Turkey’s elderly population rises dramatically in past five years, gender gap remains
Turkey’s elderly population (65 years and over) rose from 5,891,694 people in 2013 to 6,895,385 persons in 2017, spiking well above 17 percent in growth, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) announced on March 16.
While the proportion of the elderly population to the total population was 7.7 percent in 2013, it increased to 8.5 percent in 2017 with 44 percent of the elderly population male and 56 percent female, the data showed.
According to the projections for the population, the proportion of the elderly population is expected to rise gradually.
The TÜİK said the elderly population would rise to 10.2 percent of the entire population in 2023, 12.9 percent in 2030, 16.3 percent in 2040, 22.6 percent in 2060 and 25.6 percent in 2080.
In 2017, 8.9 percent of the world population was elderly.
The three countries that had the highest proportion of elderly population were Monaco with 32.2 percent, Japan with 27.9 percent and Germany with 22.1 percent, respectively, the TÜİK announced.
Turkey ranked 66th among the 167 countries.
Gender gap remains
While the proportion of illiteracy among the elderly population was 25.4 percent in 2012, it decreased to 20.8 percent in 2016. However, the gender gap is present here as well.
The proportion of illiteracy among the elderly female population was four times higher than that of illiteracy among the elderly male population. While the proportion of illiterate elderly females was 31.1 percent in 2016, this proportion was 7.5 percent among elderly males.
The gender gap was also present in terms of the poverty rate. While the poverty rate for the elderly population was 18.7 percent in 2012, this rate was 16 percent in 2016.
When the poverty of the elderly population was examined by sex, it was seen that while the poverty rate for elderly male population was 17.7 percent in 2012, this rate was 14.7 percent in 2016. While the poverty rate for elderly female population was 19.4 percent in 2012, this rate was 17 percent in 2016.
In terms of information and communication technology usage survey in households and by individuals, while the proportion of internet usage among the elderly people in the 65-74 age group was 4.2 percent in April 2013, this proportion increased to 11.3 percent in April 2017. However, it was seen that internet usage was higher among males than females. While the proportion of internet usage among elderly males was 15.6 percent, this proportion was 7.5 percent among elderly females in 2017.
Provinces with highest rate of elderly population
The province that had the highest proportion of the elderly population was the northern Black Sea province of Sinop with 18.2 percent in 2017.
This province was followed by Kastamonu with 16.8 percent and Artvin and Çankırı with 15.4 percent.
The provinces that had the lowest proportion of the elderly population was the eastern province of Şırnak with 3.2 percent. This province was followed by another eastern province, Hakkari with 3.3 percent and Van, also in the East, with 3.7 percent.
According to the data, the number of centenarians was 5,416 in 2017, constituting 0.1 percent of the elderly population.
Elderly are happier
According to the results of life satisfaction survey, while the proportion of elderly people who declared themselves as happy was 64.5 percent in 2016, this proportion increased to 66.1 percent in 2017.
Some 65.8 percent of the elderly people surveyed in 2017 said families were the most important source of happiness for them.