free essays
Free essays

Sociology Essay




Demographersterm population as a group of people who reside in a specifiedgeographic area. Changes in populations happen because of threeprocesses: fertility (births), mortality (deaths), and migration(movement from one place to another). In sociology, demographyexamines population size, composition, and distribution (Beaujot,2007).

Fertilityis the definite level in an individual or a population forchildbearing ability. Biological and social factors may affectfertility. For example, the childbearing age in women is one of theprimary biological factors affecting fertility. The fertile age ofwomen, approximately vary between ages 15 and 45 years (Beaujot,2007). The nutrition and the general health of women is anothermajor influence determinant of fertility. Social factors may includethe chores offered women do in a society. Additionally, the existingviewpoint regarding what constitutes the “perfect” family size isanother social factor that affects population.

Manypeople in low-income countries face starvation because of rapidlyincreasing populations however, Canadians have a very differentproblem. Since the country experience low birth rates, Canadianpopulation is aging, and there is concern about how a relativelysmall number of young workers will sustain several elderly people. Crude birth rate is the simplest measure of fertility. It is thenumber of live births for every 1000 people in the population in aparticular year (Beaujot, 2007).

Declinein mortality (the occurrence of death in a population) is anothercause of world population growth. The simplest measure of mortalityis the crude death rate. Mortality rates have reduced dramaticallyin most countries in the past 200 years. For instance, the crudedeath rate in Canada was 21 deaths per 1000 (half what it had been100 years earlier) in the year 1867. By 2008, the death rate haddropped to 7.2 per 1000 (Beaujot, 2007). This decline has been dueto the virtual eradication of infectious diseases, such as malaria,polio, cholera, typhoid, and measles. Likewise, improved nutrition,sanitation, personal hygiene, and vaccination have helped reductionon mortality rate (Beaujot, 2007).

Inaddition, demographers often measure the infant mortality rate. Theinfant mortality rate reflects a society’s level of prenatalmedical care, maternal nutrition, childbirth procedures, and neonatalcare for infants it is a measure of the level of a country’ssocial development. The impact of modernization on infant mortalityrates has been dramatic. In 1921, the infant mortality rate inCanada was 102 deaths per 1000 live births by 2009, it had declinedto 4.9 per 1000 live births (Beaujot, 2007).

Decliningmortality rate has led to a substantial increase in life expectancy,which is an estimate of the average lifetime, in years, of peopleborn in a particular year. For persons born in Canada in 2009, lifeexpectancy at birth was about 81 years. This life expectancy isamong the highest in the world (Beaujot, 2007).

Lastly,Migration is another demographic process that changes a population. Migration is the movement of people from one geographic area toanother for changing residency. It involves two types of movement:immigration and emigration. Immigration is the movement of peopleinto a geographic area to take up residency, while emigration is themovement of people out of a geographic area to take up residenceelsewhere. For instance, internal migration has significantlychanged the distribution of Canada’s population. Migration alsoaffects the size and distribution of population. Most Canadians livein densely populated areas while much of the country remains sparselypopulated (Beaujot, 2007).


Beaujot,R. P., &amp Kerr, D. W. (2007). Thechanging face of Canada: Essential readings in population.Toronto, Ont: Canadian Scholars` Press.