Are the findings of a Global Survey on Hellenic Diaspora representing the Greek Americans?

The sample included 4.000 people in Greece & 8.000 in the Greek Diaspora

The results of a survey by Kapa Research in collaboration with the Hellenic Center of Harvard University, entitled «Global Survey on Hellenism and Research in Five Continents», were presented on Thursday during an event in Washington, DC, attended by Archbishop Demetrios of American, Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos, New Democracy MP George Koumoutsakos and the Mayor of Athens, George Kaminis. The presentation was made by Kapa Research – a Greek company – analyst Gerasimos Routzounis.

The Survey was taken in two stages, the first in the Summer of 2016 and the second from March 2017 – March 2018.

The sample included 4,000 people in Greece (1st stage = 2,164 – 2nd stage = 1,826) and 8,000 in the Greek Diaspora (1st stage = 897 – 2nd stage = 7,103).

It was surprising that Greek American media was neither invited to attend the event, nor were asked for advice during the survey or before the publications of its results.

From the identity of the sample we have serious doubts if it represents the demographics of the Greek American Community.

According to the Survey, 37% of the sample is from the United States, 12% from Australia, 9% from Germany, 9% from Canada, 7% UK and the rest from 40 countries.

55% of these people was born in Greece and 45% in other countries. This data cannot represent the Greek American Community that includes 5th generation of immigrants.

The 65% of the sample holds Greek citizenship; 61% live for more than 10 years in the country of residence and the rest for less than 10.  From the latter, 57% have immigrated in the 80s or later.

32% in the sample of the people born in Greece have immigrated between 2010 and 2017. This definitely doesn’t represent the United States, were we had the smaller flows due to the strict immigration.


The Survey seeks answers on questions like:

Who are the Greeks of Diaspora?

What unites Greeks around the world?

Which ‘words’ define Hellenism today?

According to the key findings of the Survey, the Greeks of the Diaspora are:

  • – Economically active middle and upper class, well-off, and technologically literate
  • – Mostly satisfied with life and very optimistic about the future
  • – Religious and fairly close to the Church
  • – Pro-West, free-market centrists and socially liberal
  • – Lawful and respectful of institutions in their country of residence
  • – Cultural heritage, History, and Natural beauty
  • – Greek pride & deep sense of belonging to Hellenism
  • – Language – frequent use of the Greek language
  • – Family – maintaining the Greek language, history, and culture over time
  • – Orthodox faith
  • – Communication and technological revolutions
  • – Greek cuisine
  • – Crisis in Greece – feeling concerned and responsible to help
  • – Gods, heroes, philosophers, poets, places, sounds, concepts and values, that go beyond national borders, time periods, political, social and economic systems.

The data challenges some generally accepted perceptions, such as:

1.“Hellenism is weakened by the financial crisis”

  • – Data indicate that Greece is one of the most enduring brand names in the world, standing above crises of economic and political systems
  • – There seems to be an enduring myth that binds Greeks around the world: The Parthenon, the sea, Odysseus, religion, family, heroes and philosophy compose an invincible ‘capsule’ traveling through time.
  1. “The last wave of migration (2010-2017) is a national catastrophe”
  • – The term brain-drain implies an unbearable trauma;
  • – Underestimates the fact that Greek history has been shaped by the diaspora phenomenon. An inherent need of the nation to survive, both individually and collectively, has sparked several waves of migration.
  • – Even those who left recently are still proud to be Greek, optimistic, adaptive, competitive, respectful, open – all while maintaining their unique national identity
  • – Would the current structures and institutions of the Greek state be able to accommodate their skills and aspirations?
  1. “Globalization erodes national identity”
  • – Technological advances, communications and transportation revolution – all outcomes of globalized economies – seem to act as means of maintaining national identities beyond nation-state borders


Socio-economic indicators

78% employment rate

Socio-economic class

Lower/working     25%

Middle        42%

Upper         33%

What are the most serious problems Greece faces today?


1. Economy 42%
2. Unemployment 42%
3. Political system 34%
4. Corruption 29%

Before 2010

1. Economy 53%
2. Unemployment 39%
3. Corruption 34%
4. Political system 31%

2010 – 2017

1. Mentality in Greece 45%
2. Political system 43%
3. Corruption 38%
4. Unemployment 32%

Among Greek-Americans

84% positive views of the USA as a country

>75% trust in the American institutions: Education system, Military, Public services, Healthcare system, Business, the Justice system.


68% Identify themselves first as Greek and then as a national of their country of residence.

73% would support the Greek national team in a hypothetical soccer/basketball game against the national team of their country of residence.

65% say that their Greek descent has had a positive effect on their social life.

48% say that their Greek descent has had a positive effect on their professional career.


69% believe that speaking Greek is a key factor for maintaining their Greek identity

64% speak Greek every day or very often (42% among those without Greek citizenship)

55% of parents say that their children speak Greek very well or quite well

72% of those who have been to Greece, have done so to visit relatives

77% of parents have given all their children Greek names (62% among those without Greek citizenship)

61% of diaspora families own property in Greece


Among parents

71% have familiarized their children with the Greek customs and traditions

68% read/tell them Greek myths


62% among couples got married in an Orthodox church, either in Greece (34%) or in their country of residence (28%)

– 57% among those without Greek citizenship


69% get informed about current events in Greece almost every day

52% visit Greece at least once a year – only 14% of those without Greek citizenship have never visited


79% feel close to Greece today

65% feel disappointment and concern about the current situation in Greece

70% have a positive opinion of Greece as a country – while only 47% of residents of Greece do so 24% support their family in Greece financially.

Source: greeknewsonline