Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date

1974

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Sociology and Rural Studies

Abstract

In the light of recent concern over world population growth, it would be interesting to study to what extent West Africa as a developing area has experienced changes in fertility, mortality and natural increase. This study would be especially interesting in that developing countries like those in West Africa account for approximately two-thirds of the world's population. Students of demography generally hold that as a rural agricultural country becomes more urbanized and industrialized, a transition also occurs in the demographic process. Under the influence of modernization, death rates decline rapidly while high fertility continues, producing a rapid population growth that continues until fertility declines to a level appropriate to such modernization. This study proposes to examine the changes that have transpired in West African fertility, mortality and natural increase from 1954 to 1972 so as to evaluate the extent to which West Africa may be experiencing the process of demographic transition. Statement and Importance of the Problem This study examines the following problem: What changes have transpired in West African countries in fertility, mortality and natural increase from 1954 to 1972, and how are these changes associated with social and economic measures of modernization? As previously indicated, it is a somewhat regular demographic phenome non that a country is undergoing demographic transition when the high birth rate and high death rate pattern change to one of continuing high birth rates but declining death rates. If it can be demonstrated that West Africa is experiencing this transition, then the current anticipated population explosion for that area may already be in the process of leveling and ultimately declining in force. Indications of this would be important information for people concerned with population growth, population change, family planning and allocation of health services in West African nations. The objectives of this study are: 1. To determine the changes that have transpired in West African nations and West Africa as a whole in fertility, mortality and natural increase from 1954 to 1972. 2. To determine the socioeconomic measures of modernization that are associated with these changes in fertility, mortality and natural increase. 3. To evaluate the extent to which West Africa may be experiencing the process of demographic transition based on the findings.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Population -- West Africa

Format

application/pdf

Number of Pages

68

Publisher

South Dakota State University

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