Northern Greece

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First-level NUTS regions of Greece as of January 2015:
  EL3: Attiki
  EL5: Voreia Ellada
  EL6: Kentriki Ellada

Northern Greece (Greek: Βόρεια Ελλάδα, Voreia Ellada) is used to refer to the northern parts of Greece, and can have various definitions.


The term "Northern Greece" is widely used to refer mainly to the two northern regions of Macedonia and Thrace; thus the Thessaloniki-based Ministry for Macedonia and Thrace was known as "Ministry for Northern Greece" until 1988. The term may also, according to context, incorporate the region Epirus. When Epirus is included, it is broadly coterminous with the "New Lands" (Νέες Χώρες), i.e. the territories added to the Greek state after the Balkan Wars of 1912–13, as opposed to pre-1912 "Old Greece" (Παλαιά Ελλάδα).[citation needed]

Voreia Ellada is also one of the four Greek NUTS regions, created for statistical purposes by the European Union. Until 2014, it encompassed the four administrative regions East Macedonia and Thrace, Central Macedonia, West Macedonia and Thessaly. Coming into effect in January 2015, the Greek NUTS regions were redefined, with Voreia Ellada now encompassing Epirus instead of Thessaly.[1] This NUTS division is not used by Greece for any administrative purposes.

In linguistics, Northern Greece refers to the areas where the Northern Greek dialect is traditionally spoken, encompassing in addition to the previous regions Central Greece except for Attica, and the North Aegean, except Chios.[2]

Northern Greece statistics

According to 2011 Eurostat data, Voreia Ellada, as defined until 2014, had a total population of 3,590,187 inhabitants.[3]

Geographic division Administrative divisions Population
Capital Notes
Macedonia[3] West, Central and East Macedonia 2,487,384 Thessaloniki (Salonika) It is the second largest geographical division in Greece by population, after Continental Greece. It is always included in Northern Greece.
Thrace[3] Thrace 367,393 Komotini It is always included in Northern Greece, as the eastern portion of the region of East Macedonia and Thrace. Modern Greek Orthodox Thracians speak a northern Greek dialect, while the Muslim minority inhabiting the region are divided between the Turkish-speaking Western Thrace Turks and the Bulgarian-speaking Pomaks.[2]
Epirus Epirus 357,203 Ioannina It is located in north-western Greece. It is sometimes included in Northern Greece. Epirotes speak a northern dialect.[2]
Thessaly[3] Thessaly 735,410 Larissa It is sometimes included in Central Greece. Thessalians speak a northern dialect.[2]
North Aegean North Aegean 199,603 Mytilene This region is rarely included in Northern Greece, as it is mainly included in the Aegean Islands region. Most people from these islands speak a northern as well as an eastern dialect. That's why they have been historically connected to other Eastern Greeks ("Anatolites" or "Mikrasiates") from Anatolia, along with the Dodecanesian islanders, who speak an eastern dialect.
Wider sense of Northern Greece 4,146,993 Thessaloniki (largest city) 3,947,390 inhabitants without North Aegean islands. Northern Greece in the strict sense (Macedonia, Thrace) includes 2,854,777 inhabitants.


  1. ^ European Commission (18 December 2013). "Commission Regulation (EU) No. 1319/2013 of 9 December 2013". Official Journal of the European Union. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "Βόρειες διάλεκτοι" [Northern Dialects] (in Greek). Portal for the Greek Language. 2008-06-20. Retrieved 11-04-2011. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d "Population on 1 January by broad age groups and sex - NUTS 3 & 4 regions". eurostat. 2012-11-26. Retrieved 05-12-2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

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