Greek media are reporting that business at fertility clinics is down an estimated 50 percent compared to 2008 because Greeks feel they can't afford to raise children, or more than one child.
About five percent of births are estimated to be in vitro, though accurate industry figures do not exist. Despite the fact that live births of naturally conceived babies are declining, the fact that Greeks are also turning away from in vitro fertilisation shows that the decline is due to economic reasons.
Births in 2015 numbered just under 92,000 compared to 118,000 in 2008. Four years ago, they fell below the number of deaths, meaning that Greek society is shrinking.
There is a second reason for shrinkage: Greeks are emigrating. About 45,000 more people left the country in 2015 than took residence in it. Emigration rates have accelerated since the onset of austerity in 2010 (see table below). Since then, assuming 2015 trends continued in 2016, an estimable 700,000 people have left, with another 400,000 taking up residence.
|Source: Hellenic Statistical Authority, ELSTAT, 1 Jan 2017|