Africa is no doubt the second largest continent on the earth, with Sudan (which covers an estimated 68,000 square miles) standing as the continent’s largest country.
The continent has one of the most land masses on earth, covering 30.2 million square km (11.7 million sq mi) including adjacent islands. With this, Africa covers 6% of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4 % of the world’s land area and is home to more than 1 billion people.
There are 54 recognized African countries sharing this huge land mass. Most countries in Africa have seen a massive population growth with values doubling up in the past 50 years and these values are estimated to at least double by 2050 according to the latest United Nations projections.
In Africa today, two in every three people living in the continent are under 25 years of age (This number is 2 times the number in Europe). The population distribution of people in African countries is such that 32 inhabitants live in every square km and on the average, Sub-Saharan Africa is more densely populated than the Latin America which has 28 inhabitants living in every square Km.
It is estimated that Sub-Saharan Africa’s population density is going to increase to more than double where Latin America is today.
In most African countries, two-thirds of the population still live in rural areas although there is a massive migration to the towns.
As at 1960, only the city of Johannesburg had a population of more than one million people but not anymore since more than 40 African cities now have more than 1 million inhabitants and if this rate continues unabated, more than 50% of rural dwellers will migrate to the urban areas by 2030.
List of African Countries by Population (based on the 2015 mid-year normalized demographic projections)
|São Tomé and Príncipe||179,200|
|Republic of the Congo||3,697,490|
|Central African Republic||3,859,139|
|Republic of Benin||10,008,749|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||77,267,000|
|Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (UK)||5,633|
The above numbers have shown some remarkable increase from the previous values of one to two years ago. For instance, the Federal Republic of Nigeria had an estimated population of 162,470,737 as at 2011 but this number is now estimated to be a staggering 173, 0900,000.
In the nearest future, if the population is consistent with its current rate of growth, the African jungles and the rain forests may wave goodbye and many of Africa’s species of cats and primates may no longer be in existence or at most displaced.
11 countries of the world have fertility rate above 6 babies per woman and 9 of them are African countries and the top two high fertility countries in the world have seen their fertility increase from 2000 to 2007.
In Mali, the rate increased from 6.89 to 7.38, Niger Republic rose from 7.16 to 7.37 and Burundi increased from 6.25 to 6.48. Interestingly, the infant survival rates in these African countries have been significant enough to push the continent’s population through the roof.
According to the world population revision findings released by United Nations’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs in 2015, 9.7 billion people will live on the earth surface of the by 2050. By that year, about 1.3 billion people who would be added to the existing population will be from Africa.
The report also found that half of the world’s total population growth will be concentrated in nine countries over the next 35 years. Five of these countries will be African while the rest are India, Pakistan, Indonesia and the United States. These African countries include Nigeria, DRC, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Lesser Known Facts About Africa
- Cairo, the sprawling capital of Egypt, is the largest city in Africa.
- Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania, is Africa’s highest mountain.
- Africa’s Sahara Desert is the world’s largest desert. Its size is said to be as large as the United States of America.
- Some continents in the world are known to be very hot but records have it that Africa is the hottest region on the surface of the earth.
- Africa is home to many unique animals like the Giraffe, elephants, the Nile Crocodile and lots more. In addition, the continent boasts the longest river in the world – the Nile (4,132 miles).
- There are 54 recognized sovereign states and countries, 9 territories and 2 de facto independent states in Africa. These independent states are however accorded little recognition.
- Owing to the presence of technological advancement across the globe, African giants – Uganda and Nigeria are presently taking the lead, advancement-wise.