|dc.description.abstract||In the past population geographers have tended to concentrate excessively on the task of mapping, discussing, and explaining the geographical distribution and pattern of change associated with demographical distribution and pattern of change associated with demographic problems and situations found in the developed world, namely Europe and the Americas. (Zelinsky: 1961). During the past decade, however, increasing attention has been given to the dynamics of population structure. This is particularly evident in the case of geographical mobility, and a considerable body of knowledge has already been accumulated on the spatial distribution of mortality.
Human fertility, too, has become a major focal point for research. Part of this interest has been stimulated by the world-wide problem of excessive and unevenly distributed population growth. This has been coupled with the realization that fertility is the paramount influence on population growth rates, both in situations of sharply declining mortality, as in the economically advanced nations, and already low death rates, as in much of the rest of the world. Indeed, it has been demonstrated that, in a closed population, it is only when substantial changes in fertility occur that major shifts in age-structure become evident.
Theory relating to population dynamics, especially fertility, has developed largely from studies of Western populations. According to Zelinsky there are as few as two identifiable demographic paradigms in current use. These are the so-called Laws of Migration (Ravenstein: 1883) and the Theory of Demographic Transition. This concept appears to have been introduced by Thompson (1929) and has since been restated in numerous forms. Perhaps the most elaborate is that presented by Cowgill: 1962-63). [Extract from Introduction]||en_NZ