Lessons > Social Impacts > For Your Consideration
The term "demographic transition" was originally based on the model of Western European countries although it is now applied to every country in the world. Issues of culture, religion, government, economy, and natural resources, among others, affect this transition. You might find that where a country stands in the demographic transition may give you some idea of the problems it is currently facing and those that it has overcome in the past. The determination of "first," "second," and "third world" countries is purely fictional and subjective, but the higher prevalence of disease, famine, and war (typically civil) are more endemic to those countries categorized as "third world" than the more highly developed countries in the "first world." "First world" countries, on the other hand, are plagued by urbanization, pollution, higher energy needs due to higher standards of living, and higher instances of drug and alcohol abuse and social disorders. Although the "first world" countries are now, for the most part, either approaching a zero population growth or heading toward a negative population growth, the overall effect has been an exponential population boom that occurred concurrently with the Industrial Revolution.