Child population in Turkey continues to shrink

Child population in Turkey continues to shrink

Child population in Turkey continues to shrink

Children accounted for 26.9 percent of Turkey’s entire population in 2021, this is down from 27.2 percent in the previous year, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) has said, projecting that the downward trend will continue in the decades to come.

There were 22.7 million children, aged between zero and 17, in the country last year, 51.3 percent of them were male and 48.7 percent were female.

But, despite the decline, the child population in Turkey was still much higher when compared to the EU countries, where the corresponding rate on average was 18.2 percent last year.

Some 29.1 percent of the children were aged between five and nine, while those aged under four made up 28.2 percent, according to the TÜİK data.

Those aged between 15 and 17 accounted for 16.5 percent of the child population last year.

Projections suggest that the proportion of children with respect to the total population will further drop to 25.6 percent by 2030 and decline below the 20 percent threshold down to 19 percent in 2080, TÜİK said in a statement on April 20.

Turkey has been experiencing a rather sharp fall in the population of this age group over the past three decades. According to the TÜİK data from 1990, children constituted as much as 41.8 percent of the country’s population and a much higher 48.5 percent back in 1970.

Some 45.3 percent of Turkish families had at least one child at the time, the study also showed. There were more than 23 million households in the country in 2021.

The southeastern province of Şanlıurfa had the highest child population rate at 45.2 percent, followed by the southeastern province of Şırnak at 42.3 percent and the eastern province of Ağrı at 40.1 percent.

The three provinces with the lowest proportion of children were the eastern province of Tunceli at 17.3 percent, the northwestern provinces of Edirne at 17.8 percent and Kırklareli at 18.4 percent.

The internet usage rate among the country’s children was 82.7 percent in 2021, up from 50.8 percent in 2013. Some 90 percent of children go online almost every day, the study also showed.

In 2020, Turkey had 1.12 million newborns. The most common names given to newborns were Yusuf, Alparslan and Miraç for boys and Zeynep, Elif and Asel for girls, according to TÜİK.