Demographic Transition Model

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 23 December 2016

Demographic Transition Model

The Demographic Transition is a model created by Warren Thompson an American Demographer in 1929, and the model was designed in 4 stages (1 being low growth-4 being low growth also). The model is applied to every country in the world showing birth and death rates with natural increase. Stage 1 is a stage that no longer any country is in thanks to the agricultural revolution which occurred between 8000 B.C. through 1750 A.D. During stage one a country experiences very high birth and death rates the produce virtually no long-term natural increase. During the agricultural revolution it was the first time humans domesticated plants and animals, rather than hunting and gathering. Stage 2 occurred nearly 10,000 years after the agricultural revolution and after 1750, it began thanks to the Industrial Revolution. The industrial revolution was a major improvement in industrial technology (invention of the steam engine, mass production, and powered transport.

The machines increased agriculture production, so it ended up help feeding the rapidly growing population. There were also major improvements in health and sanitation. Stage two involves rapidly declining death rates and increasingly large birth rates therefore produce a higher natural increase. Stage 3 is where countries start entering a moderate growth rate, many of the North American and European countries started entering stage 3 during the first half of the twentieth century. Many countries enter stage 3 it results from the women in their country deciding to have fewer children, also many people in stage three are located near cities rather than the countryside and also are more likely to work in shops, offices, and factories rather than on a farm.

During a stage 3 the birth rates decline and the death rates to continuously decline as it was during the previous stage, the decline in both results into a moderation in natural increase. In stage 4 a country enters low growth where there is now zero population growth (ZPG) or when the crude birth rate declines to a point where it equals the crude death rate and the natural increase approaches zero. This effect is somewhat the same as stage 3, where women do not choose to have many children or if any. This results from many women in the labor force and not needing to be full-time homemakers. To sum it up it results from changes in lifestyle to have a smaller family. Stage four has both very low birth and death rates that produce virtually no long-term natural increase, and possible a decrease.

In Afghanistan, the country is currently in a stage 2 area of the graph along with many still developing countries. The reason they are still undeveloped is due to many different reasons; a major reason is due to many wars that the country has been involved in. An example would be the Afghanistan war with the former Soviet Union. This fractured the country politically and regionally, which, following the Soviet Union’s departure, allowed the Taliban to enter into the political vacuum.

While in power the Taliban never had complete control of the country and was at a state of permanent war with a variety of warlords in the northern portion of the country. Another problem was due to the poor political climate, foreign countries and companies refused to become involved with the development of Afghanistan, leaving the country dependent on foreign aid and funding from terrorist organizations and their sympathizers. There is still hope though for developing the country because since 9/11, more and more countries are becoming involved in Afghanistan’s development even though warring with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda is still a threat to the stability and development of the country.

Thomas Robert Malthus was an English Scholar the lived during late 1700’s and early 1800’s, he was famous for proposing many ideas and theories on population and wrote a book called An Essay on the Principle of Population . One of his most famous theories that is still considered and worried about today is that the human population will continue to grow much faster than the Earth’s food supply because population increased geometrically, whereas food supply increased arithmetically. He also concluded that population growth would press against available resources in every country, unless “moral restraint” produced lower crude birth rates or unless disease, famine, war, or other disasters produced higher crude death rates. Malthus had and still has many critics on his theory, many modern contemporary geographers have counter arguments on what will happen and come about in later years in terms of food and population.

One argument says that the gap between population growth and resources is wider in some countries than Malthus anticipated. Many geographers also called his theory to be unrealistic because they are based on the belief that the world’s supply of resources is fixed rather than expanding. There are even many theories out there that state just the opposite of his theory. For countries like Afghanistan, while their food population has grown dramatically from becoming more developed their population is still growing significantly because many women are having high number of expected children. Malthus failed to anticipate that relatively poor countries would have most rapid population growth because of transfer of medical technology from more developed countries, this statement make his theory even more frightening for less developed countries like Afghanistan.

It is also suggested that it will not run out just food supplies but also natural resources. A prime example would be the amount of petroleum being used by everyone around the earth. While it is not just used for cars it is basically an everyday necessity for more developed countries, and while LDCs are continuously developing and gaining more technology and machinery they need petroleum supplies as well. In short term makes the supply in the Earth decrease more than expected. The exact same goes for all countries around the world, and could potentially harm less developed countries more than MDCs from the amount of money and trade involved in obtaining it.

The definition of the Gravity Model is that is predicts that the optimal location of a service is directly related to the number of people in the area and inversely related to the distance people must travel to access it. The consumer behavior reflects two certain patterns, the first being the greater the number of people in the area living in a particular place then the greater is the number of potential customers for a service. Second the farther people are from a particular service, the less likely they are to use it.

When used geographically, the words ‘bodies’ and ‘masses’ are replaced by ‘locations’ and ‘importance’ respectively, where importance can be measured in terms of population numbers, gross domestic product, or other appropriate variables. The gravity model of migration is therefore based upon the idea that as the importance of one or both of the location increases, there will also be an increase in movement between them. The farther apart the two locations are, however, the movement between them will be less. The model can estimate traffic flow, migration between two areas, and the number of people likely to use one central place.


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 23 December 2016

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