Fertility rate in Turkey in decline, but still above European average: TÜİK

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ISTANBUL

Turkey’s total fertility rate, the average number of live births that a woman gives, fell to 1.88 per woman in 2019, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).

“While the total fertility rate was 1.99 children in 2018, it was 2.07 children in 2017. This showed that fertility remained below the population’s replacement level of 2.10,” TÜİK stated.

The province with the highest fertility rate was Şanlıurfa in the southeast, with 3.89 children per woman in 2019. Şanlıurfa was followed by another southeastern province, Şırnak, with 3.16 children, and the eastern province of Ağrı with 3.16 children and Muş with 3.15 children.

The province with the lowest total fertility rate was the northern province of Gümüşhane with 1.33 children. Gümüşhane was followed by the Aegean province of Kütahya, with 1.34 children and the northwestern province of Edirne with 1.35 children.

The total fertility rate of Turkey is higher than the fertility rates of the 28 member states of the European Union (EU).

In the EU 28, the country with the highest total fertility rate in 2018 was France with 1.88 children and the country with the lowest total fertility rate was Malta with 1.23 children.

According to the latest World Bank data, the world’s total fertility rate was 2.3 in 2018.

TÜİK said the highest age specific fertility rate was seen in the 25-29 age group.

“The number of live births was 122 per thousand women in 25-29 age group in 2019, while the highest rate was 144 per thousand women in 20-24 age group in 2001,” it added.

These statistics showed that the fertility occurred in the older ages of the woman over the years.

The number of live births dropped to 1.18 million last year compared to 1.29 million in the previous year.

“Some 51.3 percent of live born babies were boys and 48.7 percent were girls,” it said.

The average age of women who gave birth was 28.9 last year, up from 28.7 the previous year.

“On the other hand, mother’s mean age at first birth was 26.4 in 2019, down from 26.7 in 2001. A mother’s age at first birth is an important determinant of the overall level of fertility since early childbearing generally leads to a larger family size compared to later onset of childbearing,” TÜİK stated.

Early this year, TÜİK said Turkey’s population was 83.1 million at the end of 2018, with an annual growth rate of 1.43 percent.

Last year, the statistics authority forecast the country’s total population to cross 100 million in 2040.

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