The demographic transition (DT) is the principal schema for explaining past and projected demographic variables. This chapter presents key statistics, notes and differentiates two demographic transition “waves,” explains population momentum and tempo and how uncertainty is managed in population projections, reviews demographic transition theories (unified growth and fertility decline), introduces the demographic bonus, and finally speculates on the end point, as birth rates worldwide trend toward below replacement rate levels. Going beyond the DT, the chapter introduces new approaches to demography including Monte Carlo techniques in projecting uncertain variables, and efforts to elevate data on educational attainment into the traditional demographic trio of numbers, sex, and age.
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