Child population in Turkey continues to decline

ANKARA

Children made up 26.9% of Turkey’s entire population in 2021, down from 27.2% the previous year, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) said, predicting the downward trend will continue in the decades to come.

There were 22.7 million children, aged zero to 17, in the country last year, 51.3% of them were boys and 48.7% were girls.

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

Some 29.1% of the children were between the ages of five and nine, while those under the age of four accounted for 28.2%, according to TÜİK data.

People between the ages of 15 and 17 made up 16.5 percent of the child population last year.

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

Turkey has seen a fairly steep decline in the population of this age group over the past three decades. According to TÜİK data from 1990, children constituted up to 41.8% of the country’s population and 48.5% much more in 1970.

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

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

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

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

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

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