Declining Birth Rates 7
I. Demographic Transition leads to declining birth rates:
When countries get to stages 3 and 4, they experience major economics changes. This induces people to have fewer children:
- People in stage 3 societies are more likely to live in cities and work in offices, shops, or factories, rather than on the farms in the countryside.
- Farmers have large families because the children can do some of the labor.
- In the cities, families are small because children are prohibited from working in most urban jobs such as factory worker. Also, urban homes are small in size, and do not have the spacing for large families.
II. Crude Birth Rate (CBR)
- is the number of live births in a year for every 1,000 people alive in the society.
- A CBR of 20 means that for every 1,000 people in a country, 20 babies are born for over a 1-year period.
- See the second link for example of the CBR for the U.S.
- ***The term “Crude” means that the society as a whole is looked at.
III. Natural Increase Rate (NIR)
- is the population growth percentage in a year, which is computed by subtracting the CDR from CBR.
- When the CBR is lower, then population growth will be lower. Birth rates decline when a society enters stage 3 of the demographic transition because people choose to conceive fewer children.
- The total fertility rate is used to measure the total number of births in a society.
- The TFR is the average number of children a woman will have throughout her childbearing years.
- In MDC’s, the TFR is less than that of in LDC’s. For an example, in sub-Saharan Africa the TFR is six and more while in Europe, the TFR is two or less.
- The infant mortality rate is the number of infant deaths compared with the total number of live births.
- The IMR is the number of deaths per 1,000 births. In LDC’s, there are more children dying than living but in MDC’s, more children are living than dying.
- Woman in LDC’s have more children because most of their babies die. In MDC’s it is not necessary to have a lot of children because their IMR is low. The infant mortality rate reflects how stable a country’s health care is.
- Lower IMR’s are found in countries with well- trained doctors and nurses. They also have modern hospitals and an adequate amount of medicine.
VI. Life Expectancy
- Life expectancy at birth determines the average number an infant can expect to live at current mortality levels.
- The life expectancy in LDC’s is low while it is high in MDC’s.
(This website, complete with graphs, describes the relationship between population and the development of a country.
(MDC’s are more likely to reach all-time low birth rates. An example of declining birth rates is in the U.S., where there has been a 12-year decline. The CDC confirms that the birthrate fell to 13.9 per 1,000 persons in 2002, which is down 17% compared to 16.7 per 1,000 persons in 1990).