Innumeracy in Turkey: Misperceptions of an Emerging Immigrant Population

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Insight Turkey


SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research

Publication Date

Spring 1-2015

Abstract/ Summary

With Turkey's recent transition from a nation of net emigration to one of net immigration, it becomes important to understand how the country is adapting to an increasing presence of foreigners. The current study contributes to this end with a focus on the knowledge level of ordinary Turkish respondents regarding their immigrant population. Quantitative analysis of the 2013 Transatlantic Trends Survey indicates a high level of immigrant population innumeracy in Turkey, such that the typical citizen overestimates the foreign born population size by up to 20 percentage points on average. This innumeracy is also associated with various attitudes toward immigrants, but in the opposite direction as has been observed in the U.S. and Europe. Misperceptions are more often associated with positive assessments of immigrants, suggesting that while innumeracy exists in Turkey, as of now, it seems to be of little consequence.