People of Greece

People of Greece, known as Greeks or Hellenes (Έλληνες), are an ethnic group and nation native to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea regions, namely Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Italy, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world.

Greek colonies and communities have been historically established on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea, but the Greek people have always been centered on the Aegean and Ionian seas, where the Greek language has been spoken since the Bronze Age.

Until the early 20th century, Greeks were distributed between the Greek peninsula, the western coast of Asia Minor, the Black Sea coast, Cappadocia in central Anatolia, Egypt, the Balkans, Cyprus, and Constantinople. Many of these regions coincided to a large extent with the borders of the Byzantine Empire of the late 11th century and the Eastern Mediterranean areas of ancient Greek colonization. The cultural centers of the Greeks have included Athens, Thessalonica, Alexandria, Smyrna, and Constantinople at various periods.

In recent times, most ethnic Greeks live within the borders of the modern Greek state and Cyprus. The Greek genocide and population exchange between Greece and Turkey nearly ended the three millennia-old Greek presence in Asia Minor. Other longstanding Greek populations can be found from southern Italy to the Caucasus and southern Russia and Ukraine and in the Greek diaspora communities in a number of other countries. Today, most Greeks are officially registered as members of the Greek Orthodox Church.

Throughout history, Greeks have greatly influenced and contributed to culture, visual arts, exploration, theatre, literature, philosophy, politics, architecture, music, mathematics, medicine, science, technology, commerce, cuisine and sports.

The Greek language with a documented record spanning three and a half millennia is a strong element of national continuity. Modern Greek derives from the same idiom used by Homer. Greek is also the language of the Gospels

Of all citizens of the Hellenic Republic: 97,6% are Greek Orthodox, 1,3% Muslim, 0,4% Roman Catholic, 0,1% Protestant, 0,6% other, including Jews.

The Greek Orthodox Church is autocephalous, with its own Charter but indissolubly united in doctrine with the Great Church of Constantinople, i.e. the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Population, language and religion

Population: 10.815.197 (2021 – census) More than 4 millions Greeks are estimated to live abroad, including over 2 millions in America.

Sex distribution
Male: 49.6 %
Female: 50.4%

Area (sq. km)131.957

Density (2001): 82,9 inhabitant per sq km

Birth rate (1997) 9,72 per 1000 inhabitants

Life expectancy (1990)

Male: 74.6 years
Female: 79.4 years

Religious affiliations: 

Of all citizens of the Hellenic Republic 97,6% are Greek Orthodox, 1,3% Muslim, 0,4% Roman Catholic, 0,1% Protestant, 0,6% other, including Jews.

The Greek Orthodox Church is autocephalous, with its own Charter but indissolubly united in doctrine with the Great Church of Constantinople, i.e. the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

On the peninsula of Chalkidiki, located in southeastern Macedonia, is the famous Mount Athos, where a number of monasteries of the Greek Orthodox Church form, as they have for centuries, an autonomous monastic community.

Language: 

The Greek language with a documented record spanning three and a half millennia is a strong element of national continuity. Modern Greek derives from the same idiom used by Homer. Greek is also the language of the Gospels.

The Greek alphabet and the Greek language have contributed much to all western languages. Today’s Greeks, however, are the only ones who ensure this linguistic continuity. In this respect Greek, is to be distinguished sharply from Latin which generated numerous neo-latin languages from Rumanian to Portuguese before it became itself extinct.

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