NEWS

Migrant families grow fast

The average migrant family in Greece is now larger than the average Greek family, according to figures which will be released today by immigration researchers who suggested that up to 1.2 million immigrants currently live in the country. The Hellenic Migration Policy Institute (IMEPO) found that the average migrant family has 3.3 members whereas Greek families have on average 2.7 members. There are almost 189,000 immigrant families living in Greece. They make up 4.7 percent of all the families in the country. However, IMEPO’s president, Alexandros Zavos, told Kathimerini that the average monthly income of a migrant household is -1,538 – some -600 less than that of a Greek family. Also, only 5 percent of migrant families own their homes. Migrants spend on average 16 percent less than Greeks who earn the same wage as them, according to IMEPO research. Greece has one of Europe’s most rapidly aging populations. Migrants in Greece are proportionally much younger than locals. Researchers found that 21.5 percent of the members of Greek families are pensioners. Only 2.5 percent of migrants are over 65. A quarter of migrant families have children under the age of 14 and almost two-thirds of migrants are aged between 14 and 44, suggesting they will be a driving force behind Greece’s economy for many years to come. IMEPO has found that 37.7 percent of migrants in Greece currently work as unskilled laborers while 35.4 percent worked in skilled professions. The construction sector is the biggest employer of migrants in Greece with almost one in three involved in the building of homes and businesses. One in five migrants works as a household helper while 12.8 percent work in the manufacturing industry. IMEPO found that some employers do not treat migrant and Greek workers equally. Employers do not make social security contributions for 3.5 percent of Greeks whereas 12.9 percent of migrants work uninsured.