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macrohistory & world report

Republic of Cyprus

Cyprus

Cyprus, in the northeast Mediterranean Sea, near Turkey and Syria

World Factbook as of November 2014: "The area of the Republic of Cyprus under government control has a market economy dominated by the service sector, which accounts for four-fifths of GDP. Tourism, financial services, and real estate have traditionally been the most important sectors. Cyprus has been a member of the European Union (EU) since May 2004 and adopted the euro as its national currency in January 2008. During the first five years of EU membership, the Cyprus economy grew at an average rate of about 4%, with unemployment between 2004 and 2008 averaging about 3%. An overextended banking sector with excessive exposure to Greek debt resulted in a contraction in economic growth. Two of Cyprus' biggest banks were among the largest holders of Greek bonds in Europe and had a substantial presence in Greece through bank branches and subsidiaries. Following numerous downgrades of its credit rating, Cyprus lost access to international capital markets in May 2011. The economy contracted by an accumulated 8.2% between 2009 and 2013 and is not expected to return to positive growth before 2015. Unemployment is currently over 17% and expected to reach 19% in 2014."

Public debt
2011: 66.8% of GDP )
2010: 61.1% of GDP
2009: 52.4% of GDP

Economic growth rate
2011: 0%
2010: 1%
2009: -1.7%

Unemployment
2011: 5.1%

Value Added Tax: 17%

Income Distribution – GINI index
Ranks 121st among 140 countries (lower rank number is less equal).

Health expenditures
2009: 6%

People

Living in an urban area
2010: 70%

Ethnic groups
2001: Greek 77%, Turkish 18%, other 5%

Religions
Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other (includes Maronite and Armenian Apostolic) 4%

Migration rate
2012 estimate: More people arriving than leaving. A net gain of 10.75 persons per 1,000 population. Cyprus has been attracting immigrants from many countries, enhanced by its accession to the European Union. Most of the immigrants are from Greece. Some come from Russia, Sri Lanka, Britain, Bulgaria and Romania.

Density in 2005: 84.4 persons per square kilometer.

Geography

Island in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey. Capital: Nicosia. Turkish Cypriot areas include Kyrenia, all but a small part of Famagusta, and small parts of Nicosia (Lefkosia).

Government

A republic, the president, elected by popular vote to a five-year term. Capital: Nicosia

2011: The Republic of Cyprus has legal claim to sovereignty over the entire island of Cyprus and its surrounding waters except for the areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which contain British military bases. About 36% of the island's area, in the north, calls itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and is recognized only by Turkey.

Recent History

Received independence from the British in 1960. Divided between Greeks and Turks. UN peacekeepers arrived in 1964. In 1983, the Turkish-held area declared itself the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which was recognized only by Turkey. Greek Cypriots controlled the only internationally recognized government.

On May 1, 2004, the Greek controlled area, the Republic of Cyprus, joined the European Union. Every Cypriot was to have the status of a European citizen. EU laws, however, will not apply to the Turkish sector in north Cyprus. The Greek Cypriots have been trying to encourage the Turkish Cypriots to unite the island.

SOURCES:
The World Factbook

Copyright © 2009-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.