A new study released by the Berlin Institute for Population and Development suggests that Greece is set to lose up to 18 percent of its population by the middle of the century. The deep economic crisis – which has hit young people especially hard and is identified as a key reason behind the country now having one of the lowest birth rates in the world – is cited as the primary cause of this decline, which has accelerated in recent years.
According to the study, Greece had already lost nearly 3 percent of its population between 2011 and 2016. In 2016, Greece’s population stood at 10.8 million. That is expected to drop to 9.9 million by 2030 and 8.9 million by 2050. That is a nearly 18 percent decline in the country’s population over the next 33 years.
Greece also has a rapidly aging population, with 21 percent already over the age of 65 and fewer than 100,000 babies being born each year. This percentage is currently the second highest in Europe, after Italy. According to the Berlin Institute for Population and Development, Greece will have the highest ratio of pensioners to workers in Europe by 2050.