Essays on the Components of Demographic Change in Turkey: An Application of Decomposition Methods
Torun Alaca, Dilek
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This dissertation aims to examine the components of demographic change in Turkey using decomposition methods. Trends in mortality, fertility, and population growth are separated into their components for exploring the effect of age and socioeconomic factors to the demographic change over time. This study consists of two main chapters in essay type on the decomposition of mortality measures and decomposition of fertility and population growth measures. In the first essay, long-term mortality trends are decomposed using direct and indirect mortality estimates based on demographic surveys and censuses. In addition, data sets of Turkish Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 1993 and 2013 are used to examine the impact of social factors on mortality changes after 1990. The analysis has shown that the long-term mortality improvement was due to reductions in mortality rather than age structure. The greatest contribution to this decrease was the improvement in infant mortality rates. After 1990s, mortality levels have converged in all sub-population groups, although there was a significant disparity in age patterns of mortality. Fertility and population growth measures are analyzed in the second essay. Fertility decompositions are conducted by using data sets of Turkish Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 1993, 2003 and 2013; while indirect estimates from secondary data sources are used to decompose crude rate of natural increase. Decomposition analysis has shown that the effect of increasing age at marriage and fertility postponement was evident in the study period. In addition, fertility variation between population groups persisted, and educational level was the most significant socioeconomic factor contributing to fertility change. Although Turkey’s demographic transition is nearly completed, divergences in demographic conditions persist across sub-population groups. Some of the socioeconomic factors contributing to this divergence are discussed in this study. However, it should be taken into account that cultural and ideational factors also contribute to demographic divergence. Considering the results of this study in terms of the course of demographic change in Turkey, it can be predicted that, the completion of demographic transition in all population groups is anticipated to produce further declines in fertility, which, along with decreasing mortality, will lead to population aging.