If we consider only the absolute data of the overall population of the Greek state, it must be recognized that it has had a very large increase in the past century: in large part, it is true, due to subsequent acquisitions of new territories, but in part also precisely due to the high value of survival, only in the last few periods attenuated by emigration. Here are the values provided by the censuses of the last century:
As for the percentage increase, this showed itself to be very strong (2.5% per year) in the first decades of independence, when a fairly strong immigration phenomenon was added to survival, while then gradually decreasing (with a minimum of 0, 8% per year in the first decade of the present century). These values relating to population density and the percentage increase of this over time, however, show fluctuations from part to part of the entire region, as can be seen from the following table:
The more the maritime character decreases and the more the continentality of the region increases, the more the population density decreases. This is therefore closely linked to the sea. And another fact shows the close link that the settlement of the population has with the most essential physical characteristics: from the density map of Greece it appears that every morphological basin bottom corresponds to an area with a high density.
The percentage increase in the population has been very strong, but not all in equal measure. If we compare the population data of the individual regions relating to different eras, we can see that, in the last decades in particular, that increase has been greater in the north of the Isthmus of Corinth, minimum in the Peloponnese and in the islands. This means that the independence of Greece found the Peloponnese and the islands almost densely populated as they are today and the rest poor in population. The causes of these two opposite facts are, for the first, physical, for the second historical: since the character of a maritime region of Greece had to have a more effective influence a century ago, when terrestrial communications were more difficult and uncertain, densification of the population in the islands and in the Peloponnese; while, on the other hand, the islands and the Peloponnese were less exposed to the invasions and ethnic struggles that depopulated Greece to the north of the isthmus. But now, having reached relative tranquility and easier relations with the rest of the Balkan Region, the already less populated areas allow a more rapid increase of their residents.
Of the total population of Greece, 92.6% is made up of Greeks or Greeks; the remaining are: 3.2% Turks, 1.2 Slavic-Macedonians, 1.0 Jews, 0.5 Armenians, 0.2 Albanians, 0.04 Italians, etc. To this variety of populations corresponds a variety of religions they profess: 5,961,529 are the Orthodox, 35,183 are Catholics, 9003 are Protestants, 123,394 are Muslims, 63,701 are Israelites.
The relatively strong increase in population gave rise, in the first years of the present century, to a strong emigration current, on the direct principle especially in the whole eastern basin of the Mediterranean (Turkey, Egypt, Syria). It then spread to Eritrea, southern Africa, India, New Zealand and Australia, where a few hundred individuals went every year. But another current, and much more important, settled towards the United States, where, between 1904 and 1917, there was an average annual immigration of 25,000 Greeks. But, later, the provisions taken by the countries of immigration brought this down, in 1922, to approximately 4400 individuals. In 1929 the total emigration was 9710 individuals, of which 5905 were directed to the United States, 1718 to Argentina, 531 to Canada.