Demographic transition model (DTM) refers to the transition from high birth and death rates to low birth and death rates as a country develops from a pre-industrial to an industrialized economic system.
It was essentially based on European country models, thus immediately we can identify that the UK, being a European country, should fit this model. However we will look into this further.
First of all we can start with stage 1 of the DTM. Basically this stage consists of a balanced population although being low due to a high birth rate and high death rate. This is our standard initial prototype for stage 1. If we look at the UK’s we can say this follows suit. In the early years of 1700 to 1801 we can see there is a clear high birth rate and death rate of around 30 to 40 (per 1000) with a natural increase of around 15,000 towards the beginning of stage 2. Reasons for high births rates include little birth control or family planning, children are needed to work and support elderly parents and replacement rate (parents have lots of children to compensate for high infant mortality). Death rates are high due to disease and plague (such as bubonic plague in the British Isles in 1348), inadequate and uncertain food supplies resulting in famine, poor hygiene and sanitation.
Stage 2 of the DTM shows a huge decline in death rate and a steady consistent endure of birth rate. If we link this to UK we can say this stage fits like a boot. The Death rate on the model falls due to such reasons as improved medical care and vaccinations were invented – Edward Jenner invented the first vaccine for smallpox in 1979 and within a few months already 100,000 people had been vaccinated. Improved sanitation and transport of food stuffs, and a decrease in child mortality also contribute to these falling death rates.
Going onto stage 3 we can see the final reduction in the UK birth rates, which once again matches our standard DTM model.
The evidence for this is the long history of feminism that changed women’s role in society. The battle for Suffrage throughout the 19th century finally meant that an act was passed which gave the vote to women over 30. Women’s status increased again after WW2 when they had proved themselves more than capable of doing “man’s work” – such as working in armoury factories and helping produce the resources for war.
Stage 4 shows that both death rate and birth rate remain low and fluctuate slightly, thus giving a steady population. This is the typical outline of many countries that are well developed and is commonly known as the low fluctuate stage. It is almost the follow up, stabilizing stage after 2 & 3, in which birth rate and death rate are low due to the maintaining prior factors.
Some countries are now actually experiencing population decline or