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Greece

Demographic Trends, Definition Of Family, Role Of The Child, The Elderly And The Family


Greece, the birthplace of Western civilization, has a long history. Philosophy and the humanities have flourished there for more than 2,500 years. Greece is situated at the southeastern end of the European continent and has an area of 132 square kilometers. Now a modern state, it has, according to the 2001 census, approximately 11 million inhabitants. It is a member of the European Union (EU). The country's development has not always followed a clear and balanced direction, which has affected its economical, political, and social structures.

The many and variable migrations of the Greek people have left a significant mark on the country's evolution. Before World War II, Greeks migrated mainly to the United States, Canada, Australia, and countries of the Eastern Mediterranean. After World War II, Greek migration was mainly within the European continent. The majority of migrants ended up in West Germany, Belgium, Holland, and other European countries. Although large numbers of these migrants have now returned to Greece, an equally significant number have remained in the host countries. Thus, many Greek communities exist in countries such as the United States and Canada. After World War II, and especially during the 1960s, a second major migratory movement occurred. Greece lost 20 percent of its population through migration, which had serious consequences for its development. Most of those who migrated were in the most productive phase of their lives and represented the most dynamic part of the labor force.

Between 1971 and 1985, an estimated 625,000 Greeks returned to their homeland. During the same period, an influx of migrants from Third World countries into Greece began. This trend continued into the 1980s and was augmented by an additional flow of migrants from East European countries (Teperoglou and Tzortzopoulou 1996).


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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural Aspects