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Turkey saw slight decrease in life expectancy between 2020-2022

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Life expectancy in Turkey, which stood at 77.7 years between 2019 and 2021, decreased slightly between 2020 and 2022 to 77.5 years, according to data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) on Monday.

The decrease in life expectancy coincides with the coronavirus pandemic, when more than 100,000 people died of COVID-19 in Turkey, according to official figures.

The pandemic has increased mortality and premature death rates in Turkey as in other parts of the world.

While life expectancy at birth, which indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life, was 75 years among men during the years of 2019-2021 and 80.5 years among women, it fell to 74.8 years among men and 80.3 years among women between 2020-2022.

According to TurkStat’s life expectancy tables for 2020-2022, a person aged 65 has an average of 17.1 more years to live — 15.3 years for men and 18.8 for women. Women in Turkey are estimated to live an average of 3.5 years longer than men.

TurkStat, which had controversially stopped releasing death statistics during the coronavirus pandemic, published the death statistics for 2020 and 2021 in February.

After Turkey announced its first coronavirus case on March 11, 2020, the institute in 2021 stopped releasing the “Death and Causes of Death Statistics,” which came out every June, leading to the omission of the elderly death statistics for 2021.

TurkStat’s decision not to release data on death and causes of death was alleged to be an attempt to mask the true scale of COVID-19-related deaths in the country as the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government was criticized for lacking transparency in its handling of the pandemic, with the credibility of the country’s official coronavirus numbers called into question many times after the pandemic broke out.

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