17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

Turkey's population just over 70 million, new census shows

22 January 2008, Tuesday /TODAY'S ZAMAN
The Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) has published the results of a recently conducted census, showing Turkey's population to be slightly over 70 million.

Interior Minister Beşir Atalay announced on Monday that according to the Address-Based Birth Recording System (ADNKS), Turkey's population stood at 70,586,256 as of the end of 2007. State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Nazım Ekren gave the number of third country nationals living in Turkey as 98,339, noting that minus this foreign population, Turkish citizens residing in Turkey number 70,487,917.

Ekren and Atalay held a press conference yesterday at TurkStat headquarters to announce the ADNKS results. According to the figures Ekren gave, 70.5 percent of the population lives in cities while the remaining 29.5 percent lives in towns and villages. The average age is 28.3 years; half of the country's population falls below this average.

İstanbul hosts 17.8 percent of the country's population, at a density of 2,420 people per square kilometer. Having the highest population density, İstanbul is home to 12,573,836 people. According to ADNKS, there are 35,376,533 men and 35,209,723 women in Turkey. A total of 49,747,859 people live in cities, while 20,838,397 reside in towns and villages. Ankara province is the most urbanized of all provinces with 92.7 percent of its population living in cities, while Ardahan province has the lowest urbanization rate at 31.8 percent.

According to provincial proportions of total population, İstanbul ranks first with 17.8 percent of the total, followed by Ankara with 6.3, İzmir with 5.3, Bursa with 3.5 and Adana with 2.8 percent. The five provinces with the lowest populations are Bayburt, Tunceli, Ardahan, Kilis and Gümüşhane. Bayburt is home to 76,609 people. The capital of the country, Ankara, hosts 4,466,756 people.

The average age of the population is 27.7 for men and 28.8 for women while it is 28.4 among the urban population and 27.9 among the rural population. The 15-64 age group, those of employable age, account for 66.5 percent of the country's population. The 0-14 age group corresponds to 26.4 percent of the population while the 65 and above age group makes up 7.1 percent.

The population density, i.e., the number of people per square kilometer, is 92 for the country while it ranges between 11 and 2,420 among provinces. İstanbul's population density of 2,420 people per square kilometer is followed by Kocaeli with 398 people, İzmir with 311, Hatay with 238, and Bursa with 234. With 11 people per square kilometer, Tunceli has the lowest population density in the country. The population density is 50 people per square kilometer for Konya, which has the largest surface area of all provinces in Turkey, and 215 for Yalova, which has the smallest.

Moreover, foreign nationals living in Turkey account for 14 per 1,000 of the country's population. İstanbul is their city of choice (42,228), followed by Bursa (11,495), Ankara (7,166), İzmir (6,707) and Antalya (6,343).

The ADNKS was established by TurkStat but was later transferred to the Population and Naturalization General Directorate.

Ekren noted that the population was 67,803,927 in 2000 and had increased by 4.10 percent by the end of 2007. Speaking about its impact on national income, Ekren said, "When the nominal, or dollar-based, value of national income is examined for the same period, one can see that it has increased by more than 4 percent." Elaborating on the effects of the new population figures, Demir said: "The new census figures will be taken as a basis for the next unemployment figures we will announce. Unemployment figures are calculated based on sampling. Changes in rates do not depend on population. For this reason, the rate will be the same, but quantity may change."

Balances will be changed

A number of indicators will be changed in Turkey following this recent and more accurate census. Assessments and estimates will be made in a number of fields, including income per capita, the number of deputies per province and the allotment from the central budget for local administrations.

The census has revealed that there have been noteworthy changes in the populations of urban and rural areas. In particular a decrease in population in 75 of 81 provinces was striking. Because of the visible changes in the population sizes of the provinces, indicators for these provinces may be changed accordingly. Based on the results, the administrative status of some local units may be subject to change.

Sociologist and political scientist Dr. Hikmet Aydın attributes the decrease in the population size to the eagerness in many local administrations to legally become cities or towns. Recalling that people are called to be present in their home towns during censuses, Aydın said: "Because of these fraudulent practices, Turkey's population was determined to be 67 million. Local administrations eager to receive funds in greater amounts from state budget did everything to present their population size as larger than the actual figures."

How was the census conducted?

Parliament passed a law on April 25, 2006 stipulating that a National Address Database (UAVT) that would contain all addresses of people living in Turkey be set up, that the residential addresses of Turkish citizens and foreign nationals should be identified and that the ADNKS should be established in which these addresses should be synchronized with civil registers in the Central Population Management System (MERNİS) using the ID numbers of Turkish citizens and passport numbers of foreign nationals. In this context, house numbering and address identification work was conducted to serve as the basis of the UAVT. Then, visits to these houses were made to interview the residents, and data were collected on forms. Following that, the two were synchronized to determine the population.

The number of ID holders issued by the Turkish state was 74,900,000 based on records maintained by the Interior Ministry's Population and Citizenship Services General Directorate's MERNİS. However, the exact figures on how many of these citizens resided abroad were not available. The results have confirmed that the system was not properly installed.

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