The Living World
21 Topics | 21 Quizzes

Demographic Transition Model

The demographic transition (DTM) model illustrates changes in population over time. It includes five generalised stages linked to development, based on Western development examples, such as in the UK.

A line graph titled 'Demographic Transition Model' displays the birth rate, death rate and population growth over five stages: High Stationary, Early Expanding, Late Expanding, Low Stationary, and Stage 5. The vertical axis measures births and deaths per thousand per year, and the horizontal axis represents time. In Stage 1, both birth and death rates start high, leading to a stable population. As time progresses to Stage 2, the death rate falls while the birth rate remains high, causing a spike in population growth. In Stage 3, the birth rate starts to decline, reducing population growth. By Stage 4, both rates are low, stabilizing the population again. The graph indicates a potential Stage 5, with dotted lines suggesting a future where the death rate slightly exceeds the birth rate, possibly leading to a decline in population growth.

The model demonstrates how birth and death rates evolve, and how this affects the country’s overall population. This difference is known as natural change.

The Five Stages of the DTM

Stage one

Low population with high birth rates and high death rates.

  • High birth rates are caused by a lack of contraception/family planning.
  • High death rates are due to poor sanitation and healthcare.

Stage two

The total population begins to rise rapidly due to high birth rates and decreasing death rates.

  • High birth rates continue as large families are common.
  • Death rates decrease as access to better healthcare, lower infant mortality, and facilities like clean water improve.

Stage three

The growth rate slows, but the total population continues to increase, with birth rates slowing and death rates decreasing further.

  • The slowing birth rate is influenced by birth control, contraception, the high costs of raising a family, and a low infant mortality rate.
  • Death rates continue to decrease due to improved healthcare, medicine, hygiene and health awareness.

Stage four

The population is high, increasing slowly with low, fluctuating birth and death rates.

  • Low, fluctuating birth rates are caused by accessible birth control, the choice to have fewer children, and women delaying childbirth.
  • Low, fluctuating death rates are due to excellent healthcare and diet awareness.

Stage five

The population begins to decline as the death rate exceeds the birth rate.

  • The birth rate is low and declining due to excellent availability of family planning, career aspirations among young people, climate anxiety, and the desire to not have children.
  • The death rate remains low and fluctuates, but is higher than the declining birth rate.

You’ve used 10 of your 10 free revision notes for the month

Sign up to get unlimited access to revision notes, quizzes, audio lessons and more

Sign up