Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Demographic Transition Theory
Prior to the 20th century, many social scientists believed that at some point the carrying capacity of the earth would be outstripped by the needs of the rapidly growing human population. However, during the 20th century, data became available that led social scientists to abandon the idea that the human population would continue to grow in an unsustainable manner. This change came about with the realization that, from the late 18th through the 19th century, numerous European countries experienced dramatic demographic transitions that were eventually mimicked by countries in other parts of the world. These demographic transitions might ultimately stabilize the world population. Demographic transition theory posits that ...