61 Facts About Greece


Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in Southeast Europe.

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Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin, featuring thousands of islands.

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Greece is considered the cradle of Western civilization, being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, theatre and the Olympic Games.

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Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its continuation, the Byzantine Empire, which was culturally and linguistically predominantly Greek.

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Subsequently, the junta collapsed in 1974 and Greece returned to democratic governance, which has continued to this day.

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Greece is a unitary parliamentary republic, and a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy, and a high quality of life, ranking 32nd in the Human Development Index.

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The Apidima Cave in Mani, in southern Greece, contains the oldest remains of anatomically modern humans outside of Africa, dated to 210, 000 years ago.

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Neolithic settlements in Greece, dating from the 7th millennium BC, are the oldest in Europe by several centuries, as Greece lies on the route via which farming spread from the Near East to Europe.

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These states and their colonies reached great levels of prosperity that resulted in an unprecedented cultural boom, that of classical Greece, expressed in architecture, drama, science, mathematics and philosophy.

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Lack of political unity within Greece resulted in frequent conflict between Greek states.

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Until the 8th century almost all of modern Greece was under the jurisdiction of the Holy See of Rome according to the system of Pentarchy.

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Otto's reign was despotic, and in its first 11 years of independence Greece was ruled by a Bavarian oligarchy led by Joseph Ludwig von Armansperg as Prime Minister and, later, by Otto himself, who held the title of both King and Premier.

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Religious reform took place, and the Church of Greece was established as Greece's national church, although Otto remained a Catholic.

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Greece accepted the imposition of an International Financial Control authority to pay off the country's debtors.

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When war broke out between Russia and the Ottomans in 1877, Greek popular sentiment rallied to Russia's side, but Greece was too poor and too concerned about British intervention, to officially enter the war.

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Since the Battle of Salamis, Greece had not achieved the greatness and the glory which today holds.

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Greece capitulated only when further resistance had become impossible and useless.

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In 1952, Greece joined NATO, reinforcing its membership in the Western Bloc of the Cold War.

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On 20 July 1974, Turkey invaded the island of Cyprus in response to a Greek-backed Cypriot coup, triggering a political crisis in Greece that led to the regime's collapse and the restoration of democracy through Metapolitefsi.

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Greece became the tenth member of the European Communities on 1 January 1981, ushering in a period of sustained growth.

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In March 2020, Greece's parliament elected a non-partisan candidate, Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, as the first female President of Greece.

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Western Greece contains a number of lakes and wetlands and is dominated by the Pindus mountain range.

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Climate of Greece is primarily Mediterranean, featuring mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.

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Phytogeographically, Greece belongs to the Boreal Kingdom and is shared between the East Mediterranean province of the Mediterranean Region and the Illyrian province of the Circumboreal Region.

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Greece formed a centre-right government after the landslide victory of his New Democracy party.

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Additionally, due to its political and geographical proximity to Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, Greece is a country of significant geostrategic importance, which it has leveraged to develop a regional policy to help promote peace and stability in the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

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Greece is a member of numerous international organizations, including the Council of Europe, the European Union, the Union for the Mediterranean, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the Organisation internationale de la francophonie and the United Nations, of which it is a founding member.

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Greece spends over US$7 billion annually on its military, or 2.

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Since the Kallikratis programme reform entered into effect on 1 January 2011, Greece has consisted of 13 regions subdivided into a total of 325, from 2019 332, municipalities.

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Additionally, Greece is the 15th largest economy in the 27-member European Union.

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Greece is a developed country with a high standard of living and a high ranking in the Human Development Index.

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Greece is the number-two foreign investor of capital in Albania, the number-three foreign investor in Bulgaria, at the top-three of foreign investors in Romania and Serbia and the most important trading partner and largest foreign investor of North Macedonia.

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Greece was a founding member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

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Greece was accepted into the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union on 19 June 2000, and in January 2001 adopted the Euro as its currency, replacing the Greek drachma at an exchange rate of 340.

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Greece is a member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, and is ranked 24th on the KOF Globalization Index for 2013.

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Consequently, Greece was "punished" by the markets which increased borrowing rates, making it impossible for the country to finance its debt since early 2010.

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Greece achieved a primary government budget surplus in 2013, while in April 2014, it returned to the global bond market.

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Greece returned to growth after six years of economic decline in the second quarter of 2014, and was the Eurozone's fastest-growing economy in the third quarter.

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In 2010, Greece was the European Union's largest producer of cotton and pistachios (8, 000 tons) and ranked second in the production of rice (229, 500 tons) and olives (147, 500 tons), third in the production of figs (11, 000 tons), almonds (44, 000 tons), tomatoes (1, 400, 000 tons), and watermelons (578, 400 tons) and fourth in the production of tobacco (22, 000 tons).

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Greece is a major beneficiary of the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union.

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Electricity production in Greece is dominated by the state-owned Public Power Corporation.

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In recent years, Greece has become a leader in the construction and maintenance of luxury yachts.

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Northern Greece is the country's most-visited geographical region, with 6.

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Greece was ranked 47th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, down from 41st in 2019.

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Greece has several major technology parks with incubator facilities and has been a member of the European Space Agency since 2005.

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Greece has one of the highest rates of tertiary enrollment in the world, while Greeks are well represented in academia worldwide; numerous leading Western universities employ a disproportionately high number of Greek faculty.

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Some of the Albanian immigrants to Greece come from a nominally Muslim background, although most are secular in orientation.

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Since 2017, Hellenic Polytheism, or Hellenism has been legally recognised as an actively practised religion in Greece, with estimates of 2, 000 active practitioners and an additional 100, 000 "sympathisers".

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Greece is today relatively homogeneous in linguistic terms, with a large majority of the native population using Greek as their first or only language.

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The Jewish community in Greece traditionally spoke Ladino, today maintained only by a few thousand speakers.

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Greece, together with Italy and Spain, is a major entry point for illegal immigrants trying to enter the EU.

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Illegal immigrants entering Greece mostly do so from the border with Turkey at the Evros River and the islands of the eastern Aegean across from Turkey.

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In 2012, the majority of illegal immigrants entering Greece came from Afghanistan, followed by Pakistanis and Bangladeshis.

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Life expectancy in Greece is among the highest in the world; a 2011 OECD report placed it at 80.

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In 2008, Greece had the highest rate of perceived good health in the OECD, at 98.

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Artistic production in Greece began in the prehistoric pre-Greek Cycladic and the Minoan civilizations, both of which were influenced by local traditions and the art of ancient Egypt.

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Also, the tradition of wall painting in Greece goes back at least to the Minoan and Mycenaean Bronze Age, with the lavish fresco decoration of sites like Knossos, Tiryns and Mycenae.

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Architecture of ancient Greece was produced by the ancient Greeks, whose culture flourished on the Greek mainland, the Aegean Islands and their colonies, for a period from about 900 BC until the 1st century AD, with the earliest remaining architectural works dating from around 600 BC.

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Greece participated in the Eurovision Song Contest 35 times after its debut at the 1974 Contest.

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In 2005, Greece won with the song "My Number One", performed by Greek-Swedish singer Elena Paparizou.

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Greece is the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games, first recorded in 776 BC in Olympia, and hosted the modern Olympic Games twice, the inaugural 1896 Summer Olympics and the 2004 Summer Olympics.

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