According to the most recent data published by the Greek Statistics Authority (ELSTAT), the average life expectancy of Greek citizens rose from 77.2 years in 1990 to 81.5 years in 2016.
However, this latest figure was not nearly as high as the average life expectancies recorded in other EU nations during the same period of time.
Greek life expectancy was third in Europe overall in 1990, but it has now dropped to twelfth place.
According to experts, other EU nations have invested much more than Greece has in education about healthy diets and lifestyles, as well as preventative healthcare. This situation became especially marked following the Greek financial crash of 2010.
Greece has been traditionally counted among the top countries in terms of life expectancy, mainly due to the country’s Mediterranean diet and the warm and sunny temperate climate. The large percentage of the population which historically took part in physical agricultural jobs was also thought to have contributed to longer life expectancy.
However, the healthy lifestyles of old are increasingly going by the wayside, as the consumption of fast food has gained ground compared to the traditional Greek and Mediterranean diet. In addition, many more people now have jobs which require minimal physical exercise.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the average life expectancy in the EU is now 81 years. The nation of France finds itself in first place over all other European countries, with its citizens enjoying an average life expectancy of 83.5 years.