Could Africa Be The Most Populous Continent In The World In 2100?

Africa's population is expected to double by the end of the century.
Africa's population is expected to double by the end of the century.

According to a report by the United Nations, the world will have an estimated total human population of 9.7 billion by 2050 and 11 billion by 2100. Currently, Asia hosts nearly 60% of the global population. Africa comes second, accounting for only 16% of the total population of the world. The rest of the regions of the world thus make up only about 24% of the global population. This picture is expected to change drastically in the coming years since Africa is expected to host nearly 39% of the global population at the end of the century.

A Slowdown That Is Still Quite Rapid

Although the estimated global rise in population from about 7.3 billion today to the estimated 11 billion in the year 2100 appears to be quite significant, it is also true that there is actually a slowdown. Since 1990, 2 billion people have been added to the world including 1 billion since 2003. Thus, the rate of population growth in the last few decades has been way higher than what is predicted for the future. At the current rate, about 83 million people are added to the world every year. However, the population growth has declined from 1.24% a decade ago to the current rate of 1.18%. Declining rates of fertility and the desire of smaller families are believed to act as factors influencing the decline. Despite this fact, it is also true that a world with a population of 11 billion people will certainly face extreme challenges. It is also estimated that the less developed nations with a high birth rate will be primarily responsible for the future growth in global population. African countries will thus be in the forefront, contributing the highest to the global population growth in the future.

The Scene In Africa

It is estimated that Africa will add about 1.3 billion people to the world in the next few decades. By the middle of this century, nearly one out of every four people in the world will be from Africa. Also, it could be the only continent whose population will continue to increase post-2050. It is expected that the continent’s population will be more than double of what it is today by the end of the century. By 2100, Africa will account for about 39% of the global population or even higher.

Reasons Supporting Africa’s Estimated Population Boom

Firstly, the continent has a relatively young population. In 2015, nearly half of the African population was aged 24 years or below. The fertility rate here is also relatively higher. With the development of African nations and improvement in healthcare facilities for women, it is expected that more live births will be recorded in the future. Also, life expectancy is expected to increase. Thus, the continent is ready to experience a population boom.

Nigeria Will Be World’s Third Most Populous Country

The UN has also estimated that Nigeria will climb several ranks to become the third most populous country in the world, a title that is now held by the US.

The Most Populous Continent In 2100

Although Africa is predicted to experience the highest increase in population by 2100, it still might be the second most populous continent in the world after Asia. The difference in population between the two continents is, however, not expected to be very high. A report by Statista mentions that while Africa will have an estimated population of 4467.58 million in 2100, the estimated population of Asia will be 4780.48 million in the same year.

Large Population, Big Problems

According to experts, this gigantic rise in the global human population will greatly deplete the natural resources and trigger environmental disasters. The world will face great problems like high rates of poverty, unemployment, and crime.

Could Africa Be The Most Populous Continent In The World In 2100?

RankYearWorld populationAfrica’s populationAfrican population as a % of world population
119502.5 billion230 million9%
220157.3 billion1.2 billion16%
320509.5 billion2.4 billion25%
4210011 billion4.2 billion39%

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