demographic transition

The pattern of transition, observed in many areas of the developed world, between two demographic regimes: the first, termed traditional, in which levels of fertility and mortality are high; and the second or modern regime in which levels of fertility and mortality are low. According to demographic transition theory, developed from the observation of this pattern in Europe and associated with the name of Frank W. Notestein, mortality should decline first, leading to a period of fairly rapid population growth (as occurred in Great Britain in the first half of the nineteenth century for example), followed by a subsequent decline in fertility to similarly low levels (see, for example,’Population-the Long View’, in , Food for the World, 1945). Much effort has been devoted to debating whether the demographic transition will follow a similar pattern in developing countries, and the implications of the question of whether the growth of population at intermediate stages of the transition acted as a stimulus to the Industrial Revolution, or was merely a consequence of economic development and modernization.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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