Week 13: Stable and Stationary Population Models, Their Applications and Uses.

A stationary population is a special example of a stable population with a zero growth rate, neither growing nor shrinking in size, and is equivalent to a life table population.

Stable populations are theoretical models widely used by demographers to represent and understand the structure, growth and evolution of human populations. By definition, stable populations have age-specific fertility and mortality rates that remain constant over time. It can be proved mathematically that populations with unchanging fertility and mortality patterns grow (or shrink) at a constant rate and acquire a characteristic age structure that does not change over time.

Model stable populations are good representations of the growth and structure of many human populations prior to the demographic transition. The theoretical relationships between fertility, mortality and age structure in stable populations help us to understand the growth and structure of historical populations, and can be used to make demographic estimates when empirical data are incomplete or of poor quality.

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