Greece Country Overview
Where is Greece located? Greece, also known as the “Hellenic Republic”, is located in south-eastern Europe and is a country bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The time zone map of the world divides countries into world time zones. The time difference between the respective country and the official world time (also called UTC) determines which time zone a country is assigned to. This map shows that Greece belongs to the Eastern European Time Zone (EET). The EET is 2 hours ahead of the coordinated world clock. Thus, the clocks in Greece are also ahead of German time, since Germany is in Central European Time Zone (CET) As in the rest of Europe, the clocks in Greece change over to daylight saving time in the summer.
Bordering Countries of Greece
According to abbreviationfinder, Greece is a Mediterranean country located in the Southern part of Europe and it borders a total of six countries. To the north, Greece shares its border with Albania, to the east lies North Macedonia, to the south-east is Bulgaria, and to the west are Italy, Albania and North Macedonia.
Albania is located directly north of Greece and it is connected by land via a 282-mile border between the two countries. It has an area of 28,748 square miles with an estimated population of 2.9 million in 2020. The terrain consists mostly of mountains with some lowlands along its western coast due to its close proximity to Greece’s Ionian Sea coastline. Albania is a parliamentary republic with its official language being Albanian.
North Macedonia lies to the east of Greece and has an area of 9,928 square miles with an estimated population of 2 million people in 2020. It has a temperate climate that features hot summers and cold winters as well as heavy rainfall during certain seasons. North Macedonia is also a parliamentary republic like Albania but its official language is Macedonian instead of Albanian as one would expect due to their proximity to each other.
Bulgaria shares its south-eastern border with Greece and has an area of 42,819 square miles with an estimated population of 7 million people in 2020. Its terrain consists mostly of mountains but also includes lowland plains along its Black Sea coastline due to its close proximity to Bulgaria’s Black Sea region. The Bulgaria is also a parliamentary republic like Albania but its official language is Bulgarian instead of Macedonian as one would expect due to their proximity to each other.
As of 2023, the latest population of Greece is 10,607,051, based on our calculation of the current data from UN (United Nations).
|Population growth rate||-0.31%|
|Birth rate||8.40 births per 1,000 people|
|65 years and above||21.14%|
|Median age||43.80 years|
|Gender ratio (Male to Female)||0.96|
|Population density||80.38 residents per km²|
|officially 100% Greek; Minorities of Slavs, Aromanians, Turks, Pomaks (Slavic-speaking Muslims), Roma, Armenians – proportion of foreigners 2015: 7.6%|
|Greek Orthodox 98%, Muslims 1.3%, others 0.7%|
|Human Development Index (HDI)||0.872|
|HDI ranking||32nd out of 194|
People in Greece
Almost eleven million people live in Greece. Most of them are Greek, 93 percent. The largest minority are the Turks, of whom around 60,000 live in Greece. Other minorities are Romanians, Bulgarians, Albanians, North Macedonians and Armenians.
Two thirds of the Greeks live in a city. Athens and Thessaloniki are the largest cities in the country. The average age is 44.2 years (in Germany 46.8 years). Life expectancy for women is 85 years and for men 80 years.
People have always immigrated to Greece. As a country with a lot of coastline, it attracted many seafarers who landed on the coasts and brought more people with them. Conversely, many Greeks, from the coasts, looked for distant countries to settle there. Greece is on the one hand a country of immigration because many people came to the country, but also a country of emigration because many also left it.
Languages in Greece
What do they speak in Greece?
Greek, that’s logical, you might say Right! 97 out of 100 Greeks speak the Greek language, although this is modern Greek. This differs from ancient Greek that the “ancient Greeks” spoke 2000 years ago. The differences between the two languages are big, but a lot can be derived from ancient Greek.
So if you want to read the original texts of the great Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, then you have to learn ancient Greek. If you want to travel through Greece, then you will be better off with Modern Greek. The difference is something like the difference between Latin and Italian. A lot can be deduced from this, but unfortunately those who have learned Latin do not speak Italian perfectly.
There are also dialects of Modern Greek. In the north of the country people speak a little differently than in Crete, for example. Other languages are also spoken by the minorities in the country. These include Turkish or Albanian. Many – especially young Greeks – also speak English.
How do you write Modern Greek?
Modern Greek (just like ancient Greek) is written in Greek letters. A sentence in Greek looks like this, for example: Σ’αυτό το μαγαζί ψωνίζω συχνά. So if you want to learn Greek, you have to learn the Greek alphabet too! Incidentally, the sentence means “I often shop in this shop.”
Fortunately, street signs and signposts in Greece are mostly written in Greek and Latin letters. Tourists can also read where they are.
Religions in Greece
The Greeks of today no longer believe in the old gods, as you may know them from the ancient Greek legends. Most of them belong to Orthodox Christianity, which is also written into the Greek constitution as the state religion. Your church is the Greek Orthodox Church. 97 out of 100 Greeks belong to it.
Other religions are strongly in the minority. So there are few Catholics, Protestants and Muslims. Most Muslims are Turks or Roma, sometimes immigrants from Albania or Pakistan. Many refugees who seek refuge in Greece are also of Muslim faith.