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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, as shown by the fact that it ranks close to the average in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.

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 19 095 USD a year, less than the OECD average of 23 938 USD 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 51% of people aged 15 to 64 in Greece have a paid job, below the OECD employment average of 65%. Some 61% of men are in paid work, compared with 42% of women, suggesting that women encounter difficulties in balancing family and career. People in Greece work 2 034 hours a year, more than the OECD average of 1 765 hours. Another key measure, however, is how many people work very long hours. Almost 6% of employees work very long hours, lower than the OECD average of 9%, with 7% of men working very long hours compared with 4% for women.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In Greece, 67% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, less than the OECD average of 75%. This is equally true of men and 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 79 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, 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 66% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, below the OECD average of 84%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a moderate sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in Greece, where 68% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, lower than the OECD average of 89%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 62% during recent elections, below the OECD average of 72%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 70% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 58%, slightly broader than the OECD average gap of 11 percentage points.


In general, Greeks are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 52% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc.) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc.). This figure is lower than the OECD average of 76%.

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.

Read this report

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Greece in Detail