Demographic and epidemiological transition

Kevin McCracken, David R. Phillips

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary/reference bookpeer-review


Demographic transition refers to the shift in vital rates within population groups at various geographical scales from a pattern of high birth (fertility) and death (mortality) rates to one of low rates. Epidemiologic(al) transition, a somewhat more recent concept, considers patterns of mortality change and causes of death (and sometimes ill health) from patterns dominated by infectious diseases to those in which chronic, degenerative physical ailments predominate, and increasingly mental ill-health conditions, including dementias. Paralleling both these transitions are recognized related changes such as “nutrition transition” and aging transition. All these patterns are evident internationally, regionally, and locally, but it is recognized that they may not be unidirectional. Indeed, different “speeds” of transition may occur in different places and sometimes reverses or mixed patterns may be observed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe International Encyclopaedia of Geography
Subtitle of host publicationpeople, the Earth, environment, and technology
EditorsDouglas Richardson
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781118786352
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • age
  • economic development
  • epidemiology
  • health
  • inequality
  • modernization
  • population(s)
  • public health
  • urbanization


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