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Ionian Islands (region)

Ionian Islands
Περιφέρεια Ιονίων Νήσων
Administrative region of Greece
Location of Ionian Islands

Coordinates: 38°42′N 20°18′E / 38.7°N 20.3°E / 38.7; 20.3Coordinates: 38°42′N 20°18′E / 38.7°N 20.3°E / 38.7; 20.3{{#coordinates:38.7|20.3|type:city(207855)_region:GR|||||| |primary |name=

Country 23x15px Greece
Decentralized Administration Peloponnese, Western Greece and the Ionian
Capital Corfu
Regional units
 • Regional governor Theodoros Galiatsatos (SYRIZA)
 • Total 2,306.94 km2 (890.71 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 207,855
 • Density 90/km2 (230/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
ISO 3166 code GR-F

Ionian Islands (Greek: Περιφέρεια Ιονίων Νήσων) constitute one of the thirteen regions of Greece. The modern region of the Ionian Islands does not include the island of Kythera, which historically belonged to it, but now belongs to Attica.


The population of the Ionian Islands in 2011 was 207,855, decreased by 1,50% compared to the population in 2001. Nevertheless, the region remains the third by population density with 90.1/km² nationwide, well above the national of 81.96/km². The most populous of the major islands is Corfu with a population of 104,371, followed by Zante (40,759), Cephalonia (35,801), Leucas (23.693) and Ithaca (3.231). The foreign-born population was in 2001 19,360 or 9.3%, the majority of which was concentrated in Corfu and Zante. Most of them originate from Albania (13,536). The fertility rate for 2011 according to Eurostat was 1.35 live births per woman.[2]


The regional Gross Domestic Product for 2010 was 4,029 millions euros. The GDP per capita for the same year was 18,440 euros per capita which was lower than the national median of 20,481. However, the GDP per capita of Cephalonia and Zante, 23,275 and 24,616 respectively, was much higher than the national figure.[3] Additionally, unemployment for 2012 was 14.7, the lowest among all Greek regions, and much lower compared to the national unemployment of 24.2.[4]


The region is a popular tourist destination. The airports of Corfu, Zante and Cephalonia were in the top ten in Greece by number of international arrivals, with 1,386,289 international arrivals for 2012, with Corfu being the sixth airport by number of arrivals nationwide, while Zante and Cephalonia also being in the top ten. Cephalonia Airport had the biggest increase nationwide by 13.11% compared to 2011, while Corfu had an increase of 6.31%.[5][6]


The region was established in the 1987 administrative reform, comprising the prefectures of Corfu, Kefalonia and Ithaca, Lefkada and Zakynthos.

With the 2010 Kallikratis plan, its powers and authority were redefined and extended. Along with West Greece and Peloponnese regions, it is supervised by the Decentralized Administration of the Peloponnese, West Greece and the Ionian Islands based at Patras. The region is based at Corfu and is divided into 5 regional units:[7]

The region's governor is, since 1 September 2014, Theodoros Galiatsatos, who was elected in the May 2014 local administration elections for the Coalition of the Radical Left party.

Historical population

Year Population Density
1862 228,631 87.8/km²
1864 229,516
1879 244,433 106.0/km²
1889 238,783
1896 282,853
1907 254,494
1920 224,189 97.1/km²
1928 213,157 92.4/km²
1940 219,562 95.1/km²
1951 228,597 99.0/km²
1961 207,061 89.7/km²
1971 184,443
1981 182,651 79.1/km²
1991 193,734 83.9/km²
2001 212,984 92.3/km²
2011 207,855 90/km²


External links