The highest average annual income in Turkey is earned in its largest city Istanbul, which is also the region with the highest levels of income inequality, according to Turkish Statistical Institute’s data from 2018. The highest poverty rate was found to be just northwest of Istanbul in the region of Tekirdağ, Edirne and Kırklareli.
Based on its 2018 income and living conditions survey, TurkStat calculated the median annual household disposable income in Turkey to be 24,199 Turkish liras ($4,576).
The region with the highest disposable income was Istanbul with TL 34,912 ($6,102). Tekirdağ, Edirne and Kırklareli provinces in northwest Turkey followed with TL 29,952. The capital Ankara came in next with TL 29,847 as the average annual household disposable income.
The regions with the lowest disposable income were Van, Muş, Bitlis and Hakkari in eastern and southeastern Turkey, with TL 10,965. Mardin, Batman, Şırnak and Siirt followed with TL 11,204. In Şanlıurfa and Diyarbakir, also in the southeast, the average annual disposable income was TL 11,357.
Istanbul was also found to have the highest level of income inequality across all the provinces of Turkey.
Assessed in terms of a Gini coefficient, where numbers closer to one indicate higher income inequality and numbers closer to zero indicate lower inequality, Istanbul measured at 0.444. Adana and Mersin in southern Turkey followed with 0.402, and Tekirdağ, Edirne, Kırklareli in northwestern Turkey measured at 0.401.
The regions with the lowest income inequality were Malatya, Elazığ, Bingöl and Tunceli with 0.305 and Zonguldak, Karabük and Bartın in the western Black Sea region with 0.308. Erzurum, Erzincan, Bayburt in eastern Turkey also ranked low with 0.313.
TurkStat also calculated the relative at-risk-of-poverty rate for each region, based on the poverty threshold set at 50% of the median household disposable median income of each region.
Tekirdağ, Edirne and Kırklareli provinces were found to have the highest rate at 13.5%, followed by Istanbul and Adana and Mersin with 12.7%. The central Black Sea region of Kastamonu, Çankırı and Sinop followed with 12.4%.
The at-risk-of-poverty rate was lowest in southeastern Gaziantep, Adıyaman and Kilis with 5.0%, Zonguldak, Karabük and Bartın with 7.2% and Malatya, Elazığ, Bingöl and Tunceli with 7.7%.