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Demographic Transition Model

Demographic transition is a useful, if flawed, framework for understanding how human populations respond over time to particular types of social and economic change. Within this framework, the scale of analysis is typically that of a single country (of any size), and the key elements of population change are birth and death rates, which determine the pace at which a population grows—that is, its rate of natural increase.

Demographic transition models are most often depicted graphically. Birth and death rates are plotted on the y-axis; both are measured as a number per 1,000 population per year. On the x-axis, a unit of time—whether years, decades, or centuries—proxies for a country's level of economic development, or modernization. Four stages are then identified from left to right ...

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