Would you like to know 20 Facts about Greece? Did you know that Athens was a small town two centuries ago? Did you know that the Greek islands are about 2,000? That no part of the country is more than 137 kilometres from the sea, and how does our fleet reach 70% of all European ships?
These and many more interesting facts about Greece follow and teach us the little secrets of that beautiful country.
Here are 20 Facts about Greece
- On average, approximately 16.5 million tourists arrive in Greece each year. This means that visitors outnumber the local population of about 10 million.
- About 7% of all marble produced on the planet comes from Greece.
- Greece is the third country in the world in olive production. The cultivation of olive trees has started in Greece’s parts since ancient times. Fun fact, some olive trees planted in the 13th century still produce fruit.
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- It is also the first country in the world on sponges trade.
- 80% of the country’s territory is mountainous. The country does not even have a sailing river because of this particular geomorphology.
- Twelve million people worldwide speak Greek. Include, of course, the ten million Greeks, but also Greek-speaking in Cyprus, Italy, Albania, Turkey, the US and other countries that have previously preferred Greeks for immigration.
- The Greek language has been spoken for nearly 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest languages in the world.
- In the 1950s, only 30% of Greeks were literate and literate. Today, the illiteracy rate is as high as 5%.
- The Greek islands reach 2,000, but only 170 are inhabited. The largest Greek island, Crete, covers an area of 8,260 square kilometres.
- The population of Athens in 1834 was 10,000. Since being chosen as the capital of the new Greek state to date, its population has grown to a staggering number of more than 3 million, or about 40% of the Greek population.
Here are 10 more facts
- Athens has been inhabited continuously for 7,000 years. This makes it one of Europe’s oldest cities.
- On average, you can enjoy 250 days of sunshine a year in Greece. This equates to 3,000 enviable hours of sun per year.
- Life expectancy in ancient Greece was 36 years for women and 45 years for men. Of the children that were born, only half were able to survive beyond the infancy stage. Today, life expectancy has reached 77 and 82 years for Greek men and women respectively, which places Greeks in the top 26 of the highest expectations in the world.
- Ships with a Greek flag make up 70% of Europe’s total merchant fleet. Domestic law requires 75% of the crew to be of Greek nationality.
- Greece has more archaeological museums than any other country in the world – which is not surprising of course.
- About 100,000 birds from northern Europe and Asia are overwintering in our area.
- The country’s enviable wildlife includes 116 species of mammals, 18 species of amphibians, 59 species of reptiles, 240 species of birds and 107 species of fish. However, about half of all mammal species are endangered.
- Government corruption cost the country about 800m euros in 2009 alone. Greece’s national debt is larger than the national economy.
- No part of Greece is more than 137 kilometers from the sea. The country’s coastline is the tenth largest in length on the planet.
- Greece was once a rocky mass, completely below the sea. Following the collision of a tectonic plate with Europe, its mountainous terrain was formed, and even today the earthquakes in the Aegean are related to the movements of this particular lithospheric plate.
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