Turkey’s fertility rate outpaced 27 EU member-states in 2019, even though the country's fertility rate has been on a decline in recent years, according to data released by Eurostat Tuesday.
The fertility rate in Turkey remained at 1.88, below the standard replacement level for a population at 2.1%.
According to Eurostat, 4,170,000 babies were born in EU countries in 2019, and the average fertility rate stood at 1.53 in EU member states.
France had the highest rate with 1.86, followed by Romania with 1.77, Czechia, Ireland and Sweden with 1.71.
Malta had the lowest fertility rate in the bloc with 1.14%, followed by Spain and Italy with 1.27% and 1.33% respectively.
Experts in Turkey attribute the gradual slowdown in fertility rates to urbanization, a rise in the number of women pursuing education and their active participation in the workforce, which indirectly leads to the postponement of births.
A recent study also revealed that the number of children in Turkey continues to fall. According to TurkStat statistics on children published in 2019, children, aged 0-17, now make up 22.8 million of the population, or 27.5%, compared with 29.4% in 2014. A graphic accompanying the report reveals that Turkey’s image as a young country may be history in the coming years. The child population was 45% in 1935, in the 12th year of the fledgling Republic of Turkey, and future projections show a steady decline in the coming years. It is estimated that their share of the general population will fall to 27% at the centenary of the Republic and by the end of this century, it will fall further to 19%. Still, Turkey fares well compared with European countries in which the child population’s proportion is 18.6% on average.