The family in crisis
The most striking aspect of the contraction in the economy is the contraction of household consumption by 8.9 percent in real terms in the last quarter. The contraction in private consumption per capita is even higher when we take population growth into account. We have seen this high rate of contraction in household consumption only in the 2001 and 2009 crises. Household consumption narrowed by 9.3 percent in the second quarter of 2001, the peak of the two crises, and in the first quarter of 2009.
The contraction in household consumption in the last quarter of 2018 is at a competitive level with the peak points of the previous two major crises. Moreover, we are at the beginning of the crisis process. The sharp contraction in household consumption indicates a widespread impoverishment. Widespread impoverishment means increasing financial difficulties, stress and anxiety within the family. We can clearly see how this development started to shake the family in marriage and divorce statistics of Turkish Statistical Institution.
The course of marriage and divorce statistics is similar to what happened in the 2001 and 2009 crises. Parallelism in growth figures is also seen in statistics about the family institution. Marriage and divorce rates, which are an important indicator of the developments in the overall structure of the society, are closely affected by the developments in the economy and welfare-poverty fronts as well as so- cio-cultural developments.
In times of crisis, the rate of marriage declines and the rate of divorce increases. Accordingly, the number of divorces against every 100 new marriages increases rapidly during economic crisis. The damage of the 2009 crisis was more severe and lasting than the 2001 crisis. In 2018, even though the crisis has not yet fully started, it is seen that the family has already experienced a tremendous shock that can compete with the 2009 crisis.
The divorce rate, which represents the annual rate of divorce per thousand people, increased by 0.18 points in 2009 to 1.58 per thousand. The divorce rate in 2018 broke the record with an attack of 0.15 points to 1.75 per thousand. There is an opposite tendency in marriage rates. In the 2009 crisis, the marriage rate decreased by 0.8 points to 8.2 from 9 per thousand. The fact that the rate of marriage slowed down significantly in 2017 and 2018 is a reminder of times of crisis.
The number of divorces per 100 marriages is helping us to see the tendencies of marriage-divorce more clearly. In the 2009 crisis, the number of divorces per 100 new weddings increased by 3.77, from 15.52 to 19.29. In 2018, it increased by 3.20 and climbed to 25.75. In 2018, there was one divorce for every four marriages. This is the record of the 18-year data series. With the increase in unemployment, high inflation, shrinking economy and deteriorating income distribution in 2019, the probability of further damage to the family is significant.