Demographic Transition Model


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Demographic transition model is four stage model that was originallydeveloped in the United Kingdom to explain how countries change fromhaving high birth and death rates to having low birth and deathrates. The developed countries such as Germany and France startedusing this model in the eighteenth century (Caldwell &amp Caldwell,2009). The model is based on the assumption that a country willtransit from a pre-industrialized and high population country to anindustrialized and develop country with low populations. The modelseeks to identify how birth rates and death rates affect the entirepopulation of a country.

The developers of the model observed that there was a transition ofcrude birth rates and crude death rates. It was also observed thatindustrialization and economic development had a role to play incontrolling population growth. American demographer, Warren Thompson,collected demographic history in 1929, which showed populationtransition of developed and developing countries for over 200 years(Dyson, 2010). Demographers based this model on the analysis andinterpretation of this demographic history.

The demographic transition model comprises of four phases. In phaseone of the model, there are high crude birth rates and deaths. Thisphases is characterized by lack of industrial and economicdevelopment. High birth rates are maintained to provide more farmworkers. On the other hand, high crude death rates are as a result ofpoor medical facilities and poor hygiene. Both the CBR and the CDRare at over 33 people for every 1000 people at this phase (Dyson,2010). Phase II of the model is characterized by reduced death ratesbut high birth rates. However, the birth rates tend to reduceslightly towards the end of this phase as more people realize thatchildren are a burden and do not add to the wealth of a family. Thereduced death rates are due to improved medical and sanitationfacilities. The CBR at this stage are at 40 per 1000 people while theCDR is at around 15 per 1000 people (Dyson, 2010). This is the stagecharacterized by immense population growth.

Phase three of the model record balanced low and birth and deathrates. This phase came to life in the late 20th centuryand it is only evident in developed countries such as Germany and theUnited States. The CBR is at 15 per 1000 people while the CDR is at 5per 1000 people (Dyson, 2010). There is a slight balance inpopulation growth. In some instances of this phase, the birth ratesmay be slightly higher than the death rates and vice versa (Caldwell&amp Caldwell, 2009). The last phase constitutes both low death andbirth rates and a stable population. The death rates are reduced bythe improved medical facilities, reduced number of diseases andavailability of sufficient food. Both the CBR and the CDR at thisstage has significantly reduced to less than 10 per 1000 people.

In phase II, the crude death rates reduce due to a number offactors. Medication is one of the primary causes of death ratereduction. The populace is able to access cheap and qualityhealthcare hence reducing the death rates. Sanitation is also anotherfactor that contributes to reduced death rates at this phase.Sanitation translates to a decrease in sanitation related diseasessuch as cholera which used to kill children. In phase three, thecrude birth rates reduced due to the following factors: to startwith, women got more education and therefore they were able to accessbirth control measures (Caldwell &amp Caldwell, 2009). Additionally,there was a realization that children were a burden and thereforemeasures were adopted to reduce them.

The countries that are in phase four of the model and the developedones. One of the conditions that has made these countries to reachphase four is the availability of education and knowledge to women.For instance, the United States government ensures that all womenhave sufficient knowledge with regard to birth control. In developingcountries such as Uganda and Zimbabwe in Africa, rural women areuneducated and unaware of any birth control methods and thereforecontinue to give birth uncontrollably.

Enhanced, available and cheap healthcare is a condition that isprevalent in the developed countries at phase four. There are lowdeath rates due to the enhanced quality of healthcare that is bothcheap and accessible. This can be found in countries such asAustralia and Canada. The developing countries such as Uganda are yetto acquire enough health facilities and health practitioners who cancater for the population’s health needs (BBC, 2014). Foodproductivity and availability is the third condition in developedcountries that sustains them in phase four of the model. Thesecountries are in a position to feed their entire population withquality, sufficient food. These has greatly reduced the death ratesand ensured the existence of a healthy populace. However, developingcountries continue to suffer from food shortage and famine (BBC,2014). For instance, Kenya has experienced famine year in year outleading to numerous deaths in the north eastern region that ischaracterized by droughts.

Food shortage in developing countries seem to the primary problem.Developing countries must come up with irrigation programs that wouldensure that the government produces sufficient food the entirepopulation in times of drought. This will not only reduce the crudedeaths, but also enhance the health of the population (Caldwell &ampCaldwell, 2009). Kenya is one of the leading developing countriesthat has embarked on huge investments in the irrigation sector. Thisis in a bid to ensure that there is adequate nutritious food for thepeople in order to lead healthy lives. The Garula-Kulalu irrigationproject in Kenya will be a major boast towards the countries foodsecurity.


Caldwell, J. C., &amp Caldwell, B. (2009).&nbspDemographictransition theory. Dordrecht: Springer.

Dyson, T. (2010).&nbspPopulation and development: The demographictransition. London: Zed Books.

BBC. (2014). Population change and structure. Retrieved from: ucture_rev1.shtml