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Completing the Demographic Transition


  • John Bongaarts
  • Rodolfo A. Bulatao


Despite ongoing declines in fertility in many countries, the population of the world is experiencing a period of rapid expansion, and its size is expected to reach 10 billion by the end of the demographic transition. Three causes of this growth are identified and quantified: 1) fertility above the replacement level of two surviving children per woman, 2) continuing declines in mortality, and 3) population momentum resulting from a young age structure. A set of simple analytic expressions is proposed for estimating these factors from standard demographic indicators. Population momentum is shown to be the main cause of future growth in most countries and regions.

Suggested Citation

  • John Bongaarts & Rodolfo A. Bulatao, 1999. "Completing the Demographic Transition," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(3), pages 515-529, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:25:y:1999:i:3:p:515-529
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.1999.00515.x

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    Cited by:

    1. Booth, Heather, 2006. "Demographic forecasting: 1980 to 2005 in review," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 547-581.
    2. World Bank, 2006. "Fostering Higher Growth and Employment in the Kingdom of Morocco," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7114.
    3. Thomas Espenshade & Analia Olgiati & Simon Levin, 2011. "On Nonstable and Stable Population Momentum," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(4), pages 1581-1599, November.
    4. Chris Wilson, 2001. "On the Scale of Global Demographic Convergence 1950–2000," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 155-171, March.
    5. Worthman, Carol M. & Kohrt, Brandon, 2005. "Receding horizons of health: biocultural approaches to public health paradoxes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 861-878, August.

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