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The Demographic Transition Model

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Presentation on theme: "The Demographic Transition Model"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Demographic Transition Model
and the Fertility Transition Theory

2 Conceived by Frank Notestein 1945.
Model of population change based upon effects of economic development. Based on the experience of the Western world, it was used for decades as a model to predict what should/would happen to developing countries eventually. All countries pass through four or five stages to a state of maturity.


4 Stage 1: High steady birth rates and high but fluctuating death rates
Stage 1: High steady birth rates and high but fluctuating death rates. Therefore, high natural increase rate. Two rates are approximately equal. The death rate fluctuates due to war and disease. Low income, agricultural society. Stage 2: Dramatic decline in death rates; high birth rates. Onset of industrialization and related health and medical advances.


6 Stage 3: Low death rates; declining birth rates, due to voluntary decisions to reduce family size aided by improved contraception. Related to improved standard of living. Natural increase rate falls. Stage 4: Low steady death and birth rates. Low natural increase rate, similar to Stage 1. Stage 5: Low death rates; declining birth rates.


8 So, in summary, the argument that is extracted from the demographic transition model is that since the developed countries underwent a dramatic change that resulted in lower rates of population growth, if only the developing nations could do the same their fertility rates would also fall. “Development is the best form of contraception.”


10 However …. This demographic transition has not occurred uniformly geographically. Some areas are in Stage 5 and some areas are in Stage 2. Times have changed since the developed world went through the demographic transition.

11 Therefore, can we use the demographic transition model as a predictive tool? Can we assume that the passage from 3rd to 4th stage will happen over time? From the evidence of modern experience, it seems “no”.

12 Conditions are different.
Prospects for industrialization are questionable. Reductions in death rates are a result in some countries of diffusion of technology from the developed world. It’s one thing to introduce death control, another to introduce successful ways to reduce birth rates

13 There is evidence to suggest that the fertility rates are declining as in the 3rd and fourth stages, but for very different reasons. This is known as the Fertility Transition Theory.

14 The Fertility Transition Theory
Fertility is declining in the less developed world at a rate which exceeds the rate of decline that was experienced in the developed world. It seems to be related directly to the extent to which modern contraceptives are employed. Formal education is not a prerequisite for for using contraception.

15 Information about contraception is widespread due to mass media.
Appeal for large families has fallen due to rising status of women, obvious problems associated with rapid and large population increased for the family and the state (e.g., pressure on agricultural land).

16 In summary, the Fertility Transition Theory asserts that while economic development can create a climate conducive to reductions in fertility, it is a change in cultural attitude about large families and a willingness to use contraception that is the key, along with the availability of the contraception.

17 In short, development is not the best form of contraceptive; rather contraceptives are the best form of contraceptive. But what are some of the obstacles to the more widespread use of contraception?

18 Opposition to birth control and family planning.
The manufacture and distribution and education about their use of contraceptives is expensive. Religion can block birth control programs: Catholic Church and some others.

19 Low status of women: lack of political and economic rights; lack of access to education.
Preference for male children in some areas. Fertility rates are lower in urban societies, and much of the developing world is still rural.

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