Turkey’s elderly population has increased by 24% over the past five years, indicating that the phenomenon of aging persists in the country, according to figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).
Statistics released as part of the country’s “Respect for the Elderly Week” show that the population of people over the age of 65 in Turkey rose to 8.25 million in 2021 from 6.65 million in 2016.
The proportion of older people to the total population was 9.7% in 2021, compared to 8.3% in 2016. The majority of older people are between the ages of 65 and 74, around retirement age.
According to current official demographic projections, the proportion of the elderly population is expected to be 10.2% in 2023, 12.9% in 2030, 16.3% in 2040, 22.6% in 2060 and 25.6% in 2080 .
Women make up the majority of the elderly population as their average lifespan is longer than that of men in Turkey. The figures show that approximately 44.3% of the elderly population is made up of men and 55.7% of women.
The report highlights that the median age was 31.4 years in 2016 and 33.1 years in 2021. The median age was 32.4 years for men and 33.8 years for women in 2021.
The old-age dependency ratio, composed of the number of elderly people per hundred people of working age, was 14.3% in 2021, compared to 12.3% in 2016.
The province with the highest proportion of elderly people in 2021 was the Black Sea province of Sinop, with 20.2%. Sinop was followed by the northern province of Kastamonu, with 19.2%, and the Black Sea province of Artvin, with 17.8%.
The province with the lowest proportion of elderly people was the southeastern province of Şırnak, with 3.5%, followed by the southeastern province of Hakkâri, with 3.9%, and Şanlıurfa, with 4, 0%.
Meanwhile, in 2021, there were 5,859 centenarians in Turkey, and most were in Istanbul, the country’s most populous city.
The figures also revealed that 1.56 million elderly people live alone in Turkey. According to statistics, 74.9% of seniors living alone were women, while 25.1% were men.
Burdur, a relatively quiet province in southwestern Turkey, has the highest rate of elderly people living alone.
Meanwhile, Turkey ranked 68th out of 167 countries by proportion of elderly population in 2021, while Monaco, Japan and Italy topped the list of countries with the highest elderly population.