I heard recently that there are more Greeks currently living outside of Greece than inside it. My source, of course, didn't qualify whether that statistic only includes people who were born there, but let's include for the sake of argument any 1st or 2nd generation children of Ex-pats.

Is there any truth to this claim? Is it even a close call?

  • 2
    So, if my grandmother was born in Greece, and left when she was a child, I would count as Greek for your definition? Seems too broad to me. I would stick to "born in Greece" or alternatively "(current or former) Greek citizen".
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 11, 2011 at 7:20
  • This is a claim I hear quite often. Anyway, according to wikipedia: "Melbourne [large Australian city] has the world's third largest Greek-speaking population after Athens and Thessaloniki (Melbourne's Greek sister city)".
    – user2466
    Jun 11, 2011 at 8:29
  • Interesting. I always heard that snippet as Melbourne being "second after Athens". I wonder if the populations have changed or if it was never true.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 11, 2011 at 13:41
  • @Odd: Hah! I actually thought the same as you until I did the wiki check this evening.
    – user2466
    Jun 11, 2011 at 14:23
  • @Oddthinking Given that the population of Salonica has been around a million for a while, "second after Athens" was never plausible; and if you allow 3rd generation, I'm pretty sure Chicago has more Greeks than Melbourne. Sep 15, 2018 at 6:12

1 Answer 1


According to the Council of Europe the

Greek diaspora is estimated to be 8.5 million people
(the number is from 2008 )

From a news article in Businessweek (2010):

Diaspora bonds will tap millions of Greeks abroad who want to help the country, Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou said in September.

There are as many Greeks living overseas as the 11 million at home, he said.

George Papaconstantinou's estimate seems realistic if people of greek descent count as "greeks".

  • From the link provided to define 'Greek diaspora': "Members of the diaspora can be identified as those who themselves, or whose ancestors, migrated from the Greek homelands." So, it might not be fair to double-count people of Greek descent.
    – Oddthinking
    Jun 11, 2011 at 13:43

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