Relative Poverty and Living Standards Perspective of Income, Housing, Health and Social Security in Turkey

Article Information

Journal: Business and Economics Research Journal
Title of Article: Relative Poverty and Living Standards Perspective of Income, Housing, Health and Social Security in Turkey
Author(s): Kemal Aydin
Volume: 2
Number: 3
Year: 2011
Page: 189-206
ISSN: 1309-2448


This study assesses the relative poverty and the quality of life in Turkey. The database used for the study is based on the raw data obtained from the Turkish Statistical Institute Household Budget and Consumption Expenditure questionnaires between 2003 and 2006. In the article, those that are relatively poor according to the total annual income are illustrated in crosstabs in accordance with their socio-economic and demographic status, and then the ownership status of the houses of those in the relatively poor category is assessed, after combining the housing files with the socio-economic and demographic status, as well as other factors such as dwelling types, housing facilities, health insurance, and the social security institution they are connected to, which help to explain the relative poverty from different points of view. According to our calculations based on questionnaires completed by 51.423 households, the 14.5% that forms the lowest level of the income distribution throughout Turkey also falls within the relative poverty category. The average annual income for the 14.5% that falls under the relative poverty line during the same years is 1.828 TL. Out of the total 7.475 (14.5%) households that fall under the relative poverty throughout Turkey, 17% of the household heads live in rural areas, while 12.7% live in cities. The majority of those in the relative poverty category (40.7%) have an education level that is below primary school. The livelihood of those in the relative poverty category consists of mainly agriculture and husbandry and works not requiring qualifications. While the poverty rate for female household heads is 34.2%, this ratio is 12.4% for male household heads, and 21.5% for those over 60. Among the 15% that falls under the relatively poor category, 74% are homeowners, while 20% are tenants. In terms of the social security institutions, it is seen that 86% have no social security, while 39% have no health insurance. As opposed to unemployment, the nature of the jobs carried out stands out among the reasons behind poverty.

Keywords:Relative poverty and Turkey, Annual income, Housing utilities, Ownership of housing, Health insurance, Social security

JEL Classification:D30, D31 Full Text