By Evie Andreou
GREEK Cypriots are a minority in Cyprus outnumbered by inhabitants in the north and immigrants, the findings of research carried out by the Institute of Demographics and Migration Policies said yesterday.
In 2011, the Greek Cypriot population was 572,000 with declining tendencies. Demographics researcher Penelope Christoforidou concluded that Cyprus’s demographic is changing rapidly due to decreased birth rates, population ageing and migration.
Birth rates have decreased to 11.3 per cent in 2011 from the 18.6 per cent in 1992 and those aged 0-15 constituted 16.4 per cent of the population in 2012, as opposed to the 25.4 per cent of 1992. The ageing population is taking its toll on the government budget for pensions and puts more stress on the working population.
Demographics have also changed due to increased numbers of immigration to and from Cyprus. In 2011, 20 per cent of the population were immigrants, a 14 per cent increase. A large number of Cypriots has also immigrated to other countries; in 2012 alone 18,105 left the island.
Christoforidou suggested that the government should introduce policies that aim to reduce the emigration of Cypriots and especially the youth. She also suggested a number of support measures that would boost births such as a longer paid maternity leave and state funded child births.
Institute chairman Ioannis Matsis urged president Anastasiades to set a census both in the Republic and the breakaway regime in the north as a priority because the knowledge of the actual population composition is a necessary prerequisite for the solution of the Cyprus problem.