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Cyprus Population
 
 
 

General

Greek and Turkish Cypriots share many customs but maintain separate ethnic identities based on religion, language, and close ties with their respective motherlands. Greek Cypriots comprise 77% of the island's population, Turkish Cypriots 18%, while the remaining 5% are of other ethnicities.

After the Turkish invasion of 1974, about 150,000 Turks from Anatolia were transferred or decided to settle in the north. This has changed the actual demographic structure of the island. Northern Cyprus now claims 265,100 inhabitants.

In the years since the census data was gathered in 2000, Cyprus has also seen a large influx of guest workers from countries such as Thailand, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, as well as major increases in the numbers of permanent British residents. The island is also home to a significant Armenian minority, as well as a large refugee population consisting of people mainly from Serbia, Palestine and Lebanon.

Since the country joined the European Union, a significant Polish population has also grown up, joining sizeable communities from Russia and Ukraine (mostly Pontic Greeks, immigrating after the fall of the Eastern Bloc), Bulgaria, Romania and Eastern European states.

Most Greek Cypriots, and thus the majority of the population of Cyprus, belong to the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Cyprus (Cypriot Orthodox Church), whereas most Turkish Cypriots are Sunni Muslims. Church attendance is relatively high and Cyprus is known, along with Malta and Greece, as one of the most religious countries in the European Union. In addition, there are also small Protestant, Roman Catholic, Maronite and Armenian Apostolic communities in Cyprus.

Greek is the predominant language in the south, while Turkish is spoken in the north and by some Greek Cypriots, too. This delineation is only reflective of the post-1974 division of the island, which involved an expulsion of Greek Cypriots from the north and the analoguous move of Turkish Cypriots from the south. Historically, the Greek language was largely spoken by all Greek Cypriots and by many Turkish Cypriots too, given the fact that the Greek Cypriots formed the majority of the population. Turkish Cypriots use Turkish as VO language and as a rather distinctive dialect of Turkish.

English is widely understood, and is taught in schools from the primary age. Many official documents are published in English as well as the official languages of Greek and Turkish.

Overview

Population :
788,457 (July 2007 est.)

Age structure :
0-14 years: 19.9% (male 80,273/female 76,826)
15-64 years: 68.3% (male 272,924/female 265,738)
65 years and over: 11.8% (male 40,458/female 52,238) (2007 est.)

Median age :
total: 35.1 years
male: 34.1 years
female: 36.2 years (2007 est.)


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