The Industrial Transition

  • Louis A. Girifalco


The differences between industrialized and nonindustrialized societies are dramatic and extensive. In industrialized societies the per capita income, life expectancy, literacy rate, and education level are all much higher than in nonindustrial societies. The ease of communications, travel, and transport makes the population mobile and permits the widespread distribution of goods. Industrial societies devote a much smaller fraction of economic effort to agriculture and a larger fraction to consumer goods, health care, and education. Above all, industrial societies exhibit self-sustaining growth. That is, they enjoy a continuing increase in per capita wealth and income which results from the continual reinvestment of a portion of the national income to expand knowledge and to improve the technological base of the economy. An ever-increasing stream of inventions and innovations feeds into an expanding economy to provide goods and services at lower costs and to perform functions that were previously impossible. An industrial society is dynamic, not only in its technique but also in its social and institutional forms; it is continually recreating itself as technological change is reflected in, and complemented by, cultural and social changes.


Blast Furnace Capita Consumption Industrial Revolution Industrial Society Demographic Transition 
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Copyright information

© Van Nostrand Reinhold 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis A. Girifalco
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of PennsylvaniaUSA

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