Turkey faces decrease in country’s birth rate statistics

by Daily Sabah

The latest statistics published by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) on Thursday justify President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s famous advice to newlywed couples: Have at least three children.

Figures regarding family size and birth rate indicate the worrying aging trend of the population, which still boasts a high rank in the list of countries with a young population. The 2021 statistics of TurkStat showed the number of live births in the country was 1.07 million, while the total fertility rate was 1.70 children. Fertility rate refers to the average number of live births that a woman would have in her reproductive life (usually between the ages of 15 and 49). This rate was 2.38 children in 2001. TurkStat says the fertility rate remained below the population’s replacement level of 2.10. Replacement level means the fertility rate to sustain the average size of the population in any given country.

The highest fertility rate was once again in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, with 3.81 children. Şanlıurfa, along with other southeastern provinces, usually scores high in this category as home to traditionally large families. Indeed, Şırnak and Mardin, other southeastern provinces, followed it with high fertility rates, at 3.18 and 2.78, respectively.

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