Greece has the second highest proportion of over-65-year-olds in the European Union according to data released on Tuesday by Eurostat. The figures show that last year the ratio of over-65s to the population aged between 15 and 64 years exceeded one in three. Only Italy had a greater rate than Greece’s, while Luxembourg had the lowest rate in the bloc.
The Greek population is aging rapidly, threatening to undo the social security system despite the dramatic pensions cuts already implemented.
The Eurostat index measures the old-age dependency ratio – that is the number of those aged over 65 as a share of the working-age population – and shows Greece to be in a very difficult position: The rate in Greece was 33.6 percent, with Italy on 34.8 percent and Finland 33.2 percent.
This is why European authorities have cited demographics as one of the main problems Greece is set to face in the future, expecting the same index to soar to 63 percent by 2070 – i.e. for every eight people of working age there will be five people aged 65 or over.