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indicator value unit
Population 11.3 mil.
Visitors per year 15.0 mil.
Renewable energy 6.03 %

How’s Life?

Greece performs well in only a few measures of well-being relative to most other countries in the Better Life Index. Greece ranks above the average in health status, work-life balance, and personal security, but below average in education and skills, income and wealth, civic engagement, housing, environmental quality, subjective well-being, social connections, and jobs and earnings.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Greece, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 18 575 a year, less than the OECD average of USD 25 908 a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn six times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, some 49% of people aged 15 to 64 in Greece have a paid job, below the OECD employment average of 65%, and the lowest figure in the OECD. Some 58% of men are in paid work, compared with 40% of women.  Almost 6% of employees work very long hours, lower than the OECD average of 13%, with 8% of men working very long hours compared with 4% for women.

Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In Greece, 68% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, less than the OECD average of 75%. This is truer of men than women, as 69% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 68% of women. In terms of the quality of the education system, the average student scored 466 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is lower than the OECD average of 497. On average in Greece, girls outperformed boys by 19 points, more than the average OECD gap of 8 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Greece is almost 81 years, one year higher than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is almost 83 years, compared with 78 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 27.3 micrograms per cubic meter in large urban areas, considerably higher than the OECD average of 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter. Greece also performs below the OECD average in terms of water quality, as 69% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, below the OECD average of 81%, and one of the lowest rates in the OECD.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a moderate sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in Greece, where 83% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, lower than the OECD average of 88%, and one of the lowest figures in the OECD. Voter turnout, a measure of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 64% during recent elections, below the OECD average of 68%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 71% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 58%, in line with the OECD average gap of 13 percentage points.


In general, Greeks are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average. When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, Greeks gave it a 4.8 grade,the lowest score in the OECD, where average life satisfaction is 6.6. For more information on estimates and years of reference, see FAQ section and BLI database.


OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys: Greece 2013

OECD's 2013 Economic Survey of Greece examines recent economic developments, prospects and policies. Special chapters cover restoring growth and fairly sharing the social impact of the crisis.

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Greece in Detail