World Facts

The Most Populated Countries In Africa

Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Egypt are Africa's three most populated countries.

Africa is a large continent made up of 54 independent states. It is second on the list of largest continents in the world by land area. The continent covers a vast area stretching from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere. Additionally, Africa has the second largest population size among all the continents of the world. The people of Africa vary in their culture, ethnicity, skin color, and religious beliefs. The most populated country in the continent is Nigeria. The other African countries with large populations are Ethiopia, Egypt, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Nigeria: Africa's Most Populous Nation

Nigeria is a federal republic situated in West Africa along the Gulf of Guinea. The country has the highest population in Africa with an estimated 188 million residents living in Nigeria as of 2015. At the current population growth rate, the number is projected to reach 392 million people by 2050. Nigeria is known for its numerous ethnic groups with more than 500 ethnic divisions in the country. Out of the 500 ethnic groups, the three dominant groups are Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo. Minority groups include immigrants from Britain, America, China, Japan, and neighboring West African nations. English is the country’s official language although it is only spoken in the urban areas. Nigeria’s population is divided mainly between Muslims who mostly reside in the northern part of Nigeria and Christians in the southern region of the country.

Ethiopia: The Second Most Populated Nation In Africa

Ethiopia is a landlocked Eastern African nation. It has the second largest population size among African countries with approximately 102 million residents as of 2017. Ethiopia is the world’s highest populated landlocked country. At a population growth rate of 2.6 percent, Ethiopia is among the world’s fastest growing populations. The country has more than 80 ethnic groups who have their origin in Afro-Asiatic tribes. The major ethnic groups in the country are Oromo, Amara, Somali, and Tigrinya. Most Ethiopians speak Cushitic languages. Amharic is the official language in Ethiopia. Christianity is the predominant religion in Ethiopia with 62 percent of Ethiopians practicing Christianity. It is closely followed by Islam at 34 percent of the population.

Egypt: Africa's Third Most Populated Country

Egypt is a North African nation that slightly extends to the Southwest corner of Asia. The nation has Africa’s third largest population of more than 93 million residents. Most Egyptians live along the Nile and on the Mediterranean coast because other parts of the country are covered by Sahara and Libyan deserts. Arabic is the official language in Egypt. Although Egypt was one of the earliest Christian centers in the first century, Islam took over as the popular religion in the 7th century. Today, Islam is the predominant religion in Egypt taking up 90 percent of the population. Christians are a minority group forming 9 percent of the Egyptian population.

The Democratic Republic of Congo: The Fourth Most Populated African Nation

The Democratic Republic of Congo is a sovereign nation in Central Africa. As of 2017, the country had a population of slightly over 82 million residents. It ranked fourth on the list of most populous African nations. DR Congo experienced rapid population growth between 1992 and 2009 when the population shot up from 39 million to 66 million people. The country’s population is comprised of more than 200 ethnic groups. The major ethnic groups are the Kongo, Mongo, and Luba. The country also accommodates immigrants from African nations as well as international immigrants. French is the official language in DR Congo. Christianity is practiced by 90 percent of the population while Islam is a minority religion in the country.

Population Growth In Africa

Africa has the highest population growth rate among all the continents in the world. Although a growing population is necessary for the developing industries, large populations will put pressure on the limited resources in the continent. It is, therefore, necessary to manage the population growth experienced in most African countries.

The Most Populated Countries In Africa

RankCountry (or dependency)Population (2017)Land Area (Km²)
1Nigeria191,835,936910,902
2Ethiopia104,344,9011,000,430
3Egypt95,215,102994,933
4DR Congo82,242,6852,265,639
5Tanzania56,877,529885,943
6South Africa55,436,3601,213,049
7Kenya48,466,928568,861
8Sudan42,166,3231,764,281
9Uganda41,652,938199,774
10Algeria41,063,7532,387,428
11Morocco35,241,418446,094
12Mozambique29,537,914785,583
13Ghana28,656,723227,615
14Angola26,655,5131,245,585
15Madagascar25,612,972582,113
16Cameroon24,513,689472,325
17Côte d'Ivoire23,815,886317,969
18Niger21,563,6071,268,447
19Burkina Faso19,173,322273,514
20Mali18,689,9661,221,566
21Malawi18,298,67994,274
22Zambia17,237,931743,014
23Zimbabwe16,337,760387,151
24Senegal16,054,275192,497
25Chad14,965,4821,257,604
26Guinea13,290,659245,668
27South Sudan13,096,190611,971
28Rwanda12,159,58624,669
29Burundi11,936,48125,681
30Tunisia11,494,760155,335
31Benin11,458,611112,782
32Somalia11,391,962625,932
33Togo7,691,91554,398
34Sierra Leone6,732,89972,164
35Libya6,408,7421,780,206
36Eritrea5,481,906100,956
37Central African Republic5,098,826621,808
38Congo4,866,243342,693
39Liberia4,730,43796,343
40Mauritania4,266,4481,040,597
41Namibia2,568,569828,571
42Botswana2,343,981571,703
43Lesotho2,185,15930,349
44Gambia2,120,41810,121
45Guinea-Bissau1,932,87128,135
46Gabon1,801,232257,319
47Swaziland1,320,35617,192
48Mauritius1,281,3532,030
49Djibouti911,38223,190
50Equatorial Guinea894,46428,040
51Réunion873,3562,500
52Comoros825,9201,861
53Western Sahara596,021270,919
54Cabo Verde533,4684,029
55Mayotte253,068375
56Sao Tome and Principe198,481960
57Seychelles97,539460
58Saint Helena3,970389

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