Free Essay: Demographic Transition
Demographic transition refers to the transformation from a state of high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates as a nation undergoes development from a pre-industrial to an industrialized economic state. In the industrialized or developed countries, this transition can be traced back to have started in the 18th century and still continues to date. In developing nations, it began much later and quite a number ore still in the midst of the earlier stages of the transition.
The demographic transition indicates population change over a period of time. It takes an in-depth look at the impacts of birth and death rates in the total population of a country. It should be noted that demographic transition has got stages that it goes through. At the first stage, the total population is usually low but is balanced as a result of high birth and death rates. In the second phase of the model, the population begins to swell as a result of surging death rates due to improvements in sanitation and healthcare. However, birth rates at this stage still remain up.
In the third phase, the population is still undergoing rapid increase. The gap that exists between birth and death rates begins to narrow down as a result of the availability of or enhanced access to contraceptives and reduced child labor due to mechanization of farming activities. This stage experiences a natural high increase.
The fourth stage is characterized by a high number of the total population. However, a balance is created by a low birth and death rate. At this stage, it is expected that birth control is widely available and most couples are having the desire of having smaller families that they can adequately take care of. At the last stage of demographic transition, the total population is high but moving towards a decline as a result of an ageing population. Most parents continue to see the sense in raining smaller families, with others opting to begin bearing children at later stages in life.
The development of the demographic transition model came about after a series of studies were conducted in Western Europe and North America. However, it should noted that the results or the smooth flow of the transformation may not be similar to all countries in the world considering the fact that conditions might be quite different especially for less developed nations.
Just like it is with other models, the demographic transition model too has its setbacks. One of them is that it does not give guidelines as to the particular duration of time that it can take a country to move from stage one to three. In Western European countries, it took centuries while in others, decades. Besides, this model also does not offer any prediction that all nations will reach the last stage where constant low birth and death rates are acquired. In certain countries, it is viewed that religious practices keeps the birth rate from falling.
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