It has an average population density of 92 persons per km². The proportion of the population residing in urban areas is 75.5%. People within the 15–64 age group constitute 67% of the total population, the 0–14 age group corresponds 26% of the population, while 65 years and higher of age correspond to 7% of the total population.
Life expectancy stands at 71.1 years for men and 75.3 years for women, with an overall average of 73.2 years for the populace as a whole. Education is compulsory and free from ages 6 to 15. The literacy rate is 96% for men and 80.4% for women, with an overall average of 88.1%. The low figures for women are mainly due to the traditional customs of the Arabs and Kurds who live in the southeastern provinces of the country.
Article 66 of the Turkish Constitution defines a "Turk" as "anyone who is bound to the Turkish state through the bond of citizenship"; therefore, the legal use of the term "Turkish" as a citizen of Turkey is different from the ethnic definition. However, the majority of the Turkish population are of Turkish ethnicity.
Other major ethnic groups (large portions of whom have been extensively Turkicized since the Seljuk and Ottoman periods) include the Abkhazians, Adjarians, Albanians, Arabs, Assyrians, Bosniaks, Circassians, Hamshenis, Kurds, Laz, Pomaks, Roma, Zazas and the three officially recognized minorities (per the Treaty of Lausanne), i.e. the Armenians, Greeks and Jews. Signed on January 30, 1923, a bilateral accord of population exchange between Greece and Turkey took effect in the 1920s, with close to 1.5 million Greeks moving from Turkey and some 500,000 Turks coming from Greece.
Minorities of West European origin include the Levantines (or Levanter, mostly of French, Genoese and Venetian descent) who have been present in the country (particularly in Istanbul and İzmir) since the medieval period.
The Kurds, a distinct ethnic group concentrated mainly in the southeastern provinces of the country, are the largest non-Turkic ethnicity, estimated at about 18% of the population. Minorities other than the three officially recognized ones do not have any special group privileges, while the term "minority" itself remains a sensitive issue in Turkey. Reliable data on the exact ethnic repartition of the population is not available since the Turkish census figures do not include statistics on ethnicity.
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