Demographic Transition In the Caribbean

Topics: Demography, Caribbean, Slavery Pages: 4 (1267 words) Published: December 28, 2013
Demographic Transition Theory

In Sociology there are numerous theories that we use to explain, analyze and define populations, one of these theories being the Demographic Transition Theory, developed primarily by Warren Thompson of Sweden. This theory was initially used to trace the transition of European society’s population from primitive communism to nineteenth century capitalism it dealt with demographic and social change throughout the European historical landscape. According to Jackson and Hudman (1986) the rate of population growth in some countries, particularly industrialized ones, followed a pattern of increase and then decline. The experience of rapid population growth rates is referred to as demographic transition. The demographic transition theory consists of four stages: Stage one the High Fluctuating where the birth and death rate are high, Stage two the Early Expanding period of industrialization where birth rate remains the same but death rates fall dramatically, Stage three the Late Expanding cultural and economic factors influence population change and Stage four the Low Fluctuating both birth and death rate are low negative population growth occurs. These stages can be applied to many European and industrialized societies for example Great Britain and France. However George Roberts, a Jamaican demographer, suggests that due to slavery there are five stages of demographic transition in the British Caribbean. These stages are much more suited to describing changes in the Caribbean population because it takes into consideration our historical past. The first stage has to do with the period of early enslavement in the early eighteenth century Caribbean islands gained a population due to slaves being imported from Africa by Europeans who depended on the slaves as a labour force to produce sugar in their plantations. The population consisted of a small population of whites (the plantation owners and their families), a large majority of slaves...
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