Ankara is the capital city of the Republic of Turkey. The city – which was once known as Angora and Ancyra – is the second largest city in Turkey by population, trailing only behind Istanbul. The city’s urban center boasts a population of 4,587,558, while the province itself has a population of over 5.4 million.
Size and Population Density
Ankara covers a total of 9,468 square miles (24,522 square kilometers). The population density is near 531 people per square mile or 205 per square kilometer.
Population Growth in Ankara
What’s interesting about Ankara is that it was first designed as a planned city that would only have a population of around 500,000 residents. This was designated when the city was named as capital in the 1920s. While the population grew at a slow and steady pace throughout the next few decades, massive population growth occurred during the 1950s. This was because people were moving to the city for job opportunities and a higher quality of life. Planned housing was unable to be built fast enough to accommodate the new arrivals, so illegal houses began springing up around the city. Today, many of these have been replaced by public housing and compounds. The city continues to see a high rate of population growth, around 6.7% between the years 2014 and 2015. At this rate, this planned city of a half-million residents will continue to grow until it hits its next significant milestone.