Top migration hub of Turkey remains Istanbul once again


Istanbul is still a major attraction for migrants from other provinces across the country, according to internal migration statistics. However, it also sits at the top of the list for cities with the highest total of people to depart.

New released figures

The figures were released at the end of 2022 by Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) and show that over 2.7 million people migrated across the 81 different provinces. This was mainly down to education, which means that people were travelling to other cities for better schools or to attend university.

Little change since 2007-2008

There was little change in migration between provinces since the period of 2007-2008; the concrete date for 2022 showed an internal migration rate of 3.18%, and the numbers recorded in 2021 were at 3.28%. It was highlighted by TurkStat that the percentage was likely to fluctuate over the course of the coming years.

In 2021, it was shown through the data that Istanbul received the highest percentage of migrants from other cities. A total of 385,000 people joined the growing population of the city.

Arriving to the city, Istanbul tops the list

Istanbul topped the list, but was followed by Ankara, the capital, which was accommodated by over 197,000. This was followed by Izmir, the third-largest province in Turkey.

The lowest number of migrants in 2021 went to Ardahan, in the northeast of Turkey, with only around 4,000 people choosing to move there. Equally few people migrated to Kilis in the south and Tunceli in the east. Kilis had been one of the top destinations for refugees in the past few years.

Leaving the city, Istanbul tops again

Those leaving the city of Istanbul sat at 408,165 people, seeing Istanbul in at the number one spot. They were ahead of Ankara who saw 165,604 people leave. The lowest number of people to leave was 6,382, with the spot given to Bayburt, in the Black Sea region.

Reasons for leaving

People aged between 20 and 24 were the most likely to migrate and made up the largest internal migration age group. The facts can corroborate the reason for this: education at university. The statistics uncovered that aside from education, additional reasons for the migrations internally included personal reasons and seeking out better housing and living conditions.


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