with the Nazis. It indeed shames us all.

  4. The Acting Secretary of State to the United States Acting Representative at the United

    Nations ( Johnson )

    SECRET [Washington, September 5, 1946-4]



    179…. (3)…It is known that Albania has alleged 25,000 Albanians were driven from

    Greece.On the other hand Greece has complained of prosecution of Greeks in

    Albania. At this moment obtaining a completely accurate picture on this controversial

    question would appear virtually impossible. Treatment accorded to national minorities

    by state in which they dwell would generally be matter essentially within domestic

    jurisdiction of state. We feel however certain practices with regard to national

    minorities, such as forceful expulsion, may have international implications of concern

    to UN Balkan minority problem is obviously friction laden and present phase is simply

    continuation of desperate situation in which those minorities have existed during

    modern history. If, as result of preliminary discussion, Security Council finds there

    are sufficient indications to warrant belief that Greece may have engaged in practices

    with regard to its national minorities which are of legitimate concern to UN, we

    would be prepared to support establishment of subcommittee of Council, one of those

    duties would be to study material available in New York. Following report to Council

    of subcommittee consideration could be given to possibility and advisability of on the

    spot investigation to include interviewing of minorities who have allegedly gone into

    adjacent countries.

  5. “768.75/10-546

    The United States Representative in Albania (Jacobs) to the Secretary of State

    SECRET [Tirana]

    October 5, 1946-noon.

    …..Para (3) Virulence Greek propaganda in support its claims has been due in part to

    incitement and British tacit support (various British officers here have told me as

    much) and also in part failure United States effectively to disabuse Greek claims at

    final showdown at Peace Conference or elsewhere… ..

  6. 868.00/1-1946

    The Ambassador in Greece (Mac Veagh) to the Secretary of State


    No. 2100 Athens, January 19, 1946

    …..Para(3) Factors promoting are next considered: the serious economic paralysis and

    monetary inflation; the prevailing “psychological climate” of discouragement; the

    resulting political confusion, with extremes of left and right (each possessing a

    criminal Fringe) facing each other across a weakly organized and emotionally

    unappealing center; the inefficiency and corruption of the government bureaucracy;

    the confusion of the legal system; the frequent changes of key administrative

    personnel; and the uncertainties of an unrealistic foreign policy based on a national

    feeling of insecurity due to the past experiences and fear…..

  7. 868.00/10-1146

    The Ambassador in Greece (Mac Veagh),to the secretary of State

    Top Secret Athens, October 11, 1946-11 p,m

    …..Paragraph (2)… pursuance of such program all people who have “gone into the mountains” except those subject to definite charges under the Greek code should be allowed to return freely to their homes; that wives and children of fugitives should no longer be imprisoned and exiled as hostages; that in general every Greek should be allowed his or her political opinion and no one be prosecuted except for definite commission of crime. I emphasized my believe that if such program were put in effect at least 79% of banditry in Greece would disappear. I spoke of my believe that certain
    policies of the present Defense Minister, Mavromichalis, may be “tending toward
    Fascism” which I felt could not be tolerated again after the Allied Nations have fought
    a war for its eradication. ….

  8. __._,_.___


    Memorandum of Conversation, by Mr. William O. Baxter of Division of Near Eastern


    CONFIDENTIAL [Washington]

    July 26, 1946.

    Mr. Paul Economous-Gouras, Greek Charge d’ Affairs, called this afternoon at his

    request and present Mr: Henderson with a note expressing the strong opposition of the

    Greek Government to the admission of Albania to the United Nations at this time.

    One of the main arguments advanced by Mr. Gouras for this stand was the fact that

    Greece still considers itself at war with Albania. Mr. Henderson pointed out that,

    though United States had not yet recognized the present Albanian regime, nor

    established diplomatic relations with it, our attitude throughout the war was that

    Albania was a puppet of Italy and therefore not to held responsible for its hostile

    declarations against various Allied nations.

    In connection with the statement, contained in the Greek note, that Greece had

    declared war on Albania by a royal decree on November 10, 1940, Mr. Henderson

    remarked that as far as he knew the department had no record of this declaration of

    war nor had it, to his knowledge, been referred to any earlier Greek notes concerning

    Albania, particularly a request about a year ago that Albania be declared an enemy


  9. Yes true. The Northern European countries received Bailouts too but they bailed out the troubled banks directly and QUIETLY especially Austria a German country. But the Med countries and Ireland were forced to pass the foreign banker’s debt DIRECTLY onto the sovereign debt of the country thus making all the public responsible and thereby enslaving them.