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The Population The population of Turkey is 62.8 million according to the results of the General Population Count made in November 1997. Along with the continuation of the differences among the regions, a decrease in the rate of population growth has been observed in recent years in parallel with the decrease in the total fertility rate in the country in general. Indeed, the annual average population increase was 15.1 per thousand between 1990-1997. If the population growth rate remains stable, then it is expected that the population will reach 65.3 million by the middle of the year 2000. One of the most significant attributes of the population in Turkey is the fact that it is a young population. The ratio of the population under 30 years of age within the total population is at such a high degree that its precedent is rarely encountered in the world.

Turkey is one of the countries with the most rapid process of urbanization in the world. There is a great migration into the cities from rural areas and the urban population is increasing rapidly. Even if decreases have been observed in the birth rate and the mortality rate over time, the migration movement did not lose much momentum. The population is concentrated especially in the large provinces and industrial regions.

Provinces such as Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana, Kocaeli, Bursa, Antalya and Gaziantep as industrial or trade centers have dense populations. The rapid urbanization created by the population coming from the rural areas increases the number of large cities on the one hand, and causes serious problems from the viewpoint of sound urbanization in the large metropolises, on the other.

According to the 1990 census, the general gender ratios are around 100 females to 103 males. Connected to the rapid urbanization as of the 1950s, a decrease has been observed in those living in the rural areas, particularly in the males in the young adult age groups. The geographical regions in Turkey also show different characteristics from the aspect of the distribution of population.

The population in the Western and Southern regions increased between 1975 and 1990, while decreases occurred in the Central, Northern and Eastern regions. These changes in the regional distribution of population in Turkey were caused by the migration from the Eastern and Northern regions to the Western and Southern metropolises.

Especially, the Marmara region, which is the region where trade and industry developed the most, is the region with the highest population density. Besides this, the population also became concentrated on the banks of the rivers and on the arable plains suitable for agriculture.

Turkey's population has been influenced by the fact that Anatolia has been an historical transit route. Numerous civilizations were founded on these lands and many communities of various races settled in Anatolia at different periods of time. The Republic Period, which took over this structure from the past, has displayed a unifying feature.