Turkey’s Population Dynamics As A Candidate Country For EU Membership

Harun Uçak

Abstract


Literally, it has been accepted that one of the major obstacles to Turkey’s EU membership is in population term. There has not been any enlargement process as large as Turkey’s population as a single state in EU history before. The enlargement in 2004 which includes 10 states involved 74 million people as whole member states while Turkey’s population is 72 million inhabitants in 2007 data which is only lower than Germany’s population in all EU member states. Thus, Turkey's accession would be different from previous enlargements because of the combined impact of high population. This study compares the population dynamics, working conditions, minimum wage rates and main macroeconomic indicators between Turkey and EU member states. Turkey has young generations compared to EU countries. In the comparison of age groups proportion in total population, 0-19 age group %21,9 in EU 27 and %36,5 in Turkey, 20-39 age group is %28 in EU 27 and %34,3 in Turkey, 40-59 age group is %27,9 in EU and %20,9 in Turkey, 60 and above age group is %22,1 in EU and %9,5 in Turkey. Thus, population dynamics of Turkey could make a contribution to offsetting the ageing of EU 27 societies if the membership would occur in the future. However, minimum wage rates in Turkey are lower than many EU member states but generally higher than EU member states located in Central and Eastern Europe. Thus, immigration possibilities from Turkey can be expected to Western European Countries, but not the same direction to Central and Eastern Europe Countries. Furthermore, the process in macroeconomic indicators will be a determinant in immigration expectations while Turkey’s GDP has been grown faster than EU level recently.

Keywords: Population Dynamics of Turkey; Workers’ Remittance; Immigration; Turkish Economy

JEL Classifications: F22; F24; J11; R23; O15


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