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An Aging Population Looms Large Over Turkey's Economy

MIN READMay 6, 2021 | 20:07 GMT

A child runs past people sitting near the Galata Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey, on Feb. 8, 2021. 

(OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite attempts by the government to incentivize having larger families, Turkey’s fertility rate will likely continue to decline -- weighing down its economy with older and more expensive workers, higher health care costs, and weaker buying power for younger citizens. Over the past two decades, Turkey has seen a consistent decline in the number of live births per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 to 49, also known as the fertility rate. The percentage of Turkey’s population between 0-17 years old dropped to its lowest point on record in 2020, with a decline of -5.5% in the child growth rate. This drop was likely partially due to parents delaying having children during the COVID-19 pandemic. But last year’s deeper decline only fed into Turkey’s greater slide in national fertility, which began around the year 2000. As its population ages, Turkey could have a majority non-working population before the end...

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