Area and Population
Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean with an area of 9.251 sq. kilometers. It has a maximum length of 240 kms from east to west and a maximum width of 100 kms from north to south. It is situated 380 kms north of Egypt, 105 kms west of Syria and 75 kms south of Turkey.
The Greek mainland is some 800 kms to the west. The nearest Greek islands are Rhodes and Carpathos, 380 kms to the west. The latitude of Cyprus is 34? 33’ - 35? 34’ north and its longitude is 32? 16’ - 34? 37’ east.
Cyprus’ population at the end of 1999 was 754.800. Population distribution by ethnic group is 85% Greek Cypriots including Maronites, Armenians and Latins and 12% Turkish Cypriots. Foreigners residing in Cyprus account for 3% of the population.
Prior to the Turkish invasion in 1974 the two communities lived together in roughly the same proportions (4 Greeks: 1 Turk) in all the six administrative districts. The capital of the island is Nicosia with a population of 195.300 in the sector controlled by the Cyprus government. It is the only divided capital in Europe.
It is situated roughly in the center of the island and is the seat of government as well as the main business center.
The second largest town is Limassol on the south coast, with a population of around 155.500. After 1974 it has become the island’s chief port, an industrial center and an important tourist resort.
Larnaca, in the south-coast of the island, has a population of 68.800 and is the country’s second commercial port and an important tourist resort. To the north of the town one can find the country’s oil refinery while to the south, the Larnaca International Airport.
Finally, Paphos, on the south-west coast, with a population of around 39.500, is a fast-developing tourist resort, home to the island’s second international airport and an attractive fishing harbor.
The towns of Famagusta, Kyrenia and Morphou have been under Turkish occupation since the Turkish invasion of 1974. The original Greek Cypriot inhabitants have been forced to flee to the government-controlled area. In their place the Turkish authorities have imported thousands of settlers from Anatolia.