Turkey's population, inhabitants

Turkey is the 19th most populated country in the world

Despite demographic aging, Turkey is the youngest country in Europe, with more than 15% of its population between 15 and 24 years old.

Turkey remains the 19th most populous country in the world, even though Turkey’s population has not stopped progressively aging in recent years, according to data released this week by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) regarding the celebration on July 11 of World Population Day.

According to 2020 data, the Eurasian country had 83.3 million inhabitants, which places it in 19th position worldwide; in other words, 1.1% of the planet’s inhabitants live in Turkey. Figures that place the Turkish Republic behind its neighbour Iran, which has about 600,000 more inhabitants.

The global ranking of population is headed -as is to be expected- China, with about 1.41 billion inhabitants registered in 2020; it is followed closely by India with about 1.38 billion, and in third place but far behind the two previous by United States, with a census population of about 332 million people.

This year, World Population Day is aimed at reproductive health; at this point, and according to statistical data from TÜİK, the adolescent fertility rate among women aged 15-19 in Turkey has now dropped to only 15 births per 1,000 women of that age, compared to two decades ago when it reached 49 per 1,000. The average age of Turkish mothers giving birth increased from 26.7 years in 2001 to 29 years in 2020.

Turkey is the youngest country in Europe, but its population is aging

Another important indicator of reproductive health is the total fertility rate, which indicates the average number of children a woman has during her reproductive age, or between 15 and 40 years. The total fertility rate for women in Turkey was 2.38 children in 2001, but in 2020 it fell to 1.76 children, which nevertheless means that it is below the minimum level to maintain the population, estimated at 2.10 children per woman.

The highest total fertility rate in Turkey is found in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, with 3.71 children per woman; it is followed – also in the southeast – by Şırnak (3.22 children), and third and fourth by Ağrı and Siirt, east of Anatolia. In contrast, the lowest fertility rate occurs in two neighbouring Black Sea provinces, Karabük and Zonguldak, with only 1.29 children per woman. The highest fertility rate is among the population aged 25 to 29, according to the data.

Precisely, and despite demographic aging, the young population in Turkey – from 15 to 24 years old – still constitutes 15.4% of the total population of the country, a percentage that places the Eurasian country as the youngest in Europe; however, the number of people aged 65 and over in Turkey has grown by 22.5% in the last 5 years, mainly due to increased life expectancy and improvements in healthcare system in Turkey.