12 fascinating facts about the majority of Greeks

Greece has rich ancient history and Mediterranean beauty, but lately it’s been in the news because because of its economic upheaval.

While more than 60% of Greek voters rejected a proposed bailout deal during Sunday’s referendum, the country was long divided between those who were hoping for a “yes” vote and those who were hoping for a “no.”

Still, there’s a lot the majority of Greeks have in common, from their patriotism to their willingness to spend $US5 on a cup of coffee. Here are 12 things you may not have known about the majority of Greeks.

Voting is compulsory in Greece for everyone 18 and older, but in the most recent elections for which data are available, the turnout was just 64% of registered voters.

A man lets his daughter cast his vote at a polling station in Athens.

Source: PBS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Greeks have an intense love for their country, with 71% having a favourable view of their own country; only Germans and the British were more patriotic. Sixty per cent of Greeks also think they're the most hardworking people in Europe.

Life expectancy for the average Greek is 81 years, compared to about 79 years in the US.

Greece is one of the few countries where people like Russia. Only two countries surveyed by Pew had majorities that viewed Russia favourably: Greece (63% favourable) and South Korea (53%).

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras shake hands.

Source: Pew Research Center

The Greeks also love China. Among eight EU countries polled by Pew, only Greece had a majority favourable view of China.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech on board the Chinese frigate Changbaishan at the port of Piraeus, near Athens.

Source: Pew Research Center

But the Greeks don't like German chancellor Angela Merkel. In 2012, 57% of Greeks thought she was doing a very bad job.

Greek men 19 to 45 years are required by Greek law to serve at least nine months of military service.

Greek Army officers march at the Greek Independence Day parade in Athens, March 25, 2015.

Source: US Embassy of Athens

On a scale from 1 to 10, Greeks give their life satisfaction a 4.8 -- the lowest score among countries surveyed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Greeks are frustrated with the EU, but they like the euro. In 2014, 84% of Greeks said the EU didn't understand its citizens' needs, but that same year 69% of Greeks said they wanted to keep the euro and not revert to the drachma.

Source: Pew Research

Sixty-nine per cent of Greek men, and 68% of Greek women, have successfully completed high school.

The state of Greek health generally varies by socioeconomic status: About 83% of adults with a disposable income in the top 20% rated their health as either 'good' or 'very good,' while about 76% of those with a disposable income in the bottom 20% said the same.

Patients wait in front of a medical center in Athens.

Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

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