Cyprus is a divided island in the Mediterranean, with the Turkish-speaking northern part of the island currently not a member of the EU. The population of Greek-speaking Cyprus is 0.8 million, 200,000 of whom live in the capital Nicosia. The population is expected to reach almost 1 million by 2030, with the proportion of people over 65 expected to increase from 19% to 30% over the same period. A further 300,000 people live in the northern part of the island. Across the island as a whole, 77% are Greek speaking and 18% are Turkish. The Euro is the official currency in the Greek part of the island, while the Turkish Lira is used in the north. The standard VAT rate is 17%.

 Cyprus                               Capital: Nicosia



0.8 million à 1million (2030) (0.3 million in Northern Cyprus in 2011)

Proportion of people over 65 is 19% à 30% (2030)


Mostly Greek (Turkish in Northern Cyprus)


Mostly Greek Orthodox

GDP / head

€ 22,100   (EU average: € 25,100)


Euro (Turkish Lira in Northern Cyprus)



GDP growth (volume)



-0.5% in 2012 (f)

0.8% in 2013 (f)

Unemployment rate

(Feb 2012)

9.7%   (EU average: 10.2%)

Inflation rate

3.5%   (EU average: 3.1%)


Figures relate to 2011, except where indicated.                                      Source: Eurostat, Searce (2012)


Cyprus has a GDP per capita of €21,600, compared to the EU average of €24,400 in 2010. According to the European Commission, the Cypriot economy grew by 0.5% in 2011, but is expected to contract by 0.5% in 2012 (compared to the Eurozone average of 1.6% and 0.2% respectively). The inflation rate was 4.2% in 2011, compared to 3% in the EU. The unemployment rate was 9%, compared to 9.8% in the EU as a whole in 2011.

Family ties are strong in Cyprus and older family members are treated with respect. Cypriots prefer face to face meetings rather than less personal forms of contact. Although you may be kept waiting, punctuality is important. Personal relationships are important. Sometimes who you know can be as important as what you know. Expect a lot of bartering and negotiation.