Living arrangements of elderly population in Turkey: findings of household projection

Sebnem Bese Canpolat, TurkStat Turkish Statistical Institute

Turkey is undergoing demographic transformation as in many other parts of the world. Even though the proportion of the elderly is small, and other indicators of ageing indicate that the age structure of Turkey is still relatively young when compared to the populations of developed countries, the increase in the elderly population in “absolute numbers” is significant and the number of older adult is equal to total population of some small European countries. The aim of this paper is to investigate the current co-residence pattern of the aged population and to determine what kind of household composition the old aged individuals shall live in during 2010-2050 period in Turkey. The primary data used in this study are the 1998, 2003 and 2008 Turkey Demographic and Health Surveys. The headshiprate projection method was used to determine the co-residence pattern of the elderly population. In the majority of developing countries, like Turkey, the family is trusted in meeting the needs of the elderly and also in their care. However, the families in Turkey are changing, the traditional complex family structures are eroding, and the average household size is decreasing. Changes that occur in the population dynamics affect the family and household structures in the society. According to the result of the study, at least one elderly member lives in one of five households in Turkey. It appears that the elderly member live mostly within the conjugal family households. Other common family types are simple nuclear and single person family households. The households sheltering at least one elderly continuously increase in 2010-2050 period. Five out of ten members who live in single person family households are elderly and a significant part of this population is formed by females.

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Presented in Session 102: Policy implication of population ageing