Birth rate higher in poorer provinces
Turkish women are having more babies in the southeast of the country, with 27.1 percent of all births occurring there in 2011, while the western Marmara region only accounts for 11.5 percent of births, according to statistics revealed by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).
There was a total of 1.23 million births in Turkey in 2011, a slight drop from the 1.25 million in 2010, according to the data. Of the babies born last year, 51 percent were male, while 49 percent were female. The crude birth, or the rate of babies per 1,000 people, also dropped from 17.2 percent in 2010 to 16.7 percent in 2011.
Overall birth falls
Similarly, the number of children per woman during the fertile age ranges of 15-49 fell to 2.02 in 2011, from 2.05 percent in 2010. In other words, on average, women in Turkey are having an average of two children. Women in Southeastern Anatolia, however, are having the most babies, at an average of 3.42 children each, compared to the 1.55 children per woman in the western Marmara region. Marmara is the region with the lowest amount of babies per woman. In 2011 the average age of women having babies in the country as a whole was calculated to be 27.3 years of age. In Istanbul the average age for a woman to give birth was 27.9, while this figure was 26.4 in Central Anatolia. In 2011, the most fertile age range was found to be the 25-29 age bracket, according to the TUİK data. While the 25-29 age range was the most popular age for births in Istanbul, the Marmara region, the Aegean, Western Anatolia, and the western and eastern Black Sea, the 20-24 bracket was most prevalent in the Mediterranean and Central Anatolia. In the Northeast, Central Anatolia and Southeastern Anatolia, women were still commonly having babies at 30-34 years of age, signaling that relatively older women are still conceiving regularly in these regions.
When analyzed over a ten-year period, according to the TÜİK data, the Turkish provinces that registered the highest increase in birth rates were the following: Tekirdağ (41 percent), Kocaeli (20 percent), Antalya (19 percent), Gaziantep (18 percent), Istanbul (12 percent), and Bursa (10 percent).
Conversely, the provinces that registered the sharpest drop in their birth rates from 2001-2010 were the following: Kırıkkale (-44 percent), Kırşehir (-40 percent), Ardahan (-39 percent), Tokat (-39 percent), Çorum (-38 percent), Yozgat (-36 percent), Ordu (-34 percent), Giresun (-33 percent), Gümüşhane (-33 percent), Samsun (-32 percent), Amasya (-32 percent), Sinop (-32 percent), Bayburt (-32 percent), Rize (-29 percent), Artvin (-28 percent) and Erzurum (-27 percent).
The most births in Turkey in 2011 occurred during the following months, in order of popularity: August, January, July, September and October.