A special parliamentary committee sounded the alarm Tuesday over Greece’s shrinking population, stressing the need for measures to boost birth rates and to ensure “healthy aging” so as to minimize pressure on the health and social security systems.
According to a demographics report it presented in Parliament, Greece’s population could drop to as low as 8.3 million people by 2050.
More specifically, it predicted that if current trends in births, deaths and emigration continue, Greece’s population will contract from 10.9 million in 2015 to between 9.5 and 10.4 million in 2035 and to between 8.3 and 10 million in 2050.
The population is also expected to age significantly by 2035, with over-65s accounting for nearly 28 percent of the total, against 21 percent in 2015. That rate is expected to increase to as much as 33 percent by 2050.
Children up to the age of 18 will comprise between 14.2 and 15.8 percent of the population in 2035 but will rise to represent up to 19 percent of the total in 2050.
The finds are most alarming for the working-age population of people in the 15-64-year-old bracket. Its size is seen contracting from 7 million people in 2015 to 5.8-6.3 million in 2035 and 4.6-5.5 million in 2050.
Commenting on the findings, opposition New Democracy chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the numbers are proof that the “present generation is the first since the end of World War II which does not believe that it will have a better future than its parents.”
Greece “no longer provides opportunities,” he said, adding that the report’s findings point to a “national and existential challenge.”