Turkey to be ‘too old’ by 2023, population projections say
The ratio of elderly people – defined as those aged 65 years and over – was 7.7 percent in 2013, but will rise to 10.2 percent in 2023Turkey is at risk of joining “too old” countries by 2023, as the latest population projections released by state-run statistics body indicate that the proportion of elderly people will rise to above 10 percent within 10 years.
The ratio of elderly people – defined as those aged 65 years and over – was 7.7 percent in 2013, but will rise to 10.2 percent in 2023, 20.8 percent in 2050 and 27.7 percent in 2075, according to the population projections announced by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).
Turkey, which often emphasizes that its young population provides a great labor force advantage and a bigger economic growth potential, has in fact been showing signs of getting older, with the older population growing at a considerably faster rate than the total population.
The growth rate of the elderly population was 36.2 percent last year, while the overall population growth rate in Turkey was 13.7 percent, the TÜİK stated.
According to classifications defined by the United Nations, countries that have a proportion of elderly people between 8 and 10 percent of the population are classified as “old,” but when the proportion surpasses 10 percent, the country falls into the class of “too old” countries.
According to this, based on current trends Turkey will become a country with a “too old” population, if its elderly population ratio reaches 10.2 percent as the TÜİK projection predicts.
Worldwide, the percentage of the population aged 60 years or older increased by 2 percent – from 8 to 10 per cent – in the second half of the twentieth century, according to U.N. data.
The U.N. also predicts that the twenty-first century will witness even more rapid population ageing than the past century.
In addition, Turkey’s median age is projected to rise in the coming years. Its median age in 2013 was 30.4, while the same index for the world’s population was 29.4.
The remarkable shift in the young-old balance in Turkey means an increasing number of potential beneficiaries of health and pension funds are supported by a relatively smaller number of potential contributors.
In Turkey, the old age dependency ratio, which is the number of elderly people of non-working age per 100 people, has also been rising. The figure was 11 in 2013 and is expected to be 19 in 2030, indicating that the number of old people who need to be taken care of will rise.
The TÜİK research also suggested that the most important income source of elderly people consisted of “social transfers.”
The Turkish province that had the highest proportion of elderly people was the Black Sea province of Sinop with 16.7 percent. Sinop was followed by Kastamonu at 15.7 percent and Çankırı with 14.3 percent. Meanwhile, the eastern provinces of Turkey appeared to have the lowest proportion of elderly people, as only 2.8 percent of Hakkari’s population, 3 percent of Şırnak and 3.2 percent of Van’s populations are old, the data showed.