A Silent Revolution

  • Donald T. Rowland
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 3)


Part I of the book (Chaps. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) is concerned with developments at the societal level. Chapter 1 (A Silent Revolution) introduces the emerging revolution in national age structures and the main demographic theories that have provided starting points for interpreting population aging and its consequences. The first half of the chapter shows that current trends in population aging are transforming contemporary societies in contrasting ways. While population aging and growth in the numbers of older people are becoming universal, countries differ in the pace of change and their potential to adapt. The differences are such that they range from being relatively favorably positioned, to being open to adverse outcomes in the future. The summary of global and national trends provides the setting for the second half of the chapter, which presents an overview of the applications of transition theories in the study of population aging. Just as demographic trends have proceeded beyond previous expectations, so too research is transforming the theoretical bases of our understanding of population aging. The chapter reviews three theories – namely the demographic transition, the epidemiologic transition, and the second demographic transition – as the foundation for the discussion, in later chapters, of the new demography of aging, the health of aging populations and the pivotal role of the family in demographic trends.


Population Aging Develop Region Transition Theory Demographic Transition Fertility Decline 
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Copyright information

© Springer Netherlands 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald T. Rowland
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Sociology Research School of Social SciencesThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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