The central and southeastern part of the island is occupied by Mount Saos, thus the settlements are concentrated mostly in the north and in the west, the most of them being in the west.
There are not many villages – around 20, some of them very small, with less than 10 permanent residents. The entire population of Samothrace island is 2840 inhabitants, according to the 2011 census. The density (except for the tourist season) is very low – about 15 inhabitants per square kilometer.
The island forms a municipality in the region of Evros.
The capital of the island is Chora (around 700 inhabitants). Until the beginning of the 20th century, almost all the population of the island was concentrated here.
Today the biggest village is Kamariotissa, with its almost 1000 inhabitants. It is located in the west, it is the main harbor and the only connection of the island by ferry with the rest of the world.
All settlements are connected by the two main roads which start from Kamariotissa, one going to the east and the other to the south.
The biggest villages are also located in the west – Alonia, Lakkoma and Profitis Ilias, which have more than 200 inhabitants.
On the road which goes towards the east of the island you'll find:
- Kato Kariotes
- Ano Kariotes
- Ano Meria
And on the road to south-west:
Until recently the island was almost isolated, so it was important to be self-sufficient in terms of food. As a result, the inhabitants are mainly engaged in agriculture, stock breeding and fishing. The most important are the crops of cereal and the olive groves located in the northwest, where there is almost all the arable land in Samothrace.
In the last years, the number of tourists has increased, so during the summer a large part of the population deals with tourism.
Unfortunately, economic problems have their say here as well and cause many young people to leave the island in favor of the larger cities on the continent.