Society of Cyprus



Population per sq km: 126

Life expectancy: 80 years

Net primary enrolment: 98%

Population: 1,165,000 (2015); 67 per cent of people live in urban areas; growth 1.0 per cent p.a. 1990–2015; birth rate 11 per 1,000 people (19 in 1970); life expectancy 80 years (71 in 1970).

The population comprises Greek Cypriots (approximately 80 per cent) and Turkish Cypriots, and small populations of Armenians, Maronites and ‘Latins’ (the term used in Cyprus for Roman Catholics of European origin). The population of the occupied north was estimated at 257,000 in 2005, and included around 160,000 Turkish illegal settlers.

Language: Official languages are Greek and Turkish. English is widely spoken; German and French are spoken in tourist centres.

Religion: Most Greek Cypriots belong to the autocephalous Cypriot Orthodox Church; most Turkish Cypriots are Sunni Muslims. There are small religious groups of Maronites, Armenians, Roman Catholics and Anglicans.

Media: There are several daily papers, most in Greek (including Phileleftheros, Politis, Simerini) but the Cyprus Mail is in English. Of the several bi-weekly, weekly and fortnightly papers, two (Cyprus Weekly and Financial Mirror) are in English.

The public radio and TV provider is the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, broadcasting in Greek, English, Turkish and Armenian. Private radio and TV stations compete with the public networks. The switch from analogue to digital TV was completed in July 2011.

There are 383 personal computers per 1,000 people (2006).

Public holidays: New Year’s Day, Epiphany (6 January), Greek Independence Day (25 March), EOKA Day (1 April), Labour Day (1 May), Assumption (15 August), Independence Day (1 October), Ochi Day (28 October), Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day (26 December). Fixed-date holidays falling on a Saturday or Sunday are not moved.

Religious and other festivals whose dates vary from year to year include Green Monday (start of Lent, 50 days before Greek Orthodox Easter), Good Friday (Greek Orthodox), Easter Monday (Greek Orthodox) and Kataklysmos (Pentecost, 50 days after Greek Orthodox Easter).