Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece and one of the oldest cities in the world with a recorded history that goes back 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a center for philosophy, art, and learning and considered the cradle of Western civilization and democracy. Today, Athens is a cosmopolitan metropolis that is the financial, political, cultural and economic center for the country. In 2016, Athens had an estimated population of over 665,000 in the city proper or 3.75 million in the metropolitan area.
Athens Population Density
The administrative limits of the city of Athens has an estimated population of 665,000 in 2016, down from 796,400 in 2004. The city has a population density of 44,140 people per square mile (17,040/square kilometer).
The City Center of Athens is within the municipality, which is the largest in Greece in terms of population. Piraeus also forms a city center within the Athens Urban Area and is the 4th largest in terms of population. The Athens Urban Area has 40 municipalities, 35 of which are referred to as Greater Athens municipalities in North Athens, West Athens, Central Athens, and South Athens. The Athens Metropolitan Area is in the Attica region with 58 municipalities with a population estimated at 3.75 million in 2014.
Like most of Greece, Athens has a fairly homogeneous population. The main recognized minority is the Muslim minority. There are also populations of Jews, Armenians, Romani, Pomaks, and Turks in the city. Athens has a Jewish community with a long history in the region, although 87% of Greek Jews were killed during the Holocaust. The Romani are scattered throughout the country with the largest concentration in Athens as well as Thessalonica.
Athens Population Growth
The population history of Athens stretches back a long time. During the Greek Dark Ages, the city had a population of about 4,000, which grew to 10,000 by 700 BC. The area had an estimated population of 200,000 by 500 BC. In 317 BC, Demetrius of Phalerum conducted a census that placed the population of free people at 21,000 with 400,000 slaves and 10,000 resident aliens. During its classical period, Athens had a population between 350,000 and 610,000.
Athens today is experiencing some population decline, which is standard across the country, due to an aging population and a weak economy. From 2001 to 2011, the city's population dropped from 745,000 to 664,000, down from a height of 718,000 in 1921.