demographic transition

(redirected from Demographic transition theory)
Also found in: Medical, Encyclopedia.
Demographic transitionclick for a larger image
Fig. 42 Demographic transition. The levelling-off of the rate of population growth during a country's economic development.

demographic transition

a POPULATION cycle that is associated with the ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT of a country. In underdeveloped countries (i.e. subsistence agrarian economies), BIRTH RATES and DEATH RATES are both high, so there is very little change in the overall size of the population. With economic development (i.e. INDUSTRIALIZATION), INCOME PER HEAD begins to rise and there is a fall in the DEATH RATE (through better nutrition, sanitation, medical care, etc.), which brings about a period of rapid population growth. Provided ECONOMIC GROWTH is consistently greater than the increase in population, income per head continues to expand and eventually serves to reduce the BIRTH RATE (small families become the ‘norm’ in society as people seek to preserve their growing affluence). At this point, population growth slows down and may eventually level off.

Most advanced industrial countries have gone through a demographic transition of the kind described above and are today characterized by both low birth and death rates and slow-growing populations. See POPULATION TRAP, DEVELOPING COUNTRY.

Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
267- 306), on the line of the second demographic transition theory. Other authors argue that demographic decline, which is a combination of low crude birth rate, high crude mortality rates and negative net migration rates, is the result of poor economic situation, low living standards (Ranjan, 1999, pp.
Kirk, "Demographic transition theory," Population Studies, vol.
Empirically, complications are too prevalent to view demographic transition theory as a general law, but it remains useful to frame discussion of common patterns and unusual features in case studies.
Consistent with these trends in the social sciences, demographic discourse framed demographic transition theory in the terms of the modernization paradigm's narratives of race and gender.
In conclusion, it is tempting to draw parallels to classic demographic transition theory to explain men's attitudes toward fertility, pregnancy, childbirth, and fathering.
With the loss of confidence in the demographic transition theory, alternative explanations such as those linked to diffusionism and "ideational change" and the New Household Economics arguments linking demand for children to "costs" and "prices" grew in popularity (Cleland and Wilson 1987; Bekker 1960).
Demographic transition theory, for all its shortcomings, continues to provide the schema into which analyses of fertility trends tend to be fitted, and the intellectual underpinning for population projections performed by the United Nations and the World Bank.
The introductory essay links the book to the current state of the field as George Alter outlines the principal recent theoretical and empirical approaches to fertility decline: demographic transition theory, the Princeton Fertility Project, and wealth-flows theory.
According to the demographic transition theory, as living standards rise and health conditions improve, mortality rates should decline, followed by a decline in fertility rates sometime later.

Full browser ?