Birth rate - The number of births per 1000 people per year
Death rate - the number of deaths per 1000 people per year
Natural Change - the difference between the birth rates of a country and the death rates
Birth rates can vary over space from country to country. Areas in some parts of Africa, for example, still have extremely high birth rates due to a lack of education and access to contraception. However, in some parts of Europe, the birth rate has rapidly declined due to women deciding not to begin a family in favour of a career.
Death rates can also vary over space. This is due to the fact that countries in the majority of LEDC’s have poor access to good quality medical care and therefore the spread of disease is high.
However, in MEDC’s the health care system is often more effective and this result in lower death rates.
Many countries in Europe have now reached the stage where the population is rapidly ageing. As people are now choosing to take the career path as opposed to starting families, birth rates have fallen.
Good health care has led to death rates decreasing. Therefore, the population pyramid of these types of countries is very top heavy and this has put immense pressure on the governments of these countries to devise plans which mean that they can cater for growing numbers of OAP’s.
The same cannot be said for a majority of the countries in LEDC’s. Due to high birth rates and high death rates, the population pyramids are often very bottom heavy. As a result the pressure on the education system is immense, as there is not provision to educate all of the children. This leads to a poverty cycle.
The shape of a population pyramid is dependent on the sex, age, birth and death rate of a country. The stage at which the country has reached in the Demographic Transition Model can often be judged by the shape of the population pyramid.