Greeks get older as births slow

Greece’s population is steadily getting older with one in three Greeks expected to be over the age of 65 by 2050, according to data released yesterday. Figures from the National Statistics Service (NSS) show that people aged 65 or older would account for 31.5 percent of the total, up from 18.5 percent in 2006, and the population will shrink to 10.7 million from 11.17 million in 2006. The NSS said life expectancy had risen to 77.1 years for males, from 75 years in 1995, and to 82 years for females. But the natural rate of population growth in the period 1995 to 2004 has been negative. The birthrate fell to its lowest levels in 2001, when there were 9.3 births per 1,000 people. But the fertility rate also increased slightly to 1.41 in 2006 (from 1.34 in 2005 and 1.32 in 1995). This is a theoretical rate calculated from the number of children born per woman of childbearing age. Greece’s population, almost 11.2 million in 2006, has been increasing mainly due to immigration.