Country Resource - Greece
- Population.....................................................................10,533,871 (2022 est.)
- Population growth rate .............................................................-0.34% (2022 est.)
- Birth rate...................................................7.61 births/1,000 population (2022 est.)
- Death rate................................................12.04 deaths/1,000 population (2022 est.)
- Net migration rate...............................1 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2022 est.)
- Ethnic groups*.......................................Greek 91.6%, Albanian 4.4%, other 4% (2011 est.)
* Data represent citizenship; Greece does not collect data on ethnicity
CIA World Factbook
Once known for large-scale emigration, Greece has become the main point of entry for unauthorized migrants heading toward Europe. The country must now — amid economic turmoil — grapple with issues related to its highly porous borders, mounting asylum applications, and inadequate immigrant-detention system.
The number of border walls globally has multiplied at a rapid clip, from fewer than five at the end of World War II to more than six dozen now, with more under construction. Most of the world's border fortifications have been built since the turn of the millennium, and are intended to accomplish a range of functions. This article charts the remarkable growth and normalization of border walls globally.
Between Brexit and COVID-19, Europe’s 31-country zone of free movement has been profoundly tested. Still, the area has constantly evolved over the last 70 years, to include new groups of individuals who can freely move for work, study, or leisure, as well as cover larger geographic areas. This article examines the history and challenges to free movement, a crowning success of the European project.
The European Union’s landmark 2016 migration deal with Turkey offered aid and other benefits in exchange for Turkey's assistance in helping reduce arrivals of asylum seekers and other migrants. At its fifth anniversary, the EU-Turkey deal remains one criticized by human-rights advocates and has met frustration from Turkey, but in many ways created a blueprint for other externalization arrangements, as this article outlines.
When he was elected prime minister in 2019, Kyriakos Mitsotakis promised what he called “strict but fair” reforms to secure Greece's borders and speed up transfers of asylum seekers crowding Aegean islands. Yet domestic and geopolitical tensions continued to roil the islands, later joined by a global pandemic, culminating in a fire that destroyed most of Lesvos's Moria refugee camp. This article examines Greece's efforts to strike a delicate balance on migration in a complex era.
As Greece's Aegean islands continue to grapple with migrants arriving on their shores, decisions regarding the needs of newcomers are negotiated in Brussels and Athens, far removed from the situation on the ground. Meanwhile, local communities have had successes in hosting migrants, as this article drawing on observations from the hospitality center and refugee camp on Lesvos explores.
Hardline migration and asylum policies in the United States and Australia in 2018 hit turbulence when their effects on the most vulnerable—young children—provoked widespread public revulsion and prompted a retreat, at least temporarily. Still, public outcry over the treatment of child migrants and asylum seekers often runs up against the intractability of the problems facing governments and the lack of good solutions.
Lesvos became a major focal point in Europe's migration crisis as more than half a million migrants and asylum seekers transited the Greek island in 2015. Describing the work of ad hoc volunteer-led efforts and professional aid organizations, this article delves into the evolution of the aid response across the island and the challenges of integrating humanitarian operations.
Faced with a flexible, diverse, and seemingly ubiquitous smuggling industry, governments have struggled to respond. Smuggling and trafficking networks, while hardly new phenomena, were put under a harsh spotlight in 2015 for their role as intermediaries in shaping the scale and flow of migrants and asylum seekers around the world.
As Europe struggles to reach a consensus on how to respond to the refugee crisis, the seemingly unending flow of migrants and refugees arriving on its shores is bringing national asylum systems to their breaking point. This article analyzes the context of the crisis, discussing the root causes of the flows, why they are spiking now, and growing protection challenges.
The murder of an anti-fascist rapper in 2013 dealt a severe blow to Greece's extremist, virulently anti-immigrant political party Golden Dawn, whose popularity had been increasing (relatively unchecked) since 2010. The party, which rejects the neo-Nazi label that many have applied to it, provoked a national outcry in September after a party sympathizer confessed to killing Pavlos Fyssas.
The pandemic and its economic fallout have created a perfect storm for immigrant integration, challenging the well-being and livelihoods of many migrants and refugees in Europe and North America while upending governments’ usual policy toolbox. This report looks at how policymakers and civil society have innovated, and what lessons can be gleaned to strengthen immigrant integration governance going forward.
Since COVID-19 hit cities across Europe, many have struggled with how to sustain support for migrant inclusion in a time of social-distancing orders and likely budget cuts. This report explores how municipalities and their partners used social innovation to meet the challenges of the 2015–16 spike in arrivals of asylum seekers and migrants, and how those experiences can help localities weather the pandemic and put communities at the center of recovery efforts.
As migration transforms cities across Europe—both large metropolises and small cities—there is a thriving debate about how to support immigrants’ integration into communities, labor markets, and health and education systems. This MPI Europe-International Organization for Migration report explores promising approaches that make the most of local governance tools to optimize migrant inclusion, even in the face of challenges.
Brussels is searching for bright ideas on how to fix the Common European Asylum System. While recent EU-level legal reforms have stalled, this report examines the many innovative, operations-focused approaches Member States have used since the 2015-16 migration crisis to improve registration and reception systems, asylum case processing, and options for returning failed asylum seekers.
In the three years since the European migration and refugee crisis vividly captured public attention, a wave of innovative initiatives has emerged to help newcomers settle into receiving societies. Now, as the sense of crisis abates, this report explores what these initiatives will need to do to outlast the hype and produce lasting change on key integration issues such as housing, economic inclusion, and community building.
With many young children among the refugees and asylum seekers arriving in Europe and North America in recent years, policymakers and service providers are grappling with the task of designing and scaling up critical early childhood services. This report examines the approaches taken in nine key host countries, highlighting common challenges and promising practices.
Large outflows of educated young people escaping high levels of unemployment, in tandem with inflows of unauthorized migrants, pose a fresh set of challenges for Greek policymakers. This Transatlantic Council on Migration report examines Greek emigration, and its economic implications, before exploring policy directions to minimize the costs and maximize the benefits of this mobility.
While policymakers are under increasing pressure to reduce illegal immigration, the estimated population of unauthorized immigrants in EU-15 countries has declined since 2002. European governments are collaborating on the management of their external borders, as this report details, discussing the detected and estimated scope of irregular migration in the European Union.
EU policy debates about moving asylum seekers from overburdened frontline countries, such as Greece and Italy, to other Member States rarely consider how migrants form and act on preferences for certain destinations—and how difficult it may be to change these views. This issue brief explores decision-making among migrants in Greece, including how living conditions, jobs, and legal status factor in.