The shocking impact that the financial crisis has had upon the Greek population is underlined in the latest weekly bulletin from the Hellenic Business Association (SEV), published on Thursday.
According to data published by the association, births in Greece decreased by 29,380 during the period between 2009 and 2017. This shocking statistic mirrors the decimation that was seen during the 1940’s, when the Greek population decreased by an estimated 30,000 people.
During the turbulent decade of the 1940’s, Greece suffered from not only the terrible destruction of World War II and the resulting occupation by German, Italian and Bulgarian forces. The ensuing Greek civil war wreaked havoc for years, leading to a widespread destabilization of the country and a huge reduction of its population.
However, the business association notes that this recent reduction in numbers might be temporary. The country is beginning to recover from the financial crisis of the last eight years, and this could mean that the birthrate will rise again in the near future.
Nevertheless, systemic problems in the Greek economy, with anemic growth and a low level of investment in social care combined with the recent austerity measures, could pose a serious threat to Greece’s demographic over the next decades.
Some austerity measures have in effect prevented the government from investing in childcare, and in the past several years, the majority of young couples have struggled financially when they do decide to have children.
However, Greece is not the only European country with an aging population and troubling demographics. Germany also faces a similar problem, which it is trying to solve in part by increasing the rate of immigration.