By Muhammed Ali Gurtas
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's population has shot through 80 million to reach its highest level ever, the country's statistical authority said on Thursday.
At the end of 2017, the country's population was 80.8 million, with an annual growth rate of 1.24 percent, said the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
Official data showed that the population residing in Turkey rose nearly one million, up from the previous year's figure of 79.8 million.
Turkey’s male population was 40.5 million (50.2 percent of the total), while its female population was 40.3 million (49.8 percent), according to the state’s address-based population registration system.
The institute said 92.5 percent of Turkey’s population lives in cities and district centers -- up 0.2 percentage points -- versus 7.5 percent in towns and villages.
Last year, Istanbul was Turkey's most populous city with 15 million people, fully 18.6 percent of the total population. The country's top tourist draw was followed by the capital Ankara with nearly 5.5 million people and the Aegean province of Izmir with around 4.3 million.
Bursa, a prominent industrial center, was the fourth-biggest city by population with over 2.9 million, and the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya came in fifth with more than 2.3 million people.
Turkey’s least populous city was Bayburt, in northeastern Turkey, with some 80,400 inhabitants, followed by the eastern city of Tunceli (82,500) and the northeastern city of Ardahan (97,100).
TurkStat also stated that the country's working age population (age 15-64) rose 1.2 percent last year to 67.9 percent (nearly 55 million people) of the total population, while the population of under-15s was 23.6 percent, and the proportion of population age 65 and over was 8.5 percent.