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Why does the demographic transition concept continue to occupy a central position in the analysis of change in human populations?

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Introduction

Why does the demographic transition concept continue to occupy a central position in the analysis of change in human populations? Population can be defined as the total number of people living in that particular country at any one time. Population figures change from year to year due to increases and decreases of people within that country. These fluxes can be determined by a change in birth and death rates and also encompasses immigration and migration in or out of a country. If a particular country has more births than deaths the population will increase this is also known as natural increase. However, if I country experiences more deaths than births the population will decrease also known as natural decrease. Many countries worldwide have experienced dramatic changes in population this change in population is known as the demographic transition. A demographic transition model can be used to view the changing population of a country over a period of time. The demographic transition model describes a sequence of changes over a period of time in relationships between birth rates and death rates and overall population change. On a demographic transition model it displays both birth rates and death rates. ...read more.

Middle

A prime example of a country which is currently experiencing stage 2 is Kenya where population is increasing dramatically. Kenya has a high birth rate of 32 per 1000 but low death rate of 14 per 1000 which obviously contributes to a high rate of growth. In stage 3 the introduction of contraceptives and the changing traditions and attitudes of families meant there was a sharp decrease in birth rates. The rapid fall in birth rates and the continuing but slowing fall in death rates meant population growth rates fell dramatically. Progressing into the final stage 4 both death rates and birth rates remain low. Both variables fluctuate giving a steady population with little change. Countries which are said to be in stage 4 are Canada, Japan and the USA. Figures taken from the census bureau state that Japan is experiencing a growth rate of 0 as the birth rates and death rates are almost equal giving a steady population with little change. It is believed that the demographic transition model will continue into stage 5 where birth rates fall below death rates therefore giving a decrease in population. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although the demographic transition model has its limitations it still continues to be used in the analysis of human populations. The model still maintains to be very useful as it only requires two variables to analyse population growth, birth and death rates. The model does not require other factors such as immigration, emigration and economic development rates therefore remains to be simple and effective to use when analysing countries population demography. There is not yet a model which can identify separate stages which can be globally recognised by many countries. The demographic model has seen many countries progress through all the stages of the model therefore it is still very favourable for predicting how developing countries population will evolve. The model continues to occupy a central position as it is very useful for observing dramatic population change. By using correct data values countries can see how fast their country's population is expanding and by observing this can use to model to enforce policies to encourage or to discourage child births. For example, countries can introduce family planning and teach about contraception to help control birth rates. Countries such as China have used an enforcement policy whereby only one child per family is allowed to control the booming population. ...read more.

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