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IS THE LOW NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS AN OBSTACLE TO CONSUMPTİON?

Is the low number of households an obstacle to consumption?

There are 17.5 households in Turkey. The average size of a household is 4.2 people. However, this figure is very different to the one in developed countries with a similar population. In Germany, w...

Son Güncelleme: 01.04.2007

There are 17.5 households in Turkey. The average size of a household is 4.2 people. However, this figure is very different to the one in developed countries with a similar population. In Germany, which has a population of approximately 82 million, there are around 39 million households. In France, which has a population of 60 million, there are 25.5 million, while in Italy, with its population of 56 million, there are over 21 million households. The average size of a household in these countries is 2.4, The large number of households in these countries has a positive impact on consumption. This favorable environment for consumption has a positive impact on all sectors and companies.

“There are 17.5 million households in Turkey. It is significant that in France, which has about the same population, there are 25 million households. The fact that there are so few households in Turkey has a negative impact on consumption.”

These words belong to Levent Erden, Board Chairman of EURO RSCG Istanbul. He believes that the reason that the number of households in Turkey is low is that in Turkey people do not move to their own houses when they reach a certain age. This has a negative impact on consumption and many sectors. Indeed, Erden notes that only 6 million of these households have a reasonable income.

In fact, the statistics support Erden’s opinion. According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, 45 percent of the 17.5 million households in Turkey have an income of over YTL 1,000 per month. Only 15 percent have an income of more than YTL 2,000.

The number of people who live alone is very low when compared with developed countries. According to a study conducted by TGI Türkiye on the urban population aged 15 or older, only 1.2 million people in Turkey live alone. These people account for 4.03 percent of the total population. The data from the survey show that over the last five years there has been a rise of 0.5 percent in the proportion of people who live alone. People aged 55 and older account for 48.1 percent of those who live alone in Turkey. The economically active population in the 15-34 age group accounted for 33.8 percent of the total. 37.7 percent of those who live alone in Turkey are single, 47.7 percent are widowed, 10.5 percent are divorced and 3.8 percent are separated but not divorced. These figures show that in Turkey living alone is more the result of necessity, such as being widowed, rather than individualization.

There Are 239 Households For Every Thousand People
In fact, over the last five years there has not been a major change in the number of households in Turkey. In 2002 there were 16,355,000 households, rising to 17,580,000 in 2006. When we look at the size of the average household we are faced with a similar picture. In 2002 the size of the average household was 4.28 people, compared with 4.23 in 2006. Experts says that we shall be faced with a similar statistical profile in 2010. The number of households is expected to rise to 18,758.000 in 2010 and the average size fall to 4.17.

When we look at the number of households per thousand people in Turkey we see that the number is very low when compared with countries with a similar population. In Germany, which has a population of 82 million, there are 476 households per thousand people, in France, which has a population of 60 million, there are 432, while in Italy which has a population of 56 million, there are 385. In Turkey, which has a population of 73 million, there are 239 households for every thousand people.

According to the 2006 results for DAP’s ‘Life Styles’ survey, which it has been conducting every year since 1994, the increase in the number of households is directly correlated with economic developments and the impact of global culture. According to another result of the survey, the adoption of a contemporary lifestyle and a rise in the educational levels will also produce a decline in the size of the average household in Turkey. This will have a direct impact on many sectors.

How Is Consumption Affected?
In fact, it is not only in Turkey, differences in the structures of households directly affect consumption all over the world. According to data from TGI Global, in countries where 21 percent of the population live alone, there has been a major increase in sales of readymade food over the last three years. This change has resulted in producers targeting their products towards this market. The most important reason for this change is that ‘family size’ products are not appropriate for consumers who live alone. Indeed, this change creates a change not just in the foodstuffs sector but also in consumer durables and the real estate market.
The fact that those who live alone have a high consumption potential means that an increase in the number of households is of considerable interest to all sectors. In Sweden, where 20 percent of the population lives alone, 57 percent of those who live alone have their own car, 60 percent have a PC and 67 percent have a microwave.
58 percent of those who live alone in the US own their own home. HTP General Manager

Kıvanç Bilgeman says that a rise in the number of households in Turkey and the number of people living alone represents an important potential for many sectors. Bilgeman notes that every new household needs certain main goods and adds: “Every new household is a reason for growth in sectors such as white goods, furniture, brown goods and kitchen appliances.”

Şeyma Öncel Bayıksel
soncel@capital.com.tr

  

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