SCIE210 Unit 2IP - Research Paper Example

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Economic definition states that the demographic transition is an economic theory that helps in linking population changes of a nation to levels of economic, education, and healthcare development. It…
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SCIE210 Unit 2IP
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Demographic transition
There are several ways used to explain what demographic transition means. Economic definition states that the demographic transition is an economic theory that helps in linking population changes of a nation to levels of economic, education, and healthcare development. It provides that in the event of women acquiring better education and financial stability, there will be a global fertility decline. There are several facts that sustain the above statement (Skirbekk, 2008). Fact number one is women will engage themselves in family planning hence having fewer children. Fact number two suggest that women may opt to delay having children, and the last fact is that they may even opt not to have children at all. All those facts will lead to low birth rates and low death rates because there will be an improvement in health care and nutrition (Kenkel, 2001). Economically, there will be an increment of old people depending on pension schemes for survival. In another definition, demographic transition refers to changes in high birth rates to low birth rates and change in high death rates to low death rates (Kenkel, 2001).
Four stages of demographic transition; Stage one: the pre-industrial stage
In this stage, a society will experience high birth and death rates. Since the two rates are high, there will be a very slow growth in population. The population will belong to the young generation because many people born do not live long (Chesnais, 1992). In this stage, children are economically valued in the families because they reinforce high birth rates. The main economic activity that they contribute to is carrying water and firewood, caring for young ones below them, cooking, and working in fields. There are very few education opportunities hence; the cost of raising children is higher than the cost of feeding them (Chesnais, 1992).
Stage two: the industrial revolution
In this stage, a country enters an industrialization period, which facilitates a drop in the death rates rapidly. There are two factors attributed for the drop in death rates. The first factor is improved food production and improved health facilities and sanitation. The country turns into more efficient food production methods and better transportation and food distribution methods (Galor & Moay, 2002). At this stage, death due to starvation is eradicated and the population will be growing. Population growth is witnessed due to reduced death rates and stabilized birth rates. It is important to note that population does not grow due to increased fertility but due to reduction in death rates. Therefore, birth rate maintains its pace while more people continue to live longer (Galor & Moay, 2002).
Stage three: post-industrial revolution
In this stage, birth rates will fall leading to a birth death balance. Several economic factors facilitate the changes in this stage. The first factor is better availability of contraception and knowledge on their use. The second factor is higher wages. Thirdly, commercialization of agriculture and urbanization contributes to low birth rates. The fourth factor is reduced children economic value in the societal work and greater educational investment on them leading to low birth. At this stage, female literacy reaches a high note while employment opportunities for them also heighten (Dahan & Tsiddon, 2000). There is a change in the population structure where the youth dependency ratio decreases. The population will consist of older members increasing dependency ratio of old age members (Dahan & Tsiddon, 2000).
Stage four: stabilization stage
In this stage, birth rates fall into line with death rates creating a balanced population growth. On other instances, population may fall replacement levels creating a shrieked population. Death rates may remain at low levels or increase slightly due to factors such as lifestyle diseases, high obesity levels, and an aging population (Dahan & Tsiddon, 2000).
Factors affecting crude birth rates and death rates
Crude birth rate is the measure of approximate rate of births among a population ranging to 1000 people. Crude death rate measures approximate rate of deaths in a population of up to 1000 people. Several factors affect crude births and deaths. The first factor is value of children as labor, which leads to an increase in birth. Secondly, provision of retirement and pension schemes leading to decreased birth rates (Dahan & Tsiddon, 2000). Thirdly, high costs involved in raising children leading to decrease in births. Fourthly, opportunities presented to women in the current economic governance leading to decreased births (Dahan & Tsiddon, 2000). Fifthly, availability of efficient birth control methods leading to decreased births. Sixth, some nations legalizing abortion in certain instances leading to decreased birth rates. Lastly, culture, religion, and traditions carry varying opinions on the value of births (Kenkel, 2001). Factors affecting crude death rates include lack of proper sanitation, lack of quality health services, conflicts and wars, and starvation all increase the rate of deaths in a country (Kenkel, 2001).
In stage four, many countries experience more women on the workforce; the populations of these countries continue to fall, and people change their lifestyles into career development first. Most countries in this stage will have difficulties in funding pensions and other social security’s for their old age population. In contrast to developing countries in the first three stages, countries in stage four have better health facilities, high labour productivity and low population rates (Dahan & Tsiddon, 2000).
The first way that developing countries can implement towards attaining stage four is investing heavily on the education sector. Promotion of all individual rights to good education is fundamental towards achieving the goal. Promoting better health facilities and access to medical care for all individuals is also a basic requirement. Women empowerment and gender sensitivity are also another way that these nations can promote attainment of the goal (Dahan & Tsiddon, 2000).
Reference list
Chesnais, J. (1992). The Demographic Transition: Stages, Patterns and Economic Implications.
A Longitudinal Study of Sixty-Seven Countries Covering the Period 1720-1984.
Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Dahan, M., & Tsiddon, D (2000). Demographic Transition, Income Distribution, and
Economic Growth, Journal of Economic Growth, 3(1), 29-52.
Galor, O., & Moav, O. (2002). Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth,
Quarterly Journal of Economics, 117(4), 1133- 92.
Kenkel, D. (2001). Prevention, in Handbook of Health Economics, ed. by A. Culyer, and
J. Newhouse, pp. 1675{1720. Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam.
Skirbekk, V. (2008). Fertility Trends by Social Status, Demographic Researc, 18, 145{180. Read More
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