Four in 10 of the world’s people will be African by the end of this century

August 14, 2014

Africa, Did you know?, International

Four in 10 of the world’s people will be African by the end of this century
UNICEF released a report August 13, 2014 where it projected the growth of Africa’s child population within the next century.

Africa Century Population


Africa, already the world’s second most populous continent with over 1 billion inhabitants, is experiencing a demographic shift unprecedented in its scale and swiftness. Consider this: In the next 35 years, 1.8 billion babies will be born in Africa; the continent’s population will double in size; and its under-18 population will increase by two thirds to reach almost 1 billion.

Today more than 7 billion people are living in the world and on current projections there will be 11 billion by the end of the 21st century. Africa’s population will continue to grow significantly while all the other continents will see a relatively smaller increase or decline in their current numbers of births, total population and child population. Africa is also ageing at a far slower pace than the rest of the world, and could potentially reap a demographic dividend as its labour force expands at a faster rate than its dependent population. By the end of the century, Africa is projected to have almost quadrupled its population to over 4 billion, and will be home to almost 40 per cent of humanity.

Video: Africa could benefit from population boom

Video: Aljazeera- The youth boom and harnessing the demographic dividend in Africa
Interview of Dr. Eliya Zulu, Executive Director, African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP)


A Brief portion of the executive summary

• Africa has experienced a marked increase in its population in last few decades. Its current population is five times its size in 1950. And the continent’s rapid population expansion is set to continue, with its inhabitants doubling from 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion between 2015 and 2050, and eventually reaching 4.2 billion by 2100.

• The future of humanity is increasingly African. More than half the projected 2.2 billion rise in the world population in 2015-2050 is expected to take place in Africa, even though the continent’s population growth rate will slow. On current trends, within 35 years, 1 in every 4 people will be African, rising to 4 in 10 people by the end of the century. Back in 1950, only 9 among 100 of the world’s number of inhabitants were African.

• With its inhabitants set to soar, Africa will become increasingly crowded, with its population density projected to increase from 8 persons per square kilometre in 1950 to 39 in 2015 and to about 80 by mid-century.

A billion children will live in Africa by mid-century

• In 2050, around 41 per cent of the world’s births, 40 per cent of all under-fives, 37 per cent of all children under 18 and 35 per cent of all adolescents will be African — higher than previously projected. In 1950, only about 10 per cent of the world’s births, under-fives, under-18s and adolescents were African.

• The population of Africa’s under-fives will swell by 51 per cent from 179 million in 2015 to 271 million in 2050 and its overall child population (under-18s) will increase by two thirds from 547 million in 2015 to almost 1 billion by mid-century.

• It is projected that 1.1 billion children under 18 will be living in Africa by 2100, accounting for almost half (47 per cent) of the world population of children at that time.


UNICEF Generation 2030| AFRICA

Source: © UNICEF August 2014
Division of Data, Research, and Policy

Click images below to enlarge. Click your return arrow to return to this Dilemma X article.

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) regions


Africa fertility map

Africa Population

Africa- Nations' Population

Africa- Nations' Adolescent and Child Population

World Population

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