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New statistics no surprise to actuaries!


The Turkish Statistics Institute (Turk-Sat) has just started to issue annual statistics concerning deaths in Turkey. None of the headline figures will come as any surprise to actuaries, although newspapers are busy reporting them. The really interesting information will be in the details, which soon will be on their website. The publication covers death figures, broken down into sex, age and region.

According to the report, 367,971 people died in Turkey in 2009.

Men accounted for 55% of the total deaths (not suprising: this is fairly typical with male mortality rates being higher than female).

Again, unsurprisingly given a qx or an lx graph, the over-75 age-group had the most deaths, accounting for 43,2% of the deaths. In European countries the percentage of deaths attributable to this group is higher, but Turkey has a very young population meaning it had fewer over 75s.

Age 10-14 accounted for the least deaths, at 0.7%.

Looking at regions, most deaths came from the Aegean Region (15.5%) and Istanbul (14.6%). The least deaths were from North-eastern Anatolia (3%). But care needs to be taken with these statistics: they are not death-rates as they do not take into account the relevant densities of population. (This reminds me of a question Professor Steve Haberman posed to our first year undergraduate class in the introduction to mortality: "If the number of 75 year olds dying on Tyneside is only half of that dying in Eastbourne, can we conclude it is healthier to live in the shadow of the ICI factory than in a beach resort on the south coast?")

In 2009, 17,354 infants died in Turkey, according to the statistics. Again, the spread between regions are 20,4% in South-eastern Anatolia, 13,8% in Istanbul, 13,1% in the Mediterranean region and only 2,3% in North-eastern Anatolia.

The newspaper I was looking at described this as "the infant mortality rate is highest in south-eastern Anatolia than elsewhere in the country". Again, this is not strictly true, just more infant deaths were recorded there than elsewhere. However, the birth-rate is higher in this part of the country, and every infant death is a tragedy.

Tags: 2009 | death | population | statistics |
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