Year 2018: 8.8% Of Turkey's Population Is Old

In the last 5 years, Turkey’s elderly population increased by 16%. The number of educated people with advanced ages also rose in the same period of time.

Turkish Statistical Institute TurkStat announced that new figures are showing that Turkey’s population is getting older. The proportion of those at the age of 65 and above increased 16 percent in the last five years and was more than 7.1 million last year. Now, they make up 8.8 percent of the total population. More than half of the elderly people are women.

The 2018 statistics also declared that the number of educated elderly people increased in the last five years. The percentage of elderly citizens with a university degree rose to 6.2 from 4.7 % in 2017. 

The figures were released on the Elderly Week which was in mid-March. In Turkish culture and traditions, elderly people are highly respected.

Projections by TurkStat show that the elderly population will increase to 10.2 percent by 2023 and is expected to rise to 16.3 percent in 2040. According to experts in the field, this means that a decline in fertility and the availability of new treatments that increase longevity of age is expected.

Turkey is the 66th among 167 countries in terms of the proportion of elderly citizens in the total population. Along with Turkey, particularly in developed countries, the phenomenon of aging populations with the average life expectancy pushing well over 70 and even 90 in some places. Monaco, Japan and Germany lead the list of countries with the highest proportion of the elderly citizens, 33.2 percent, 28.4 percent and 22.4 percent, respectively.

This statistic has another meaning which is critical. In terms of economic growth, Turkey is dependent on a younger workforce. 

Average remaining life span when people reached the age of 65 was 17.7 years — 16 years for men and 19.2 years for women — according to figures released Monday. Women usually live longer than men and their life expectancy at birth is about five years more than them.

This reality, in fact, brings up another concern for aged ladies, which means a longer life without a companion, especially for housewives financially dependent on their husbands.  Statistics show more elderly women were living in poverty than elderly men. The likely reason for this imbalance is that most women are financially dependent on their husbands, in a country where the rate of female employment has only recently progressed and still very far behind men. 

TurkStat also statde that Sinop in the Black Sea region has the highest proportion of the elderly at 18.3 percent, whereas Şırnak and Hakkari in southeastern Turkey has the lowest elderly population at 3.2 percent.

Last Updated: 15.4.2019 10:06:03

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