Testing the Demographic Transition Hypothesis:

A Statistical Exploration

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Shadi Abdelaziz

 

 

December 1, 2017

 

 

Part 1:
Introduction and Method

Introduction

            The
phenomenon known as the demographic transition refers to the tendency of developing countries to
experience both lower birth rates and lower death rates, eventually leading to
a condition in which birth rates and death rates are in equilibrium or
near-equilibrium The demographic transition is due to sub-phenomena associated
with development, including the improvement of medicine, the availability and
use of birth control, higher levels of female education, higher levels of
female participation in the workforce, and sociocultural shifts in the desired
number of children per family.

The demographic transition can be
understood in geographic terms. Countries that are in the Global South are more
likely to experience the demographic transition, and most of the countries in
the Global South lie outside North America and Europe. In North America and
Europe, the two continents that predominantly represent the Global North, the
demographic transition has already taken place. Therefore, for these two
continents, it can be associated that there has been no statistically
significant decline in either birth rate or death rate, at least as measured
over the past several years. By contrast, particularly in the continents of
Africa, Asia, and South America—two Continents that predominantly represent the
Global South—there should be evidence of a demographic transition-taking place.
The purposes of this statistical report were to utilize provided data to
determine whether, in fact, there is a demographic transition underway outside
the Global South; and whether the demographic transition in the Global North is
complete.  

 

Method

            The
method of the study was quantitative. The analyses were focused on the
independent variable of continent and the dependent variables of (a) birth rate
and (b) death rate. Paired-samples t-tests
were used to determine whether (a) Europe and North America experienced no
charge in birth rates between 2009 and 2015; (b) Europe and North America
experienced no charge in death rates between 2009 and 2015; (c) Asia, Africa,
and South America experienced no charge in birth rates between 2009 and 2015;
and (d) Asia, Africa, and South America experienced no charge in death rates
between 2009 and 2015. The continents of North America and Europe represented
the Global North, whereas the continents of Asia, Africa, and South America
represented the Global South.  

 

Formulation of Hypotheses

            The
hypotheses of the study were as follows:

H1: There was evidence
of a birth rate-based demographic transition between 2009 and 2015.

H2: There was evidence
of a death rate-based demographic transition between 2009 and 2015.

H3: There was evidence
of a fertility rate-based demographic transition between 2009 and 2015.

 

Part 2: Results
and Analysis

Table of Samples

            All
the data in the 2009 and 2015 birth, 2009 and 2015 death, and 2010 and 2015
fertility  columns of the health
spreadsheet can be considered to comprise the table of samples for the study.

Results and Analysis

            The
first step in the analysis was to generate a table of descriptive statistics
for the variables in the study. This table offered an overview of the data that
would then be subjected to a paired-samples t-test,
resulting in answers to the research questions of the study.

 

Table 1

Change in Birth and Death Rates for
Each Continent

 

Continent

2009 Birth Rate

2015 Birth Rate

Change in 2009-2015
Birth Rate

2009 Death Rate

2015 Death Rate

Change in 2009-2015
Death Rate

2010 Fertility Rate

2015 Fertility Rate

Change in 2010-2015
Fertility Rate

Europe

11.41

10.71

-0.70

9.62

10.18

0.56

1.51

1.53

0.02

North America

19.80

18.64

-1.16

9.44

9.70

0

2.49

2.42

-0.07

South America

22.51

19.80

-2.71

9.82

10.88

1.06

2.81

2.49

-0.32

Africa

38.17

34.34

-.3.83

9.68

10.39

0.71

4.95

4.61

-0.34

Asia

22.35

22.00

-0.35

8.71

8.35

-0.36

3.01

2.86

-0.15

 

 

Table 1 contained the raw data for the
paired-sample t-­tests of the study. Next,
in order to visualize the data, Figures 1, 2, and 3 were generated to compare
the relative changes by continent.

 

Figure 1

Changes in Birth Rate (2009 to 2015) By
Continent

 

Figure 1 suggested the possibility of declines
in the birth rates of Africa and South America, two of the continents in the
Global South.

Figure 2

Changes in Death Rate (2009 to 2015) By
Continent

 

Figure 2 suggested the possibility of
an increase in the death rate of Africa, one of the continents in the Global
South.

 

Figure 3

Changes in Fertility Rate (2010 to
2015) By Continent

 

Finally, Figure 3 suggested that the
greatest fertility declines were in the Global South continents of Africa,
South America, and Asia.

 

 

Results
Pertaining to Birth Rates (H1)

 

            A
paired-samples t-test revealed that
the mean change (-0.70) in the birth rate of Europe from 2009 to 2015
represented a statistically significant decrease, t(41) = -1.74, p =.0445.   

A paired-samples t-test revealed that the mean change
(-1.16) in the birth rate of North America from 2009 to 2015 represented a
statistically significant decrease, t(41)
= -2.29, p =.0144.

A paired-samples t-test revealed that the mean change
(-2.71) in the birth rate of South America from 2009 to 2015 represented a
statistically significant decrease, t(41)
= -2.74, p =.0090.   

A paired-samples t-test revealed that the mean change
(-3.83) in the birth rate of Africa from 2009 to 2015 represented a
statistically significant decrease, t(41)
= -5.86, p <.0001. a paired-samples t-test revealed that the mean change in birth rate of asia from to did not represent statistically significant decrease t p=".2844. " global north as whole represented south results pertaining death rates europe increase america africa fertility treatment missing values there were only dataset. these automatically excluded t-tests carried out for study. summary graphics although individual continents included analysis overall was focused on difference between and south. figure created demonstrate both period under consideration similarities indicated decline greater than north. changes by part conclusion evaluation demographic transition hypothesis predicts over time developing countries will experience declining while developed low p. data analyses this study resulted mixed support transition. suggesting is ongoing world. however even an decrease. suggest related proceeding well at much faster pace rapidly less evidence existence have stabilized which fact prediction made theory alter significantly phase has yet influence least perspective period. strongest terms it observed already rates. project went aligning theoretical predictions actual provided analysis. method also appeared be appropriate means testing empirical hypotheses generated theory. one difficulties sorting continent rather country. if could performed again improved choosing specific performing meant certain bulgaria closer wrongly whereas japan limitations kind false categorization. addition would been more informative had possible measure longer years. insofar long-term process phenomenon whose best measured working with encompassed or years but ideally available considered declines number people per household variable another plausible hypothesis. references lockwood m. reproduction poverty sub-saharan africa. ids bulletin murtin f. determinants review economics statistics perelli-harris b. gerber t. nonmarital childbearing russia: second pattern disadvantage demography>