Cyprus is an island nation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. This is the third largest and most populous island in the region and located east of Greece. The island of Cyprus has been inhabited since the 10th millennium BC.
Of the 1.16 million people in Cyprus, about 300,000 live in the north, although it's believed this number has climbed to 500,000, half of whom are Turkish settlers or Cypriot-born children of settlers. There is only one city in Cyprus with a population over 100,000. Limassol has a population of 101,000, with a metro area population of 185,000. Nicosia, the capital, is divided into the North (pop 61,000) and the South (pop 55,000).
Cyprus itself is de facto partitioned into the south, which is effectively under control of the Republic and accounts for 59% of the island, and the north, administered by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The North is recognized only by Turkey. The international community considers the northern region as part of Cyprus which is occupied by Turkish forces.
Cyprus inhabitants are known as Cypriots. In 2001, the population was comprised of 77% Greek Cypriots, 18% Turkish and 5% other, with about 10,500 people of Russian origin in the nation. The Republic of Cyprus is also home to about 110,000 foreign permanent residents and between 10,000 and 30,000 undocumented illegal immigrants.
The Turkish Cypriots live in the north of the country. The villages of Pyla and Potamia are the only two in the Republic with a mixed population of Turkish and Greek residents.
Nearly every Greek Cypriot is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus. The majority of Turkish Cypriots adhere to Sunni Islam. Cyprus is considered one of the most religious countries of the European Union. 95% of the population is Christian Orthodox, 0.9% is Armenian or Maronite, 1.5% is Roman Catholic, 1.0% belongs to the Church of England and 0.6% is Muslim, with just 1.3% not stating or religion or choosing another denomination.
There is a large Greek and Turkish Cypriot diaspora in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Turkey, and Greece.