Africa is the second largest continent based on population as well as area. The continent has an area of 11.7 million square miles and a population of 1.2 billion people. The continent has an average population density of 94 persons per square mile. However, the population density ranges across the 52 countries with Mauritius having the highest population density while Namibia has the lowest population density.
The Three Most Densely Populated Countries Of Africa
Mauritius is an island country located 1,200 miles off the African mainland and is comprised of four islands which include Mauritius, Rodrigues, Saint Brandon, and Agalega. Mauritius has a population of 1,264,000 where 1,219,265 reside in the main island of Mauritius. The country covers a total area of 790 square miles translating to a population density of 1,601.2 persons per square mile, the highest in Africa. The population density is attributed to the island nation’s small area.
Rwanda is a small landlocked country located in the central part of Africa bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Burundi, and Tanzania. Rwanda is one of the smallest countries in the world covering an area of 10,169 square miles. Rwanda has a population of over 11 million people, translating to a population density of 1,152.5 persons per square mile, the second highest population density in Africa and the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of the population resides in the rural regions of the country with Rwanda having few large towns and its largest city, Kigali, having about 1 million residents.
Burundi is a tiny African country located in the central part of the continent and borders Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania. Burundi also borders Lake Tanganyika on its southwestern region. Burundi covers a total area of 10,747 square miles and a population of 11.1 million people translating to the third highest population density in Africa of 1,040.1 persons per square mile. The population is predominantly rural with 87% of the population residing in the rural areas of the country.
The Three Least Densely Populated Countries Of Africa
Botswana is a landlocked African country situated in the southern part of the continent. Botswana covers an area of 224,610 square miles with over 70% of the country being in the Kalahari Desert. The country is one of the least populous countries in Sub-Saharan Africa with a population of about 2.1 million people. With most of the country being arid, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world with a population density of 9.6 persons per square mile. The nation’s capital, Gaborone, is home to 10% of the total population.
Libya is an African country located in the northern part of the continent. Libya is bordered by The Mediterranean Sea, Algeria, Tunisia, Niger, Egypt, Sudan, and Chad. Libya is one of the largest countries in Africa covering an area of 679,362 square miles. The country is home to about 6.4 million people translating to a population density of 9.2 persons per square mile, the second lowest in Africa. The low population density is attributed to the remoteness of the country with a large percentage of the country being covered by desert.
Namibia is an African country located on the south-western edge of the continent. Namibia covers an area of 318,772 square miles, making it one of the largest countries in southern Africa. However, the country has a tiny population of about 2.1 million people which translates to a population density of 6.6 persons per square mile, the lowest in Africa and the 2nd lowest in the world. The low population density is attributed to the arid nature of most of the country.
Future Projection Of The African Population
The total population in Africa is projected to grow by 2.4 billion in the next 33 years. This growth in population (and population density) is attributed to improved healthcare in the continent.
Which Country Has the Highest Population Density in Africa?
With a population density of 624 inhabitants per square km, Mauritius is the most densely populated African nation.
African Countries By Population Density
|Rank||Country or territory||Density (inhabitants/km²)||Area (km²)|
|7||São Tomé and Príncipe||189.8||1,001|
|37||Democratic Republic of the Congo||32.9||2,345,410|
|47||Republic of the Congo||13.5||342,000|
|49||Central African Republic||7.9||622,984|
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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