Greece has recorded a 10.3 percent decrease in births for 2022, official figures released on Monday from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) show.
In 2022, the number of live births totaled 76,541 (39,558 boys and 36,983 girls), marking a 10.3 percent decrease compared to the 85,346 births (43,998 boys and 41,348 girls) in 2021.
It’s important to note that these figures do not include stillbirths, which numbered 446 in 2022, showing a 1.5 percent decrease from the 453 stillbirths in 2021.
In 2022, there were 140,801 deaths (70,802 men and 69,999 women), representing a 2.2% decrease from the 143,923 deaths (73,420 men and 70,503 women) in 2021.
The number of infant deaths in 2022 was 239, resulting in a reduced infant mortality rate (the number of deaths of infants aged less than one year per 1,000 live births) from 3.48 in 2021 to 3.12 in 2022.
The newly released figures confirm that Greece is facing a demographic crisis with the country experiencing the lowest population reproduction rate in Europe.
According to ELSTAT, marriages in 2022 amounted to 43,355 (21,381 religious and 21,974 civil marriages), showing a 6.4 percent increase compared to 40,759 marriages (18,487 religious and 22,272 civil marriages) in 2021.
Furthermore, the number of registered partnerships saw a 13.9 percent increase, rising from 11,550 in 2021 to 13,157 in 2022. This figure includes 394 partnerships between men and 113 between women.
In 2022, divorces amounted to 14,477, marking a 4.0 percent increase compared to 2021 (13,921 divorces). Regarding the type of divorce, eight out of ten divorces issued in the last five years were by mutual consent.
In 2022, out of the total number of divorces, 11,638 were by mutual consent (80.4 percent), 1,906 were contested divorces (13.2 percent), while for 933 divorces (6.4 percent), the type of divorce was not declared. Most of the divorce decrees in 2022 involved individuals aged 40 to 44 years (17.8 percent men and 20.0 percent women), followed by persons aged 45 to 49 (17.6 percent men and 16.4 percent women).
In 2022, 65.6 percent of divorces were among couples who had been married for ten years or more (9,500 divorces). The ratio of divorces per one hundred marriages in 2022 was 33.4, compared to 34.2 in 2021, 41.2 in 2020, 32.1 in 2019, and 32.8 in 2018.
Births in Greece account for 1.3 per woman
The reproduction rate in Greece is now one of the lowest in the world, standing at 1.3 children per woman. This is well below the stability limit of 2.1 children per woman.
These startling statistics were highlighted recently by Professor Nektarios Miltiadis, the head of the research group working on “healthy and active aging in Greece” at the University of Piraeus.
To combat Greece’s demographic crisis, Militiadis suggested increasing the employment of working women, young people under the age of twenty-five, and even pensioners. He argued that older individuals should be encouraged to work if they are capable, as the shrinking workforce poses economic challenges.
He also pointed out that the issue of an aging population is not unique to Greece but affects both Western and developing countries. Advances in medicine, improved living conditions, and healthier eating habits have contributed to increased life expectancy.
It does, however, present challenges, as societies now face an aging population with a declining birth rate, as seen in Greece’s demographic crisis.