Demographic Distribution can affect Social Welfare?

Demographic Distribution can affect Social Welfare?

Demographic Distribution

Demographic distribution is the spatial pattern of the dispersal of populations into several agglomerations according to various factors. Several factors can affect the demographic distribution and project the spatial distribution and the model of growth.

Demography comes from two Greek words, “Demos” (δῆμoς) which means people, and “Graphos” (γράφειν) stating- to write. Demography is the scientific study of the human population primarily concerning size, structure, and development.

The factors affecting demographic distribution sorted into four division, namely

  • Physical factor 
  • socio-economic factor
  • demographic factor
  • political factor

Physical factor 

The physical factors include climate, land forms, topography, soil, energy and mineral resources, geographical accessibility from the coast, natural harbors, navigable rivers or canals, etc.

Socio-economic factor

Socio-economic factors include cultural characteristics, economic activities, the technology used (including the type of farming), and social organization.

Demographic factors

Demographic factors include changes resulting from natural increases and migration.

Political factors

Political factors such as political boundaries, political stability (or unrest), disturbances, controls on migration and trade, government policies, and transportation facilities also determine demographic dispersion.

Although models with static populations are relevant for research, in reality, the population is continually changing both in terms of structure and composition. It does affect our economy, government policy, business strategy, and living conditions.


The model studies the relationship between economic development and population growth. This theory tells us that the population in any region moves from high birth and death rate to a lower rate. It happens as society progresses from a rural agrarian structure to an urban industrialized and literate society.

There are four stages of demographic transition, they are:

  • high birth and high death rate
  • high birth and low death rate- Population explosion
  • declining birth rate and low death rate
  • low birth rate and low death rate
  • declining population
Demographic tranition

Image source: Created by Ms. Anwesha Podder

High birth and death rate

The main character of this stage is the high population rate. People in this stage mostly live in a rural area, and their main occupation is agriculture. The Standard of living is low, and the death rate is very high because of ill medical facilities, famines, and epidemics. The notable features are:

  • Stable population
  • High birth rate, High infant mortality, and High death rate = low life expectancy
  • Many young people, very few older people
  • High fertility rate (8+)

The high birth rate prevails to compensate for the significant death rate caused by epidemics and fluctuating food supply. Life expectancy is low and technological advancement is minimum.

Population explosion

In this stage, the economy faces a high birth rate and low death rate. Due to the improving socio-economic condition, income begins to rise, economic activity expands. The death rate in this phase starts to decline for increased health facilities and nourishing diet. The birth rate persists high due to social backwardness and low access to contraceptives. Therefore the key features are:

  • A very rapid increase in population (population explosion)
  • A rapid decline in death rate but death rate remains below the birth rate
  • The fertility rate remains high
  • High birth rate
  • High rate of natural increase
  • A reduction in infant mortality
  • Many young people

The gap between significantly high birth rate and low death rate this phase experience population explosion.

Declining birth rate and death rate

The stage signifies a low death rate and a decline in population growth. The gap between birth and death rates will gradually narrow down. The prominent features of this stage are:

  • increased use of family planning.
  • Low infant mortality rate prevails, hence there will also be less need for having more children.
  • Increased employment opportunity in factories, and hence there is less need to work on the land.
  • Changes to society put more emphasis on material possession than on large families.
  • The female participation rate in the labor market increases 

Low birth rate and death rate

Stage four characterize a low birth rate as well as a low death rate. The total population is growing at a slow rate. Prominent features of this phase are:

  • Birth control is widely available and, there is a desire for smaller families.
  • Both birth and death rate is low
  • The total population is still high but balanced by a low birth rate and a low death rate.

Declining population

In this stage, the population starts to decline. The birth declines( 7 per 1000) and, it falls below the death rate(9 per 1000). The population falls since it doesn’t replace itself. The population ages and, it will be left dominated by older people. Death rates may remain consistently low or increase slightly due to non-fatal lifestyle diseases like obesity, stress, and diabetes. Birth rates may drop to well below replacement level.

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Ms. Shreya Roy
Ms. Shreya Roy

Ms. Roy is the Director and Founder at Ecofunomics LLP. She is an economist by profession and currently a Ph.D. research scholar at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade She is a lover of art and a philanthropist by heart.

Anwesha Podder, Intern
Anwesha Podder, Intern

Ms. Podder is a research intern in the economics department of Eco-Fun-Omics. She is currently pursuing M.Sc. in Economics, Calcutta University.

4 thoughts on “Demographic Distribution can affect Social Welfare?

  1. I have heard great things about Shreya mam from seniors. It will be a pleasure to work as an intern under her.

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