The Most Populated Countries In Africa

By Lisa Medeiros on August 8 2020 in World Facts

Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa, with 190 million people. Editorial credit: ariyo olasunkanmi / Shutterstock.com.
  • Algeria is Africa's largest country by landmass.
  • Nigeria is Africa's most populous country.
  • Africa has 54 countries.

In a continent known for its colossal size and cultural diversity, Africa encompasses nearly 13 million square miles, with a population surpassing 1.3 billion. According to World Population Review, Africa has the youngest population worldwide with 41% of its population under the age of 15. With 54 countries, Africa exhibits a diverse range of language, landscape, beliefs, and cultures. We’ve put together a brief overview of the ten most populous countries in Africa according to data from the World Bank. 

1. Nigeria 206,139,589

Lagos, Nigeria. Image credit: Santos Akhilele Aburime/Shutterstock

As the most populous nation in Africa, Nigeria is home to over 206 million inhabitants. Each year, its population increases by nearly 5.5 million. With 2.64% of the world’s population, Nigeria is the seventh most populous country worldwide. 

2. Ethiopia 114,963,588

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Image credit: canyalcin/Shutterstock

Located in Africa’s horn on its east coast, the landlocked nation of Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa. It holds about 115 million people with an annual growth rate of 2.6%. This culturally diverse region is home to over 80 ethnic groups of multiple origins, including Cushitic and Afro-Asiatic. 

3. Egypt 102,334,404

Cairo, Egypt. Image credit: givaga/Shutterstock

A large portion of Egypt’s 102 million inhabitants resides in Cairo and cities along the River Nile, with 43% of the population living in urban areas. The nation’s population makes up 1.31% of the world’s population. With an annual population growth of 1.8 million, Egypt experiences an annual growth rate of 1.94%. 

4. The Democratic Republic of Congo 89,561,403

Kinchasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Image credit: Alexandra Tyukavina/Shutterstock

After experiencing rapid population growth in recent decades, The Democratic Republic of the Congo is now Africa’s fourth most populous nation. It is the second-largest country in Africa by landmass and one of the fastest-growing nations globally. From 1990 to 2010, the country increased its population from 34 million to 64 million. Today, DR Congo’s population is nearly 90 million.

5. South Africa 59,308,690

Cape Town, South Africa. Image credit: michaeljung/Shutterstock

Ranked as Africa’s fifth-most populous country, South Africa is home to 59 million inhabitants. The country currently has a 1.28% annual increase, falling considerable from its highest peak in 1983, when the population increased by 2.8%. South Africa makes up 0.76% of the world’s population and is one of the most developed countries in Africa.

6. Tanzania 59,734,218

Zanzibar, Tanzania. Image credit: Marius Dobilas/Shutterstock

Located just west of the Indian Ocean in East Africa, Tanzania holds a population of just under 60 million residents. Their population growth ranks among the highest at 2.98%, with the expectation of doubling in the next 24 years. 

7. Kenya 53,771,296

Nairobi, Kenya. Image credit: Sopotnicki/Shutterstock

Famous for its safaris, this East African country's economy is rapidly growing. With the majority of the 54 million Kenyans under 30, Kenya is one of Africa’s youngest nations. The country represents 0.69% of the world’s population, with its numbers expected to double by 2040. 

8. Uganda 45,741,007

Kampala, Uganda. Image credit: Andreas Marquardt/Shutterstock

This landlocked country in East Africa is home to approximately 46 million people. With an annual population growth rate of 3.32%, Uganda is one of the world’s most rapidly growing nations. Its median age is 16.7 years.

9. Algeria 43,851,044

Algiers, Algeria. Image credit: Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock

Considered the largest country in Africa, Algeria’s 919,600 square miles are predominately desert. Most of the country’s nearly 44 million inhabitants reside in its urban areas or near water sources. With an annual population growth rate of 1.85%, it’s expected the population will double by 2050.  

10. Sudan 43,849,260

Khartoum, Sudan. Image credit: Feroze Edassery/Shutterstock

With a population approaching 44 million people, Sudan is one of Africa’s most populous countries. This North African country borders South Sudan and Egypt. Although most of Sudan’s land is arid, it’s home to several major settlements along its riverbanks. 

The Most Populated Countries In Africa

RankCountryPopulation
1Nigeria206,139,589
2Ethiopia114,963,588
3Egypt102,334,404
4DR Congo89,561,403
5South Africa59,308,690
6Tanzania59,734,218
7Kenya53,771,296
8Uganda45,741,007
9Algeria43,851,044
10Sudan43,849,260
11Morocco36,910,560
12Angola32,866,272
13Ghana31,072,940
14Mozambique31,255,435
15Madagascar27,691,018
16Cameroon26,545,863
17Côte d'Ivoire26,378,274
18Niger24,206,644
19Burkina Faso20,903,273
20Mali20,250,833
21Malawi19,129,952
22Zambia18,383,955
23Senegal16,743,927
24Chad16,425,864
25Somalia15,893,222
26Zimbabwe14,862,924
27Guinea13,132,795
28Rwanda12,952,218
29Benin12,123,200
30Tunisia11,818,619
31Burundi11,890,784
32South Sudan11,193,725
33Togo8,278,724
34Sierra Leone7,976,983
35Libya6,871,292
36Congo5,518,087
37Liberia5,057,681
38Central African Republic4,829,767
39Mauritania4,649,658
40Eritrea3,546,421
41Namibia2,540,905
42Gambia2,416,668
43Botswana2,351,627
44Gabon2,225,734
45Lesotho2,142,249
46Guinea-Bissau1,968,001
47Equatorial Guinea1,402,985
48Mauritius1,271,768
49Eswatini1,160,164
50Djibouti988,000
51Réunion895,312
52Comoros869,601
53Western Sahara597,339
54Cabo Verde555,987
55Mayotte272,815
56Sao Tome & Principe219,159
57Seychelles98,347
58Saint Helena6,077

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