Greece Population and Economy Between 1951 and 1971
The Greek population has increased quite considerably, in twenty years, from 7,632,801 residents from the 1951 census to the 8,768,641 of the 1971 census; the density rose from 57.6 to 66 residents per km 2. This apparently small density is actually high in relation to the mountainous area of the country and the poor economic development. In fact, emigration is still today more than 20,000 people per year, while interregional population movements have been intense in recent years, and continue to be, since the internal forestry-pastoral or agricultural regions are emptying in favor of the larger ones. cities and coastal plains. This accelerated urbanism has its maximum expression in Athens, whose conurbation has reached 2,540,241 residents in 1971 (1,378,586 in 1951); the Ionian Islands and the western Peloponnese also exert considerable appeal. (Achaea, with Patras) and Southern Macedonia (Thessaloniki area). Thessaloniki (217,049 residents In 1951 and 345,799 in 1971), after the Athenian area, is the major pole of attraction.
The economic structure of Greece is constitutionally weak; the recent development of the industry is largely due to foreign capital; serious disparities remain in the economic situation of the various regions. Agriculture still plays a key role, providing 24% of income and occupying 46% of the active population which, as a whole, rose to 3,949,000 people in 1970. The industry is not very developed, while the sector tertiary is very dilated. The agricultural economy is poorly modernized; above all irrigation works are insufficient (750,000 ha irrigated in 1972) and mechanization is slowly gaining ground, hampered in many cases by morphology (almost 100,000 tractors in 1972).
The production of wheat, the result of a widespread cultivation, remains stationary, while the other traditional production of olive oil is slightly increasing; the precious cultivation of tobacco is decreasing. On the other hand, tomatoes and citrus fruits have been expanding for some time now, often in winning competition with the oldest and strongest Mediterranean producers, such as Italy. Cotton growing, which has been well established for some time, is in progress, as is sugar beet (see Table 2).
The livestock stock amounted in 1972 to 980,000 cattle, almost 12 million sheep and goats, 380,000 pigs, about 800,000 horses, as well as 25 million poultry. Compared to fifteen years ago, cattle are stationary, pigs, sheep and horses are decreasing.
A certain increase has seen the extraction of minerals, compatibly with the modest possibilities of the country. The well-known production of ferrous minerals (792,000 t in 1973), nickel, chromite, bauxite (2,736,000 t in 1973) has been joined by oil, extracted from 1963 in Kleisoura (70,000 t in 1970). Industry is largely linked to agriculture: traditionally the food, textile and tobacco branches are prosperous or rapidly developing; the chemical industries have recently been acquired and those involved in the processing of local minerals have fairly evolved. Athens and Thessaloniki also centralize numerous productions for immediate domestic consumption.
Tourism, which is an excellent source of rebalancing for the shaky Greek balance of foreign trade (together with sea freight rates and emigrant remittances), counted in 1971 on almost 3 million arrivals. The communication routes, although much improved in recent years (over 30,000 km of paved roads in 1971) are still lacking, and civil aviation, which has an important international airport in Athens, contributes to the increase in tourism. The Greek merchant fleet is among the most conspicuous in the world (almost 20 million tonnes in 1973), although it is partly made up of old ships.