During "stage 2" of the demographic transition
, quality of health care improves and death rates fall, but birth rates still remain high, resulting in a period of high population growth.
The term "demographic trap
" is used by some demographers to describe a situation where stage 2 persists because "falling living standards reinforce the prevailing high fertility, which in turn reinforces the decline in living standards." This results in more poverty, where people rely on more children to provide them with economic security. Social scientist John Avery explains that this results because the high birth rates and low death rates "lead to population growth so rapid that the development that could have slowed population is impossible."