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Define What Is Meant by a “Demographic Transition”, and Examine Whether Such a Transition Might Have Benefits for Economic Growth in Developing Countries.

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Growth and Development Essay 1
1. Define what is meant by a “demographic transition”, and examine whether such a transition might have benefits for economic growth in developing countries. Demographic transition is the process by which a country’s demographic characteristics are transformed as it develops. This mainly results from the changing patterns of death and birth rates, or the Mortality and Fertility transitions. Whilst the process of demographic transition is mainly complete in many developed countries, it is definitely still under way in most developing countries, where, while they are experiencing falling mortality rates, there are still also high fertility rates. This is the reason for high population growth in developing countries in recent years. In this essay I am going to outline the causes of mortality and fertility transition in order to explain the driving forces behind demographic transition. I will then discuss the effects of this transition on economic growth. The mortality transition has seen a remarkable reduction in mortality rates over recent centuries. Life expectancy has grown enormously, in both developed and developing countries. For example, India’s life expectancy at birth in 1930 was 26.9 years and 55.6 years in 1980. This seems to have been caused by three main factors. Firstly, rising incomes have led to increases in the quality and quantity of food consumed and so populations are better nourished and live longer on average. Secondly, better sanitation, modern sewage and improved water purification and supply systems have led to less diseases like cholera. Lastly, improvements in medical care and medical treatments has meant that many diseases that were once fatal are no longer. In figure 2.23 we can see how infant mortality rates have fallen sine 1960. Interestingly they appear to have fallen at a greater rate in Africa and Western…...

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