According to the 2015 census, Greece's population is approximately 10.9 million.
Greece consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands.
The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south.
Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring a vast number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited.
Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres (9,573 ft).
The history of Greece is one of the longest of any country, having been continuously inhabited since 270,000 BC.
Considered the cradle of Western civilization, Greece was the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, historiography, political science, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama, including both tragedy and comedy.
The Greeks were first unified under Philip of Macedon in the fourth century BC.
His son Alexander the Great rapidly conquered much of the ancient world, spreading Greek culture and science from the eastern Mediterranean to the Indus River.
Greece was annexed by Rome in the second century BC, becoming an integral part of the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine Empire.