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Discuss the factors affecting fertility and mortality.

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Introduction

Discuss the factors affecting fertility and mortality. Georgina Rex Word Count: 1966 Discuss the factors affecting fertility and mortality Fertility is the number of live births in a defined population. It is calculated using two main indices, the crude birth rate, which is the number of births per thousand persons per year, and the total fertility rate, which relates to the number of births per year per thousand women between the ages of fifteen and forty-five. Mortality is the number of deaths in a defined population. It is calculated using two main indices, the crude death rate which is the number of deaths per thousand of the population over the period of one year and the infant mortality rate which is the measure of infants dying under one year of age, expressed per thousand. It is easy to assume that birth rates are linked to economic advancement as shown on the following scatter graph. In countries where living standards have improved fertility has declined but fertility remains high where technology is backward and the living standards are low. Relationship between fertility and economies. The developed world saw a dramatic fall in birth rates in the last 50 years but the developing world has had a much slower decline. Relying only on this relationship between level of development and birth rates however is to ignore other factors affecting fertility. Social, political and demographic factors including the status of women in society, attitudes towards marriage and children and the power of religion are also seen to affect fertility. ...read more.

Middle

Certain cultures such as in China, attach great importance to a male successor as they will be able to work on their farm as well as continue the family name. Therefore large families are common to ensure the survival of at least one boy, e.g. infant mortality rates in China are high at 28.08 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.) whereas in Australia it is at 4.97 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.). High infant mortality rates (IMR) are a result of a combination of factors including poor sanitary conditions, poor diets and the low status of women. Parents in countries such as Angola (IMR 193.72 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.) and Algeria (IMR 40.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2001 est.) where there is a low standard of living, appear to deliberately have many children so that at least some reach adulthood. Women in countries who receive little education and empowerment, consequently have more children than women in countries where women's status is equal with men. Political factors such as war, limit population growth. The two world wars resulted in the loss of sixty million deaths, however the importance of this factor on fertility is not of great significance as wars usually reduce population for one generation only. An increase in birth rates is often the case after wars, known as baby booms. Political leaders have had great effects on the fertility of their countries. During the 1930's both Germany and Italy encouraged the procreation of children by offering incentives such as state bounties. ...read more.

Conclusion

The prevalence of disease causing a higher mortality level, may result from an unbalanced diet, a lack of clean water and poor sanitation, a situation often enhanced by the limited numbers of doctors and hospital beds per person. Generally death rates are higher in urban areas as opposed to rural areas. This is due to factors such as crowded living conditions, high traffic densities, atmospheric pollution and job stress, which are characteristic of the modern lifestyle. This possibly leads a country to be in 'stage five' of the demographic transition model where a natural decrease occurs. Despite advances in medicine and improved living conditions death rates can not continue to decline as there always tends to be incurable diseases such as cancer and AIDS. Death rates have generally been declining due to overall improvements in medical facilities, hygiene and the increased use of vaccinations leading to a rise in life expectancy. This results in an aging population, causing a greater demand for pension services to be provided by the work force. The increase in population size due to the greater life expectancy will cause a great strain on the much-needed natural resources which in time may reduce living standards and therefore increase mortality. A wide range of factors influence and affect fertility and mortality on the population. The most conspicuous is the relationship between a country's birth rate/ death rate and it's economy. This relationship however is enhanced by many other factors such as the status of women, religion and political powers. All factors contribute to affect fertility and mortality, there is not one sole influence. ...read more.

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