World Bulletin/News Desk
A total of 59 percent of Turkey's population belongs to the middle class, and members of this group are careful in their spending and pious, according to a survey recently conducted by Ipsos KMG.
The results of the survey, which were published in the Radikal daily on Monday, show that 43.5 million members of Turkey's population of 74.7 million are of the middle class, a number that has risen by 1.9 million in the last year.
Ipsos KMG, a leading global survey-based market research company, conducts surveys in Turkey biennially to ascertain changes in the middle class. It polled 16,000 people over the age of 14 for its latest survey.
According to the survey, religion is important for the middle class in Turkey: 85 percent of the middle class thinks religion gives them peace; 67 percent find that religious beliefs give direction to the lives; and 72 percent said they comply with the rules of their religion.
Regarding women's participation in the workforce, 74 percent said both women and men should contribute to the family budget; 68 percent said women should be more active in work life; and 64 percent said women should work only after they get permission from their husbands.
Although middle-class people said they spend a lot of time in shopping centers, 67 percent said they pay attention to how much they spend and do not buy things they don't need. Price is the most important criterion for 61 percent whey they shop.
How is the middle class determined?
Those who can spend more than $10 daily are regarded as middle class according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) information on purchasing power parities. Apart from the place or neighborhood where a person lives, researchers can include individuals in the middle class by looking at the brand of automobile they drive, the features of the television in their home, their frequency of visits to shopping centers, their frequency of visits abroad, etc.
According to the Ipsos KMG survey, activities done by the middle class most include watching TV, visiting relatives, cooking and spending time with friends at home. The activities carried out by middle-class people not so frequently include reading magazines, going to the opera or ballet, traveling abroad and going to the theater. Fifty-eight percent of middle-class people do not have driver's licenses, 87 percent do not have passports and 68 percent do not have credit cards.
Ipsos KMG Social Research Institute General Director Tonguç Çoban told Radikal that the reason behind the growth of the Turkish middle class is the growth of the economy. He said the spread of economic growth beyond the big cities to all Anatolian provinces is responsible for the expansion of the middle class.Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Mayıs 2012, 15:44