The most recent census (2001) recorded a population of 10,939,605 (provisional data), noting an increase of 6.7% of the 1991 figure. The major centres of population are Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Volos, Larisa and Iraklion. Although more than half of the population is classified as urban, rural life retains a powerful influence. A strong sense of community and family ties prevail even in the busiest of metropolitan centres. The vast majority of the population speak Modern Greek, a language little changed since the Classical Period. Several very small linguistic minorities speak other languages including Romany, Vlach, or Turkish.
During the last decade, Greece has also become the host of a large immigrant population. According to the new regularisation programme enacted by the Greek state, almost 400,000 immigrants are in the final phase of their legalisation. Among those: 240,000 are Albanian citizens, 25,000 Bulgarians, 17,000 Rumanians, 11,000 Pakistanis, 10,000 Ukrainians and 9,000 Poles.
Most Greeks (98%) belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, which is governed by a synod of metropolitan bishops, presided over by the Archbishop of Athens. The largest religious minority consists of the Greek Muslims in western Thrace, whereas some islands in the Ionian and the Aegean have a significant number of Catholics. Greece's once vibrant Jewish minority was almost totally destroyed in World War II.