Explain the basic argument of the theory of demographic transition. Why is the transition period associated with a ‘population explosion’?
Theory of demographic transition suggests that population growth in linked to overall levels of economic development and that every society follows a typical pattern of development related population growth. There are three basic phases of population growth:
Stage I: Primitive Stage [Underdeveloped countries]
- Low population growth in a society that is underdeveloped and technologically backward.
- In such societies like Africa birth rate is high since people are unaware of the advantages of having small families, they are not educated.
- Death rate is also high since health and medical facilities are not available, therefore population is low.
Stage II: [Developing countries]. The birth rate and death rate rank very high, the net growth rate remains low.
Birth rate is high as in this society people live in a patriarchal society in which men decide how many children must be bom and male child is preferred. People are illiterate and ignorant.
Death rate is also high since health and medical facilities are not available.
Stage III: [Developed countries]. Birth rate in low because people are educated and aware and use contraceptives, birth control is popularised. Death rate is also low because of availability of health and medical facilities, therefore population is low.
Transitional Stage: The stage between backwardness and skilled people]: In this stage growth rate of population is very high whereas death rates are brought down due to better medical facilities, nutrition and better medical and technological advancement therefore this transition period is associated with a population explosion.