The theory of demographic transition was first realized in the ostensible developed nations in the early 1950s. During that period, the nations underwent a process in which the death rate was reduced, and birth rate regulated (Kirk, 1996, p.361). Before the demographic transition, the developed countries experienced high death rates and birth rates, which stabilized the size of population.
However, after an improvement in the living standards, there was a decrease in the death rate and a subsequent reduction in the birth rate. Demographic transition can be defined as the shift from a situation where nations experienced high levels of birth and death rates to a situation where the two (birth and death rates) are low so balancing out (Montgomery, 2010, p.1).
The four phases of demographic transition
This phase is characterized by cases of high birth and death rates. The birth and death rate during this stage is depicted to fluctuate with natural events such as floods, disease outbreaks, and droughts among others. In this stage, the size of the population is stagnant and not increasing at a fast rate.
Early transition phase
During this stage, the death rates are minimized, and as such, the population is noted to increase in size (Rueter, 2003, p.1). This is because of improved healthcare and food supply thus reducing mortality especially in childhood.
Middle transition phase
During this stage, the population size is driven towards a stable position. This is achieved by a reduction in the birth rate, which is due to several factors such as contraception, urbanization, and improving literacy and employment among the women.
Late transition phase
This stage is characterized by low birth and death rates, during which, the population is high but stable such that the population growth rate is almost zero (Rueter, 2003, p.1).
Factors leading to a decline in the crude birth rate and crude death rate
The values of crude birth rate and crude death rates are arrived at by taking the number of births and deaths respectively and dividing them by a thousand. The values are termed as crude because their computation does not take into account differences in ages or sex (Rosenberg, 2011, p.1).
Factors such as food insecurity, poor living conditions, poor medical services, and use of contraceptives could lead to a decline in the rate of crude birth of a country. On the other hand, improved medical services, food security, and improved living standards will lead to a decline in the crude death rate.
Impacts in developed countries
Phase four of demographic transition is characterized by a stable population as evidenced in the developed nations. This is normally because of the improved living conditions experienced in those nations. An example is the quality healthcare services provided in the developed nations like the America, which is remarkably different to the kind of healthcare services provided in the developing nations.
Secondly, the developed nations experience low cases of unemployment thus better living standards contrary to the developing nations where unemployment is widespread hence poor living conditions. The same case applies to food security whereby the developed nations use modern technology to ensure that they have high food security. On the other hand, the developing nations experience food insecurity, which causes an increase in mortality rates.
Suggested programs or initiatives to assist in demographic transition phase four
Some of the suggested programs include initiating campaigns on contraceptives and enhancing female literacy to regulate the birth rate. The developing nations should also improve the quality of healthcare services provision to reduce the death rate.
From the above discussion, it is clear that demographic transition is of substantial importance to every nation. This is because it has a significant impact on the social and economic developments of the country. All nations, especially the developing ones should ensure that they have attained the fourth phase of demographic transition.
Kirk, D. (1996). The Demographic Transition. Population Studies, 50 (3), 361–387.
Montgomery, K. (2010). The Demographic Transition. Retrieved October 12, 2011, from http://www.marathon.uwc.edu/geography/demotrans/demtran.htm
Rosenberg, M. (2011). Crude Birth Rate. Retrieved October 12, 2011, from http://geography.about.com/od/populationgeography/a/cbrcdr.htm
Rueter, J. (2003). Demographic Transition. Retrieved October 12, 2011, from web.pdx.edu/~rueterj/courses/casestudies/demographic_transition/index.html