Glossary:Demographic cycle

The demographic cycle, or population cycle, refers to the evolution over time of the population profile of a country, region or other defined geographical area. A population cycle theory has been postulated in terms of the socio-economic history of industrialized countries. Four stages of population change have been identified in the demographic cycle:

  • the first high stationary phase marked by high birth and high death rates and relatively low population;
  • the second phase with uneven population density due to increased urbanization and industrialization;
  • the third phase where the birth and death rates are much lower resulting in a relatively steady population growth; and
  • the fourth phase of population cycle which is characterized by stagnation or an actual decline in the total population of a country due to an excess of deaths over births.

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