Athens had the eighth largest EU population in 2023, according to Eurostat data, with its population exceeding 3.6 million inhabitants, increased by 50 thousand compared to 2018.

However, despite this minimal population increase in the capital, a recent report by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) on social and economic trends in Greek regions from 2010 to 2022 revealed a grim reality regarding population growth.

More specifically, population in Western Macedonia is shrinking by 11.34%, followed by Central Greece and the Peloponnese, which have decreased by close to 10%. Meanwhile, Northern Aegean, Southern Aegean, and the Ionian Islands have recorded smaller declines, around 2%. Crete stands as the only region in Greece with a marginal positive population growth rate.

Of significant demographic interest is the fact that during the period 2010-2022, only the number of women in Crete showed an increasing trend, while in Northern Aegean and Western Greece, the number of women decreased more than that of men.

Additionally, in the broader Athens and Western Macedonia regions, there is a notable decrease in the percentage of individuals of working age, which began in the 2010s and continued during the debt crisis. In these regions, the older age group constitutes the second most populous group across the country.

Finally, according to the eurostat report across the EU only five metropolitan areas had more than 5 million inhabitants, with Paris leading at 12.4 million. Madrid followed with 6.9 million, then Barcelona with 5.8 million, Berlin with 5.5 million, and the Ruhr region in Germany with 5.1 million.