The persistence of low fertility in a high fertility regime: the case of Istanbul
Ismet Koc, Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies
Attila Hancioglu, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
As early as the late 19th century, fertility levels in Istanbul were much lower than the rest of the country. Reliable estimates for the first decade of the 20th century show that Istanbul had comparable fertility levels with the rest of Europe at the time; less reliable estimates for the late 19th century indicate even lower fertility. Currently, although differences between Istanbul and the rest of the country have narrowed in absolute terms, there is still a significant differential; while Istanbul has below replacement period fertility (1.83), the rate for the rest of the country is close to 2.34 live births per woman. The paper will attempt to provide a detailed account of and explanations for the comparative levels of and trends in fertility in Istanbul and the rest of Turkey, beginning from the early decades of the 20th century until the 2000s, in conjunction with the initial significant presence and subsequent out migration of non Muslim groups from Istanbul during the early decades of the 20th century, rapid migration of high fertility populations to Istanbul from 1950s onwards and the current composition of Istanbul's population.