The 80. edition of Antwerp Book Fair (Boekenbeurs) has finished recently. Shortly after that, another book fair, 35. Istanbul Book Fair took place. I was curious to compare the number of visitors, and especially the percentage of book fair visitors by taking the population of the city into account.
Istanbul is home to about 15 million people. Of these 15 million people, 558 thousand visited the fair in 9 days. On the other hand, the population of Antwerp is about 500 thousand people, and out of that, 170 thousand people visited the fair in 10 days on average in 2010 to 2012. In terms of percentage, the picture looks like the following:
In other words, 3.7% of Istanbul visited their book fair, whereas 34% of Antwerp population visited their book fair. If 34% of Istanbul’s population visited the book fair, that would make ~ 5.1 million people in 9 days.
This picture tells us something about literacy and interest in books, but of course we should always ask the question: how representative such a crude statistic is? Another interesting fact is that Istanbul makes up about 20% of Turkey’s population, whereas Antwerp makes up about 4.5% of Belgium’s population. (If we want to compare Turkey to a country with similar population and its most populated city: Germany is close to Turkey with its 80 million people, and its most populated city, Berlin, is home to 3.4 million people. In other words, Germany’s most populated city makes up only 4.25% of the Germany’s population.)