Solving The Demographic Transition Model

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Guatemala, the most populous country in Central America, is a textbook example of a country firmly in stage 2 of the demographic transition model. A country steeped in rich culture, Guatemala still has a sizeable population of Mayans, the ethnic group that populated the geographical region pre-colonization. This minority is often the victim of marginalization, much like the Native Americans of the United States. This, combined with the pressures of a rapidly increasing population, create many complicated issues for the country to deal with as its next generation comes of age. High fertility rates come with the territory of Guatemala 's current position in the demographic transition model. If Guatemala doesn’t keep its population in check…show more content…
One way to destroy the vicious cycle of high birth rates is to empower women through social change, specifically, education. There is a proven connection between the education level of a mother and how many children she will have, statistically. In the United States, birth rates of women with less than 12 years of total education are more than triple their college-educated counterparts. This can logically be applied to Guatemala’s situation to find that if more women are educated, not only in school, but in proper child care and contraception use, their Total Fertility Rate should rapidly decrease to a more sustainable level. This is a one-two punch: not only will women have less children, the ones they do have will likely be raised more effectively and are less likely to die of disease in infancy. Guatemala must engage in a campaign to enroll more girls in school. This will be difficult, due to the culture of the country. Women are expected to stay at home and work the fields. Culture must shift to make progress, as it so often does. Guatemala’s population issues don’t just deal with the numbers. Even once their population growth is slowed to a safe level, the people of Guatemala deserve a higher quality of life on average. As stated before, more than half their population is below the poverty line. Approximately 30% of their labor force works in agriculture, and it only makes up 13.5% of their GDP. Many of the poorest households in this category
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