Turkey's child population in decline, study indicates

ANKARA - Turkey is facing the risk of having an aged population in the decades to come, according to a report published by the country's statistics authority, TurkStat. 

The volume of children in the country's population currently stands at 29.7 percent, compared to 45 percent in 1935 -- the first years of modern Turkey, according to the report released Wednesday.

The percentage is projected to fall to 25.7 percent by 2023, 19.1 percent by 2050 and 17.6 percent by 2075, said the report, released on UN Children's Day which is being marked across the country.

TurkStat's data echoes the long-standing concerns of Turkey´s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who frequently repeats his call to Turkish families to have at least three children in order to prevent Turkey's population from aging.

TurkStat estimated Turkey's population -- 76,667,864 at the end of 2013 -- included 22,761,702 children, defined by the UN as people under the age of 17.

According to the report, urbanization, the rising educational attainment of women and their active participation in working life, had caused a reduction in fertility, postponement of births and decrease in total fertility rates. The changes had decreased the proportion of children in the total population, TurkStat said.

However, Turkey's proportion of children was the highest among European Union members, while the lowest was in Germany, with 16 percent.

Children comprised 22.2 percent of the population in France, 21.2 percent in Britain, 20.2 percent in Sweden, 17.6 percent in Greece and 16.8 percent in Italy.

Copyright © 2014 Anadolu Agency