Greece Facts

Greece, state of south-eastern Europe; 131,960 km2, 10.7 million residents (2019).Greece encompasses the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula, the Ionian Islands (along the west coast), Crete and all major Aegean islands except the Turkish island of Imroz. The country borders in the north to Albania, northern Macedonia and Bulgaria and in the east to Turkey. The capital is Athens (753,500 residents, 2010).

Greece Country Flag

Country facts

  • Ellenikí Dimokratía / Republic of Greece
  • Country abbreviation: GR (EL)
  • Area: 131 960 km2
  • Population (2019): 10.7 million residents
  • Capital: Athens
  • Main language: Greek
  • State: Republic
  • Head of State: Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou (President)
  • Head of Government: Kyriakos Mitsotakis
  • Per capita GDP (2018): US $ 20,324
  • GNI per capita (2018): US $ 19,600
  • Currency unit: euro
  • Currency code: EUR
  • Country number (telephony): 30
  • Internet domain name: gr
  • Time difference compared to Sweden: +1
  • National Day: March 25 (Independence Day, the revolt against the Turks begins, 1821)
  • Independence Day: February 3, 1830


  • Land use: forest (30%), agricultural land (64%), other (6%)
  • Highest mountain: Olympos (2 917 m asl)


  • Population density (2019): 81 residents per km2
  • Natural population growth (2019): −0.4%; birth rate 8 ‰, death rate 12 ‰
  • Age structure (2019): 0-14 years (14%), 15-64 (64%), 65- (22%)
  • Average life expectancy (2019): men 78 years, women 83 years
  • Infant mortality (2019): 4 per 1,000 live births
  • Population forecast 2050: 9 million residents
  • HDI (2017): 0.870 (place 31 of 189)
  • Urbanization rate (2019): 79%
  • Most populous cities (2010): Athens (753,500 residents), Thessaloniki (346,300), Piraeus (178,600)


  • Industry’s contribution to GDP (2017): agriculture (4%), industry (17%), service (79%)
  • Exports (2017): US $ 31 540 million
  • Main export products: food, industrial products, oil products
  • Main exporting countries: Italy, Germany, Turkey
  • Imports (2017): US $ 52,270 million
  • Main import products: workshop products, means of transport, oil
  • Main importing countries: Germany, Italy, Russian Federation
  • Railway network (2014): 2,500 km

Greece is a heavily hilly mountain country. The northwestern parts are occupied by the Pindos rock massif, whose westernmost mountain ranges continue south across the peninsula of Peloponnese and the island of Crete, its eastern out into the Aegean Sea. The islands are also mountainous. The coasts are strongly cut apart except in the northeast, where the coastline runs parallel to the Bulgarian Rodopi Mountains.

The country has been a republic since 1974 with a president as head of state. He is elected by Parliament for a five-year term. The president’s power was limited in 1985 by a constitutional change. Parliament is elected in direct elections for four years. With the new election in 2012, a politically turbulent period began with several attempts to form government.

The service sector, mainly trade, tourism and shipping, is the basis of the country’s economy. Even though agriculture has declined in importance, it still has an important role to play in business. Despite extensive privatization, the state’s influence on the economy is great, as the state has often retained parts of the shareholding in companies that are considered to be of national interest. The country has for a long time been hit by budget deficits, and since 2003 the deficit has exceeded 3 percent, which violated the EU Stability Pact.

In 2009, the country’s economic situation deteriorated further and Greece has subsequently received several support measures from the EU and the IMF. At the same time, the country has made major cuts in welfare systems and unemployment has risen sharply.

Greece Map

Greece Map

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