Models of demographic behavior

Mare Vähi, University of Tartu
Ene-Margit Tiit, University of Tartu

The aim of the paper is describe the behavior and dynamic of the European population and to check the popular models of demographic transitions MDT [Thompson, 1929; Notestein 1945] and second demographic transition SDT [Aries, 1980, Korotayev et al, 2006]. The usage of multivariate statistical methods allows seeing the demographical processes from another aspect. In this paper we use methods of multivariate statistics to reduce the dimensionality of vectors of demographic variables to get more visible picture of demographic processes characterizing demographic transitions. The analysis is based on the data of Eurostat including data on 42 European countries. The following ten demographic measurements were included: crude marriage rate, total first marriage rate of woman, mean age of women at first marriage, crude divorce rate, total divorce rate, crude birth rate, total period fertility rate, extra-marital birth rate, mean age of women at birth of first child, mean age of women at childbearing. The data for analysis of these indicators has been chosen in six points in time – in the years 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2005. To explain the regularities of development, factor analysis was used. As a result three well interpretable factors with summary description rate 85.5% were found. Next we used clustering and took the number of clusters equal to 4. describing different types of demographic behaviour. We succeeded in proving our hypotheses that means, the demographic development in Europe during the period 1960—1965 can be considered as SDT having three steps, where the trace is somewhat different in D (western) countries, where the transition took place earlier and was more straightforward and in S (eastern) countries, where the transition was delayed up to 2000th year and specific type of early family formation and highly unstable marriages occurred as medium stage of SDT.

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Presented in Poster Session 2