The birth rate in Greece, among the lowest in Europe, has grown slightly, but not enough to offset a rapidly aging population, the national statistics service said Monday.
For the first time since 1995, the number of births in Greece surpassed that of deaths in 2005 and in 2006, the statistics body ESYE said in a statement.
The birth rate fell to its lowest levels in 2001, when there were 9.3 births for every thousand people.
The fertility rate also increased slightly to 1.41 in 2006 (from 1.34 in 2005 and 1.32 in 1995). This is a theoretical rate calculated from the number of children born per woman of child-bearing age.
Greece's population, almost 11.2 million in 2006, has been increasing mainly due to immigration. Those over 65 however, continue to represent a growing portion of the population, representing 18.5 percent in 2006.
Newborns to 14-year-olds make up only 14.3 per cent of the population.
Meanwhile, life expectancy in the country has extended two years since 1995 -- from 75 to 77 for men, and 80 to 82 for women.
By 2050, 31.5 per cent of Greece's population will be over the age of 65, 12 per cent will be children, while the remaining 56.4 per cent will be between 15 and 64 years of age, according to ESYE's predictions.