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Mehmet Ali Eryurt

The social and economic changes that Turkey experienced in the second half of the previous century also changed the demographic structure and fertility behaviors of the society. This study evaluates the fertility transition process and changes in fertility preferences considering variations among sub-population groups. Turkey is very close to completing its fertility transition, with a total fertility rate (TFR) level which has stagnated around replacement level. On the other hand disparities among sub-population groups still persist. While some sub-population groups have already completed their fertility transition by decreasing their fertility below two children, some others are still at “mid/late transition stage” with a TFR above three children. Accordingly, the relationship between actual and desired fertility differs among sub-population groups. While sub-population groups at “mid/late transition stage” have more children than desired, sub-population groups at the “late transition and post-transition stage” have fewer children than they desire. The study suggests population policies that take into account the varying needs of sub-population groups.