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The Dominance of Food Supply in Changing Demographic Factors across Africa: A Model Using a Systems Identification Approach

1
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering, the University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S1 3JD, UK
2
Department of Geography, the University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Soc. Sci. 2017, 6(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci6040122
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 9 October 2017 / Accepted: 12 October 2017 / Published: 15 October 2017
Demographic indicators linked to general health have been strongly linked to economic development. However, change in such indicators is also associated with other factors such as climate, water availability, and diet. Here, we use a systems modelling approach, bringing together a range of environmental, economic, dietary, and health factors, to seek possible dominant causes of demographic change across Africa. A continent-wide, north-south transect of countries allows for the exploration of a range of climates, while a longitudinal transect from the Atlantic to the Red Sea provides a range of socio-economic factors within the similar climatic regime of Sahelian Africa. While change in national life expectancy and death rate since 1960 is modelled to be linked to a varying number and type of factors across the transects, the dominant factor in improving these demographic indicators across the continent is food availability. This has been strongly modulated by HIV infection rates in recent decades in some countries. View Full-Text
Keywords: theoretical models; death rate; life expectancy; Africa; food supply; environmental impact; HIV; economic factors theoretical models; death rate; life expectancy; Africa; food supply; environmental impact; HIV; economic factors
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Wei, H.; Bigg, G.R. The Dominance of Food Supply in Changing Demographic Factors across Africa: A Model Using a Systems Identification Approach. Soc. Sci. 2017, 6, 122.

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