Topics: Population, Demography, Developed country Pages: 7 (2196 words) Published: April 29, 2013
3. Below please find the population pyramid of a country. Write an essay to discuss:

a) Fertility and mortality of the country;
b) The status of women in this country;
c) The level of economic development of the country;
d) The major problems likely to be facing the country at present; e) The likely future direction of demographic change that this country will take and why you believe it would be so; f) The possible location of this country.

Population Structure Affecting Economic Development of a Developing Country

A population pyramid can reflect the demographic changes of a country (Yaukey, 1985). The demographic change includes fertility, mortality, age structure, sex ratio and status of women (Yaukey, 1985). Therefore, some long-term trends, such as fertility and mortality can be shown by the population pyramid while the population pyramid can also show the short term impact of baby-booms, population policies, migration, epidemics, etc (Clarke,1972).

Fertility is one of the most important criteria to distinguish between developed countries and undeveloped countries (Clarke,1972). Fertility refers to the the natural capability of giving life. As a measure, "fertility rate" is the number of children born per couple, person or population (Bras,2008). The base of the population pyramid is wide but narrow on the top with a triangular shape. From the population pyramid , it is shown that there is around 11,000,000 population in age group 0-4 and almost 12,000,000 population in age group 5-9.

In many undeveloped regions ,for example, Southeast Asia, Africa, Latin America, we can find continued high level of fertility (UN, 1989). According to Hauser(1969), the highest fertility are found in Latin America with fertility rate of 120 and over, and birth rate of 40 per thousand. Moreover, over 40% of population in the less developed region is under the age of 15 (Hauser, 1969). The fertility rate in less developed region is expected to be higher than the one in developed region at least twice (Clarke,1972). According to Dixon-Mueller (1993), a woman in western Africa is expected to have 6.7 children, while a woman in western Europe is expected to have 1.7 children.

The above information proved that the fertility rate in less developed countries is much higher than that of the more developed countries. The reasons of the extremely high fertility rate of the less developed countries are the low educational level and the lack of family planning (Coale, 1972). It is because of the agrarian societies’ social customs and the extended family structure. Moreover, the lack of concepts in contraception and early marriage also play important role in leading high fertility rate in these area. According to the statistic, most of the married women in less developed countries seldom use contraception methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy (Clarke, 1972). For example, in Kenya, 93% of the married women seldom use contraception methods to prevent unwanted pregnancy (Clarke, 1972).Therefore, it is believed that the statistic about the fertility is showing that the country is less developed.

Moreover, the mortality is also high as shown in the triangular-shaped population pyramid (Schoen, 2006). Mortality refers to the occurrence of death. According to the population pyramid, population drops from 10,000,000 in the age group 10-14 to 6,000,000 in the age group 15-19. It shows that the infant mortality is high which is regarded as the death of the age 0-4 years (Schoen, 2006). In many less developed countries, half of the total deaths are always composed of the age group 0-4 ( Coale, 1972).

Maternal mortality rate represents the number of women dying due to deliveries and complications of pregnancy and childbirth per thousand live births (Yaukey, 1985). Maternal mortality refers to deaths of female associated with pregnancy, labor (Dixon-Mueller, 1993) .It indicates the...
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