Population matters

Overview

Information about a country's population, growth, its characteristics, how and where people live and its physical resources is vital to plan, formulate and implement policy. In order to collect such data, fill in the gaps and do analysis, governments need capacity and skills in demographic and statistical methods.

Overview

Information about a country's population, growth, its characteristics, how and where people live and its physical resources is vital to plan, formulate and implement policy. In order to collect such data, fill in the gaps and do analysis, governments need capacity and skills in demographic and statistical methods.

There have been significant improvements in the collection and analysis of data on population, youth, gender and sexual and reproductive health in Turkey. However, there is still limited data specific to the most vulnerable populations which hampers the process of development of evidence-based policies and programmes targeting these population groups.

In the context of the 6th Country Programme (2016-2020), UNFPA in Turkey is working with the Government, universities and civil society in order to provide in depth data analysis and evidence based policy formulation on population dynamics, sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and humanitarian issues.

Guided by the principles of International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action, ICPD Beyond 2014 Framework and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, UNFPA advocates for, engages in policy dialogue and provides technical assistance in: 

i) generating data, impact analysis, dissemination and use for informed policy development on population dynamics, sexual and reproductive health, ageing, youth and gender, with particular focus on vulnerable groups;

ii) strengthening institutions and partnerships for evidence based policy making;

iii) strengthening national institutions and civil society for promotion of the UNFPA mandate in the 2030 Development Agenda.

Population Trends

Turkey is the 18th most populous country in the world and the second in Europe with a population of around 79 million[1][2]. With almost 3 million people living under temporary protection in Turkey due to the Syrian crisis, the total population residing in the country exceeds 82 million[3].

The fertility has stabilized slightly over the replacement level; child and infant mortality rates have decreased significantly in Turkey over the last decade. Although the population growth has also decreased; total population continues to grow by around one million people each year. The population of Turkey is expected to reach its most populous stage around 2050[4]

Children and young people constitute 41% of Turkey’s population. When compared to EU countries, Turkey is the country with the highest young population with 16.5 per cent. 24 percent of Turkey’s population is under the age of 15; 8 percent is aged 65 and above and 68 percent is between the age of 15-64 (working age population)[5]. Turkey is a country that is undergoing demographic transition period. The one-time opportunity and very important stage to strengthen the investments made in young people is still open in Turkey[6]

Around 6 million people (8% of the population) are above the age of 65 in Turkey. The size of elderly population will increase significantly until 2050 regardless of fertility[7].


[1] United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Population Division. World Population Prospects, the 2015 revision. [accessed: 24.08.2016] https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/Download/Standard/Population/

[2] Turkish Statistical Institute. Address-Based Population Registration System 2015. [accessed: 24.08.2016] http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/HbGetirHTML.do?id=21507

[3] Ministry of Interior Directorate General of Migration Management. [accessed: 24.08.2016] http://www.goc.gov.tr/icerik6/gecici-koruma_363_378_4713_icerik

[4] Population Association and UNFPA. (2016). Current Overview of Turkey’s Population. Ankara

[5] Turkish Statistical Institute. Address-Based Population Registration System 2015. [accessed: 24.08.2016] http://www.turkstat.gov.tr/HbGetirHTML.do?id=21507

[6] Population Association and UNFPA. (2016). An Overview of Turkey’s Young Population. Ankara

[7] Population Association and UNFPA. (2016). Current Overview of Turkey’s Population. Ankara