Cyprus: Greek Cypriot Population Decreases

old-people11According to a research conducted by the Institute of Demographics and Migration Policies, Greek Cypriots are a minority group in Cyprus.

The Greek Cypriot population was 572,000 in 2011 with declining tendencies. Demographics researcher Penelope Christoforidou indicated that demographic changes in Cyprus’ population has gradually led to a decrease of  birth rates, the ageing of the population and migration.

Birth rates have decreased to 11.3% in 2011 from 18.6% in 1992 and the percentage of those under 15 years has also decreased to 16.4% in 2012 from 25.4% in 1992.  As for the ageing population, it is adding a burden on the state budget for pension funds, thus putting more stress on the working population.

The significant number of person migrating to and from Cyprus has caused rapid changes to the demographics of the island.  In 2011, 20% of the population consisted of  immigrants, while by 2012 a large number of Greek Cypriots (18,105 persons) had left the island to migrate in other countries.

Christoforidou stated that the government should develop new policies for controlling this migration tendency, especially for young people.  She further suggested a number of support measures that could lead to an increase of birth rates, such as longer paid maternity leaves and state funded child births.

In conclusion, Ioannis Matsis, the chairman of the Institute, said that Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades should deal with this problem as a priority, because its solution could contribute to the solution of the Cyprus issue as well.