According to the Encyclopedia of International Development, the term demographic trap is used by demographers "to describe the combination of high fertility (birth rates) and declining mortality (death rates) in developing countries, resulting in a period of high population growth rate (PGR)." High fertility combined with declining mortality happens when a developing country moves through the demographic transition of becoming developed.
During "stage 2" of the demographic transition, quality of health care improves and death rates fall, but birth rates still remain high, resulting in a period of high population growth. The term "demographic trap" is used by some demographers to describe a situation where stage 2 persists because "falling living standards reinforce the prevailing high fertility, which in turn reinforces the decline in living standards." This results in more poverty, where people rely on more children to provide them with economic security. Social scientist John Avery explains that this results because the high birth rates and low death rates "lead to population growth so rapid that the development that could have slowed population is impossible."
Famous quotes containing the word trap:
“The little lifting helplessness, the queer
Whimper-whine; whose unridiculous
Lost softness softly makes a trap for us.
And makes a curse.”
—Gwendolyn Brooks (b. 1917)