Demographic gaps between Syrian and the European populations: What do they suggest?


  • Mustafa Murat Yucesahin Ankara University, Faculty of Languages, History and Geography
  • Ibrahim Sirkeci Regent's Centre for Transnational Studies (RCTS), Regent's University London



Syrians, demography, fertility, mortality, demographic transition, population growth, refugees, migration, conflict


Syrian crisis resulted in at least 6.1 million externally displaced people 983,876 of whom are in Europe while the rest are in neighbouring countries in the region. Turkey, due to its geographical proximity and substantial land borders with the country, has been the most popular destination for those fleeing Syria since April 2011. Especially after 2012, a sharp increase in the number of Syrian refugees arriving in Turkey was witnessed. This has triggered an exponential growth in academic and public interest in Syrian population. Numerous reports mostly based on non-representative sample surveys have been disseminated whilst authoritative robust analyses remained absent. This study aims to fill this gap by offering a comprehensive demographic analysis of the Syrian population. We focus on the demographic differences (from 1950s to 2015) and demographic trends (from 2015 to 2100) in medium to long term, based on data from World Population Prospects (WPP). We offer a comparative picture to underline potential changes and convergences between populations in Syria, Turkey, Germany, and the United Kingdom. We frame our discussion here with reference to the demographic transition theory to help understanding the implications for movers and non-movers in receiving countries in the near future.


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Author Biographies

Mustafa Murat Yucesahin, Ankara University, Faculty of Languages, History and Geography

M. Murat Yüceşahin is an associate professor at Ankara University, Faculty of Language and History-Geography, Department of Geography, Turkey. After received his PhD from the Institute of Social Sciences at Ankara University in 2002, Dr. Yüceşahin’s major research interest focused on population geography. In 2011, as a collaborator researcher, Dr. Yüceşahin participated to the World Population Programme at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Laxenburg, Austria and worked on Turkey’s fertility, mortality and migration trends and sub national level population projection. His current research primarily focuses on feminist geography, population geography, and urban social geography. In addition to his many currently academic works, Dr. Yüceşahin is a managing editor of the International Journal of Migration (Göç Dergisi).

Ibrahim Sirkeci, Regent's Centre for Transnational Studies (RCTS), Regent's University London

Prof Ibrahim Sirkeci is Professor of Transnational Studies and Marketing and the Director of the Regent's Centre for Transnational Studies at Regent's University London, UK . (RCTS) at Regent’s University London (UK). Sirkeci holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Sheffield (UK) and a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from Bilkent University (Turkey). Prior to joining Regent's University London in 2005, he worked at the University of Bristol. His main areas of expertise are human mobility, Transnational Marketing and consumers, minorities, labour markets, remittances, and integration. He is the editor of several journals including Migration Letters and Remittances Review. Key books he authored include Little Turkey in Great Britain (Transnational Press London, 2016), Transnational Marketing and Transnational Consumers (Springer, 2013), Migration and Remittances during the Global Financial Crisis and Beyond (World Bank, 2012 with J. Cohen and D. Ratha), and Cultures of Migration, the Global Nature of Contemporary Mobility (University of Texas Press, 2011 with J. Cohen). He has chaired The Migration Conference series since 2012.




How to Cite

Yucesahin, M. M. and Sirkeci, I. (2017) “Demographic gaps between Syrian and the European populations: What do they suggest?”, Border Crossing. London, UK, 7(2), pp. 207–230. doi: 10.33182/bc.v7i2.462.