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14 Interesting facts about Greece.

14 Interesting facts about Greece.

  1. There are about 2,000 islands and islets in Greece, but only 170 of them are inhabited. The largest, Crete, has an area of ​​8,260 square kilometers (3,189 square miles).
  2. Greece is the number one country in the world in the production of natural sponges.
  3. Athens had a population of about 7,000 only two centuries ago. Today the capital’s residents exceed five million, almost half of the country’s population.
  4. Surrounded by the sea, there is no place in Greece that is more than 137 km (85 miles) away from the sea. Greece has the tenth-longest coastline in the world.
  5. Greece’s merchant fleet accounts for 70 percent of all European ships. Domestic law requires 75 percent of a ship’s crew to have Greek citizenship.
  6. Approximately 7 percent of all the marble quarried on the planet Earth comes from Greece.
  7. In the 1950s, only 30 percent of Greeks knew how to read and write. Today, the illiteracy rate is just 5 percent.
  8. Greece ranks third in the world in olive oil production. The cultivation of olive trees in the country began in ancient times. Indeed, some olive trees which are known to have been planted in the thirteenth century still produce fruit.
  9. Even though Greece is surrounded by the sea, 80 percent of the country is mountainous. The country does not have even one navigable river because of its particular geomorphology.
  10. Over twelve million people in the world speak Greek. There are ten million Greek residents, about one million Cypriots, and another million Diaspora Greeks, mainly in the US, Australia and in the countries of the EU.
  11. The Greek language has been spoken for approximately 3,000 years, making it one of the oldest languages ​​in the world.
  12. Athens has been inhabited for 7,000 years, making it one of the oldest cities in Europe.
  13. On average, Greeks enjoy 250 days of sunshine a year. This corresponds to 6,000 hours of sun per year.
  14. Life expectancy in ancient Greece was only 36 years for women and 45 years for men. Of the children who were born in those times, only one half managed to survive infancy.
  15. Read the full 20 Fascinating Facts about Greece adapted from the Greek Reporter website.

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