Cyprus: More people, smaller families, more homes, less holiday homes

The Cyprus Statistical Service (Cystat) has released a snapshot of the 2021 census which includes the numbers of people and dwellings (houses and apartments) for each municipality and community across Cyprus. A prior snapshot provided information on Cyprus’ household size, broken down by district. Combining the two datasets gives us a great insight into how the country has changed over the period.

In 2011 Cyprus had 840,407 permanent residents and 433,212 dwellings. In 2021, they increased to 923,272 permanent residents (+82,865 / 10%) and 492,555 dwellings (+59,343 / 14%). Household size in 2011 was 2.8 persons, compared to 2.6 persons in 2021. From 2011 to 2021 the population increased, but households (families) decreased in size.  

The tables below break down population and dwellings by district, noting how each has changed.

What is happening?

Overall Insights for Cyprus

  • The overall growth in both population (10% increase) and dwellings (14% increase) indicates a robust real estate market with expanding demand. The discrepancy between the population and dwelling growth rates indicates potential for higher density or multi-family developments.
  • A reduction in household size from 2.8 to 2.6 over the decade suggests evolving living preferences and might imply a growing market for smaller, more modern housing units or apartments, a trend often seen in urbanizing regions.
  • The decrease in the percentage of empty/second homes from 31% to 28% shows that more properties are transitioning from being investment or vacation homes to primary residences. This shift suggests potential for long-term real estate investments as more people commit to living in these areas permanently.

Population and Dwellings Growth

  • From 2011 to 2021, Cyprus saw a 10% (82,865-person) increase in its population, growing from 840,407 to 923,272.
  • The number of dwellings, on the other hand, grew at a faster rate of 14% (59,343 additional dwellings) over the decade.
  • A decrease in household size, which went from 2.8 to 2.6 persons per dwelling.

Urban Centers and District Dynamics

  • Limassol saw the most significant population growth in absolute terms with an increase of 26,908 residents, while Nicosia followed closely with 23,844 new inhabitants.
  • In percentage terms, Famagusta led with a 16% increase in its population, and Paphos was close behind with a 13% growth.
  • While the urban centers are growing in absolute numbers, other districts are growing faster in relative terms.

Household Size & Second Homes

  • The declining household size trend mirrors global patterns and could be attributed to various factors like urbanization and changing societal norms.
  • More dwellings are now permanently occupied. In 2011, 69% of dwellings were occupied, which increased to 72% in 2021.
  • Paphos and Famagusta maintained a significant percentage of empty/second homes, at 48% and 46% respectively in 2021, indicating their potential roles as vacation or investment hotspots.

Dwelling Allocation Dynamics

  • The districts of Paphos, Famagusta, and Larnaca showed the most considerable shift in permanently occupied dwellings. Paphos saw an increase of 7,002 (22%), Famagusta by 4,443 (26%), and Larnaca by 8,310 (17%).
  • Nicosia and Limassol had more stable figures. Nicosia’s permanent dwellings rose by 13,829 (11%), and Limassol saw an increase of 12,508 (15%).

Second Homes Trend

  • There’s a nationwide decrease in the percentage of empty/second homes, from 31% in 2011 to 28% in 2021.
  • Larnaca is particularly interesting: it witnessed a significant 8,310 increase in permanent dwellings but a mere 247 increase in second homes. This means while more people are making Larnaca their home, its attractiveness as a vacation or investment destination remains relatively consistent.

To sum it up, between 2011 and 2021, Cyprus experienced notable demographic and residential shifts. The nation’s urban centers, Nicosia and Limassol, continued to swell in population and housing numbers. Meanwhile, the reduced household size and an increased percentage of permanently occupied homes hint at evolving economic, social, and property market dynamics.

PS The above number has have been significantly skewed from 2022 onwards, when Cyprus saw an influx in population from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Lebanon and Israel. An estimated 30,000-40,000 persons have moved to Cyprus, primarily in the coastal cities of Limassol, Larnaca, and Paphos.

  2021 Census 
  PopulationTotal DwellingsHousehold SizePermanent DwellingsEmpty/ Second homesEmpty/ Second homes of Total Dwellings
  2011 Census 
  PopulationTotal DwellingsHousehold SizePermanent DwellingsEmpty/ Second homesEmpty/ Second homes of Total Dwellings
  Change (2021 vs 2011) 
  PopulationTotal DwellingsHousehold SizePermanent DwellingsEmpty/ Second homesEmpty/ Second homes of Total Dwellings