Istanbul, Turkey Population

Population in Urban Area, now

15,064,831

Population in City Area, 2017-09-26

14,804,116

Istanbul Urban Area Population Graph

Istanbul Population Review

Istanbul is the largest city in Turkey and the country’s financial, economic, and historic heart. This ancient city has gone by several names throughout its existence, but one thing has always been constant about the city: it’s a large population. There are currently over 14 million people living in Istanbul’s city area and over 15 million in the urban area, with that number predicted to rise to almost 18 million over the next 15 years.

Istanbul ranks as one of the world’s most populous cities and is the largest European City. Founded in 600 BCE as Byzantion, the city has continued to be a heavily populated and highly influential city that was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity.

A transcontinental city

Istanbul is located in Turkey; however, the city is in a very unique position within that country. In fact, people living in Istanbul may live in Europe but work in Asia. How is that possible? The city is on the Bosporus waterway in northwest Turkey, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. This makes Istanbul a transcontinental city, with its commercial center located in Europe and the rest of the city located in Asia. Residents from the European and Asian portions of the city are linked by two suspension bridges that span the Bosporus and there are no restrictions on the crossing.

Fifty years of growth

Istanbul is currently one of the fastest-growing metropolitans in the world. While Istanbul has always been a major city, in the past 50 years it has seen truly astronomic population growth. In 1950, the population of Istanbul’s urban area was just under a million, at 967,000 people. Since then, the population has ballooned to 15 million residents. This population growth was partly due to expanding the city limits and partly due to the influx of new Istanbulites. Experts predict that by 2035, the urban area’s population will hit almost 18 million people. With an annual growth rate of 3.45%, this isn’t surprising.

Demographics of an ancient and changing city

Istanbul’s long history has meant that it has been home to many different ethnic and religious groups over the years. Only 28% of the city’s inhabitants are originally from Istanbul. Other groups include Armenians, Arabs, Greeks, and Bulgarians. Istanbul is also home to a large Turkish population, drawn in the past 50 years by improved living conditions and employment.

Review Updated: October 18, 2019
View of Galata district of IstanbulView of Galata district of Istanbul

Istanbul Urban Area Population History

1950 967,000
1951 1,018,000
1952 1,072,000
1953 1,128,000
1954 1,187,000
1955 1,249,000
1956 1,294,000
1957 1,332,000
1958 1,371,000
1959 1,412,000
1960 1,453,000
1961 1,535,000
1962 1,640,000
1963 1,753,000
1964 1,873,000
1965 2,001,000
1966 2,137,000
1967 2,280,000
1968 2,434,000
1969 2,597,000
1970 2,772,000
1971 2,931,000
1972 3,086,000
1973 3,249,000
1974 3,420,000
1975 3,600,000
1976 3,759,000
1977 3,909,000
1978 4,065,000
1979 4,228,000
1980 4,397,000
1981 4,580,000
1982 4,774,000
1983 4,977,000
1984 5,188,000
1985 5,407,000
1986 5,624,000
1987 5,843,000
1988 6,070,000
1989 6,307,000
1990 6,552,000
1991 6,773,000
1992 6,986,000
1993 7,205,000
1994 7,432,000
1995 7,665,000
1996 7,907,000
1997 8,155,000
1998 8,367,000
1999 8,553,000
2000 8,744,000
2001 9,030,000
2002 9,370,000
2003 9,722,000
2004 10,087,000
2005 10,466,000
2006 10,859,000
2007 11,267,000
2008 11,691,000
2009 12,129,000
2010 12,585,000
2011 13,058,000
2012 13,419,000
2013 13,658,000
2014 13,902,000
2015 14,127,000
2016 14,332,000
2017 14,540,000
2018 14,751,000
2019 14,968,000

Istanbul Urban Area Population Projections

2020 15,190,000
2021 15,415,000
2022 15,636,000
2023 15,848,000
2024 16,047,000
2025 16,237,000
2026 16,419,000
2027 16,597,000
2028 16,774,000
2029 16,949,000
2030 17,124,000
2031 17,299,000
2032 17,473,000
2033 17,647,000
2034 17,819,000
2035 17,986,000

Map of Istanbul, Turkey

All Biggest Cities in Turkey