Greece facts and figures


Greece achieved its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1829. During the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, it gradually added neighboring islands and territories, most with Greek-speaking populations. Following the defeat of Communist rebels in 1949, Greece joined NATO in 1952. A military dictatorship, which in 1967 suspended many political liberties and forced the king to flee the country, lasted seven years. Democratic elections in 1974 and a referendum created a parliamentary republic and abolished the monarchy; Greece joined the European Community or EC in 1981 (which became the EU in 1992).

Southern Europe, bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea, and the Mediterranean
Sea, between Albania and Turkey


total: 131,940 sq km

water: 1,140 sq km

land: 130,800 sq km

Land boundaries:

total: 1,228 km

border countries: Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km, The Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 246 km


temperate; mild, wet winters; hot, dry summers


mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains
of islands

Land use:

arable land: 22.12%

permanent crops: 8.47%

other: 69.41% (1998 est.)


10,665,989 (July 2003 est.)


noun: Greek(s)

adjective: Greek


Greek 99% (official), English, French