World Facts

In 2100, 40% Of The World Population Will Be African

Africa will be home to over 4 billion people by the end of this century.

According to the United Nations, the world had a population of about 2.6 billion people in 1950 that grew to 5 billion by 1987. By 1999 the world population had increased to 6 billion, and by 2011, the world had a population of 7 billion people. In October of 2011, a global movement called “7 Billion Actions” was launched to celebrate the milestone. In the next 30 years, the global population is anticipated to increase by 2 billion people to stand at 9.7 billion people in 2050 from the current population of 7.7 billion. By the year 2100, the world population is projected to stand at slightly above 11 billion people.

Population In Africa 

Africa is the second-largest continent in the world and is the second most populous with the estimated population as of 2019, being 1.31 billion people. In 2016 the continent had a population of 1.2 billion people. In 2009, the population of the continent reached one billion. It has been forecasted that between 2015 and 2050, more than half of the world population growth will take place in Africa. The continent has had the highest growth rate among the major regions around the world, and between 2010 and 2015, the growth rate was 2.55% every year. Between 2015 and 2050, it is anticipated that an additional 1.3 billion people will be added to the continent. Some regions in the continent have relatively low growth in population, while other regions such as Uganda and Nigeria have some of the highest growth rates in the continent. Besides, there is a higher proportion of young people in Africa. It is estimated that about 41% of the total population in the continent is below the age of 15. Similarly, life expectancy in Africa is relatively low, with many countries having a life expectancy of about 50 years when the average life expectancy for the whole continent is 52 years.

Population Of Africa By 2100  

The population in Africa has increased drastically. In 1900, the population in Africa stood at 140 million people, and by 2010 it had reached one billion people. The population is anticipated to reach 2.5 billion people in 2050 and more than 4 billion by the year 2100. Currently, one out of every six people in the world is African. The projection indicates that by 2050, one out of every four people in the world will be African, and by 2100 more than one in three people in the whole world would be African. By 2100, about 40% of the global population will be African compared to 1950, when 9% of the world population was African. Currently, the African population accounts for 17% of the global population. Today, the ten most populous countries in the world include Brazil, Russia, Mexico, and Bangladesh. According to Pew Research, by 2100, these countries will be overtaken by countries such as the DRC, Egypt, Tanzania, and Ethiopia, all of them in Africa. Currently, none of these countries feature in the top 10. 

Projected Population Growth Of Africa 

It is projected that by 2100, half of all babies in the world will be born in Africa, which is a significant increase from the current ratio of three in ten. According to the UN data, out of the ten countries that will experience the biggest gain in population numbers by 2100, eight will be from Africa. Nigeria will experience the largest gain of 527 million more people followed by DRC (272 million), Tanzania (226 million), Ethiopia (179 million), Angola (155 million), Niger (141 million), Egypt (122 million), and Sudan (98 million). The only two non-African nations on the top 10 list are the US and Pakistan, both of which are projected to gain 103 million and 182 million people, respectively. On the other hand, the top ten countries projected to experience the largest loss of population by 2100; none of them is African. Most of them are in Europe and Asia. China is expected to experience the largest decrease in population. China’s population by 2100 is projected to have 374 million fewer people compared to the present population. The decline in China’s population would be more than the current population of the US. By 2027, India will have overtaken China as the country with the highest population in the world.

The Reason For The Rapid Population Growth In Africa

Africa’s population is increasing rapidly because birth rates are higher than death rates by four to one. Although mortality rates are the highest in the world, it has dropped in the recent past. Similarly, fertility rates have also declined and on average African woman has 4.5 children compared 6.5 children 40 years ago and 5.5 children 20 years ago. Similar trends have been observed in different continents as well. In comparison, women in Asia have an average of 2.1 children, Latin America 2.0 children, North America average 1.9 children, and Europe average 1.6 children per every woman. The decreasing mortality rates and the comparatively high fertility rates are the main reasons for the rapid increase in the growth of the population in Africa. It is postulated that, even if the fertility rates were to decline further, it would not slow down the growth rates in the near future or even halt the population growth. The reason for such an increase is due to demographic inertia. It was projected that even if the fertility rates in Africa were to drop right away in 2017 to the levels of China and Europe of 1.6 children per woman- the most unlikely case scenario - the population in the continent would continue increasing to reach 1.6 billion by 2050. The reason for such a case being that the continent has a high population of young people between the ages of 15 years and 49 years. So, even if each had exceptionally few children, the number of births would still be very high.  

Wide Variations In Fertility Rates In Africa

Africa is a continent with many contrasts. For instance, countries such as Nigeria, Egypt, and Ethiopia have populations of almost 100 million people each, while other countries such as Seychelles, Sao Tome, and Principe, Mayotte, Reunion, Cabo Verde, Djibouti, and Comoros have populations of less than 1 million. Similarly, other countries have higher fertility rates than others. For instance, countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Seychelles, and Algeria have rising fertility rates. Other countries such as Nigeria, DRC, and Mozambique have high fertility rates, but they are decreasing by less than 1% annually. Other countries such as Sierra Leone, Malawi, Kenya, Rwanda, and Ethiopia have high fertility rates but falling rapidly at about 2.5% annually. Some countries in Africa have exceptionally high fertility rates of more than six children per woman in countries such as Mali, DRC, Chad, Somalia, and Niger. In contrast, in other countries, fertility rates have fallen drastically to less than 2.1 children per woman in Mauritius and Tunisia.

Africa In Contrast With Other Parts Of The World

Africa, until recently, was just too small, in terms of population size and its economy that it did not matter much in the world. The population of sub-Saharan in 1950 was 180 million people. Its population at the time was only one-third the population of Europe or about twice the population of Japan. At the time, it was almost an empty continent and was only useful as a source of raw materials for European powers. However, the continent has continued to remain a source of most raw materials. In the late 1980s, the population in sub-Saharan Africa was only 372 million people, while the whole continent had a population of 480 million people. During this time, Asia had a population of 2.6 billion people, and Europe still had about twice the sub-Saharan Africa’s population. Since then, so much has changed, and as of 2015, the population in sub-Saharan Africa stood at 970 million people. Currently, the population is one-third larger than the population of Europe. It is projected that 25 years from now, in about 2045, the population of sub-Saharan Africa will be 1.8 billion people, which will be more than twice the population of the whole of Europe, including Russia. In 60 years, from 1980 to 2040, the population of sub-Saharan Africa will have increased from being half the population of Europe to become twice the population of Europe. 

World Population Now And In 2100

According to the UN, 4.7 billion people live in Asia, which accounts for 61% of the world population. Africa has 1.3 billion people accounting for 17% of the global population, and Europe is home to 750 million people accounting for 10% of the global population, while Latin America and the Caribbean are home to 650 million people accounting for 8% of the world population. On the other hand, 5% of the world population lives in North America and Oceania having 370 million and 43 million people respectively. It is projected that the world population will be 8.5 billion in 2030, and it will increase to 9.7 billion in 2050, and by the year 2100, the population is anticipated to be 11.2 billion people. Like any other predictions, there is some level of uncertainty regarding population projections. Figures are based on medium projections that assume a slight decrease in fertility rates in several countries where large families are still common. It also assumes a slight increase in fertility in many countries with fewer than 2.0 children per woman.

In 2100, 40% Of The World Population Will Be African

RankYearWorld’s PopulationAfrica’s Population
119502.5 billion230 million
220157.3 billion1.2 billion
320509.5 billion2.4 billion
4210011 billion4.2 billion

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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