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Türkiye’s population to fall below 50M by 2100, experts spot historic decline

Türkiye's population to fall below 50M by 2100, experts spot historic decline
By Newsroom
Jul 11, 2024 11:36 AM

Türkiye’s population growth rate has dropped to its lowest level in the history of the Republic.

Experts predict that the population, which is currently just over 85 million, will reach approximately 88 million by the 2040s before entering a declining trend.

By the 2070s, the population is expected to fall to around 70 million, and by 2100, it could drop below 50 million.

Fertility rates, urban trends

Hacettepe University’s Population Studies Institute Professor, Dr. Mehmet Ali Eryurt, highlighted that the birth rate in Türkiye has fallen to 1.51 children per woman.

This trend, observed since 2014, saw the birth rate drop below the replacement level by 2017. Major cities like Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir have even lower rates at 1.2 children per woman, a trend expected to continue nationwide.

Comparative international trends

Eryurt noted similar patterns in countries like Spain and Italy, where birth rates decreased from 1.5 to 1.2 children per woman within a decade. He projects that Türkiye will follow this trajectory, with birth rates stabilizing at 1.2 children per woman.

Age demographics, workforce implications

The projection indicates a significant reduction in the population under 15, expected to drop to 10 million by 2050 and to 4 million by 2100.

The working-age population (15-64) is projected to remain around 60% until 2050 but will decline to 50% by 2100, with numbers decreasing from 41 million in 2075 to 24 million in 2100.

In contrast, the elderly population will see a rapid increase, with projections suggesting that by 2100, 40% of the population will be over 65 years old.

Inverted population pyramid

Dr. Eryurt emphasized that Türkiye will experience a reversal of its population pyramid, with the oldest age groups becoming the most populous by 2100, a stark contrast to the 1960s-70s.

Factors behind declining birth rates

Dr. Eryurt pointed out that 45% of women in Türkiye have fewer children than desired, a figure that rises to 60% among university graduates and working women.

He stressed the need for policies to enable couples to have the desired number of children at their preferred times.

Policy recommendations

To address declining birth rates, Eryurt suggested several measures:

  • Reducing women’s care burden: Expanding early childhood care and increasing the quality and affordability of childcare services.
  • Extended maternity leave: Increasing maternity leave to one year, with the first six months fully paid and the option for either parent to take the second six months.
  • Financial incentives: Providing “baby bonuses” to help cover costs such as formula, nutrition, and diapers.
Last Updated:  Jul 11, 2024 11:40 AM