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indicator value unit
Population 73.9 mil.
Visitors per year 28.6 mil.
Renewable energy 10.57 %

How’s Life?

Turkey has made considerable progress in improving the quality of life of its citizens over the last two decades. Notwithstanding, Turkey ranks low in a large number of topics relative to most other countries in the Better Life Index.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Turkey, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is lower than the OECD average of 23 047 USD a year.

In terms of employment, 48% of people aged 15 to 64 in Turkey have a paid job, less than the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 69% of men are in paid work, compared with 28% of women. People in Turkey work 1 877 hours a year, more than the OECD average of 1 776 hours. Around 46% of employees work very long hours, much higher than the OECD average of 9%, with 50% of men working very long hours compared with 35% for women.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In Turkey, 31% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, much lower than the OECD average of 74%. This is truer of men than women, as 36% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 26% of women. This difference is larger than the OECD average and suggests women’s participation in higher education could be strengthened. In terms of the quality of the educational system, the average student scored 455 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), lower than the OECD average of 497. On average in Turkey, girls outperformed boys by 15 points, more than the average OECD gap of 9 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Turkey is 75 years, five years lower than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 77 years, compared with 72 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 37 micrograms per cubic meter, considerably higher than the OECD average of 21 micrograms per cubic meter. Turkey also performs below the OECD average in terms of water quality, as 61% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, below the OECD average of 84%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a moderate sense of community and high levels of civic participation in Turkey, where 73% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, less than the OECD average of 90%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 88% during recent elections; this figure is higher than the OECD average of 72%. Voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is 89% and for the bottom 20% it is 84%, a much narrower gap than the OECD average gap of 12 percentage points, suggesting there is broad social inclusion in Turkey’s democratic institutions 

In general, Turks are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 68% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc). This figure is much lower than the OECD average of 80%.

Topics

OECD in Action

Education Policy Outlook: Turkey

Turkey has made significant improvements in PISA mathematics and science assessments, but remains below the OECD average in reading, mathematics and science.

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Turkey in Detail