May 11 2018

Turkey says poverty rate falls to lowest since at least 2011

Turkish citizens at risk of poverty declined to 21.2 percent in 2016, the lowest level since records began in 2011, according to data provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute.

The rate fell from 21.9 percent the previous year, the agency said. It stood at 22.9 percent in 2011.

Turkey’s economy grew more than 7 percent last year, the highest rate of expansion in the G-20 group of industrialised nations. But growth has come at a cost – inflation stands at more than 10 percent, the lira has fallen to record lows against the dollar and about a quarter of young people don’t have a job and aren’t in full-time education.

The proportion of persons at risk of poverty in households with dependent children, or in two-person households without children fell, while it rose for retirees and single-person households, the survey showed.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government says it is presiding over a record period of growth and prosperity for Turkey since it came to power in 2002. His political opponents disagree, pointing to double-digit unemployment and the increasing wealth gap between rich and poor.