The Attica region is home to Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world with a recorded history dating from around 1400 BC. The capital and largest city of Greece and the southernmost capital on the European mainland, Athens is located in the southern part of the region of Attica. Nearly half of the Greek population lives in Athens’ Larger Urban Zone, more than 4 million people, making it one of the most densely populated areas in Europe (1,540 inhabitants/km²).
Athens is a major regional transport hub for air traffic, rail, roads and boats. Athens has Piraeus Port, an important centre of the merchant marine, industry, and transportation connecting cities across within the country and abroad. The city has numerous institutions of higher education, a major centre of archaeological research, a world-renowned tourist centre with a wealth of culture including: ancient monuments, world-class museums, large contemporary exhibition spaces, art galleries, numerous cultural events. A large part of the town’s historic centre has been converted into a 3-kilometre pedestrian zone—the largest in Europe—leading to the major archaeological sites.
Attica, as with the rest of Greece, has also been facing a severe economic crisis and austerity measures. In the Municipality of Athens, average annual income per capita dropped from €24,048 in 2008 to €18,600 in 2011 and continues to decline. The Attica region is a major transport hub, including the Athens Mass Transit System and a comprehensive network of ferry links.