Regularities of world population’s demographic behavior

Mare Vähi, University of Tartu
Ene-Margit Tiit, University of Tartu

The aim of the paper is to give some general characterization of demographic trends in the nowadays world, where countries are still on different levels of the (first) demographic transition (FDT) and analyze how the factor structure reflects the stadiums of demographic development, especially FDT in different continents. Our hypothesis is that differences in the development of FDT in continents are cause differences in structures of demographical factors. We made factor analysis, using as research unit a country. Totally, 16 variables characterizing the demographic behavior of people in the beginning of 21st century were used. Most of the data were given for two periods: 2000—2005 and 2005—2010. Absolute population sizes (for year 2005) were replaced by the relative sizes of four age groups (0—14; 15—59; 60—79 and 80+). As a result we were able to extract three independent factors: fertility-infant mortality, age structure and life-expectancy. We concluded that the continents are very different not only by the average values of factors and their variability that were quite logical outcome. But also their dependence structures are significantly different. The reasons causing the variability of patterns of demographic behavior and differences in stages reached by countries in FDT are seemingly connected with background factors of countries – economic development [Notestein, 1945], geographical conditions, cultural and religious characteristics and also political systems [Korotayev, 2006]. The peculiarities and deviances in the FDT process in several countries and continents occur in differences of factor’s dependence structures.

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Presented in Poster Session 2