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The End of the Demographic Transition: Relief or Concern?

  • Jacques Vallin
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    Demographic transition theory might seem to imply that, after a period of exceptional population growth resulting from the time lag between mortality and fertility declines, every population, and then the whole world population will stabilize and, consequently, no more acute population problems will appear. Does the claim, recently gaining credibility, that the end of the transition is at hand actually imply a stage without major population problems? Nothing is less sure. First, it is just a claim, the realization of which still entails a period of dramatically rapid population growth in some countries, especially the poorest. But more tellingly, the end of the transition is also the end of the paradigm on which we have been relying to understand and anticipate demographic changes. Nobody knows what might ensue later: How long and low can fertility fall? How long and high can life expectancy increase? How far can population aging go? As many questions without answer and probably as many problems whose size we cannot even imagine lie ahead. Copyright 2002 by The Population Council, Inc..

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    Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 105-120

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:28:y:2002:i:1:p:105-120
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