Developed and developing countries: the causes of demographic differences

For the geographer is very important regional differentiation of population growth. Having got acquainted with the scheme of the demographic transition, it is not difficult to conclude that the population is growing fastest in the poorest countries of the African continent. Indeed, in the mid-1990s, it has increased by about 3% per year. On this indicator Africa ahead of Asia and Latin America, where the average annual growth rate of about 1.8%. The overall record for a number of years, the natural growth of the population belonged to Kenya — over 4% (which gives a doubling of its population in just 17 years of age).
For many reasons agrarian society (developing countries) favoured a large family, and industrial (developed countries) is small. Although the theory of demographic transition in General, sheds ample light on the causes of this situation, let's look at a few specific positions.
1. children: economic boon or burden? It is well known that children are often rural people as adults, bringing home extra income, and in terms of the child's ability to contribute to the economic well-being of the family is more limited.
2. guarantees in old age. In industrialized countries there are special retirement system and health programmes. In underdeveloped countries elderly people are hoping only to themselves. The family will provide a dignified old age to his parents.
3. the situation of women. In developed countries the emancipation of women, the desire to acquire a prestigious profession and career do not contribute to fertility. In keeping with an age-old tradition in many backward countries first and main task of women remains to give birth and raise children.
4. religious beliefs. Almost all world religions (especially Islam) encouraged large families. However, if they sometimes go away from the influence of rigid religious attitudes, people in agrarian societies to preserve the prevailing religious traditions.
5. the availability of contraceptives. It is clear that the desire to limit the number of children per family is difficult to implement, if not safe and effective contraceptives. In abject poverty such contraceptives — hardly a luxury item.
Other evidence that rapid population growth in less developed countries is closely linked to the entire range of socio-economic conditions of the countries of the third world. At the same time in developed societies, fertility is already close to replacement level, and in some of them there is a natural population decline, which began at processes.