Stages of Societal Development

             In the history of human societal development, the relationship between society and population are important elements that determine the development or stagnation of a society towards progress. It is chronicled in history that the emergence of the Industrial Revolution gave birth to population growth, as well as different movements that improved economic and social progress in human civilization. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, the study of population growth with respect to society is illustrated in Thomas Malthus' theory of population, discussed in his famous discourse in 1798, An Essay on the Principle of Population.
             In his theory of population, Malthus discussed how an increase in population could result to a decrease in the food supply. For Malthus, this would happen because population rate increases at a geometric rate while food supply
             increase only at an arithmetic rate. This means that as population increases, food supply (economic resources) decrease and it would not be able to support the growing demand of the increasing number of people. Almost two centuries after Malthus' revolutionary proposal on the relation between society and population, Frank Notestein conceived his Theory of Demographic Transition in 1945. In his theory, Notestein posits that societal development is related with population growth, and identifies three stages of demographic transition in societies.
             The first stage, called the pre-industrial stage, is characterized by high birth rate and death rate. The second stage (transitional stage) has greater birth rates and lower death rates, and the third stage is identified as the industrial
             stage, wherein there is a decrease in both birth rate and death rate of a society. Modern theories on demographic transition adds another stage in the process, identified as the fourth, or post-industrial stage, where birth rate is equal to the death rate, which means that there is already a zero population gro...

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Stages of Societal Development. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:13, January 18, 2017, from