Thinking Aloud: “Generation 2030: Africa”

Aug. 17, 2014 by Darius 

In 1950, Africa accounted for 9% of the world’s population.  By the end of this century, 40% of the world’s population will be African.  That’s just one forecast from a new UN report that provides a surprising look at African demographics.  I’ve detailed a few of the more interesting parts of the report below.

  • In terms of absolute population growth, Africa’s population will double by 2050 and nearly quadruple by 2100. Approximately half of the world’s population gain between now and 2100 will be in Africa.
  • In 1950, Africa’s population density was 8 people per square kilometer. By 2050, Africa’s population density will be 80 people per square kilometer.  Africa is also rapidly urbanizing.  By 2050, 60% of Africa’s population will be urban.
  • Between 2015 and 2050, nearly two billion babies will be born in Africa. By 2050, that will account for 41% of global births.  Nigeria alone will account for 10% of global births by 2050.
  • While child mortality rates in Africa are falling, they currently comprise about half of all global child mortality. By 2050, that percentage will rise to 70%.
  • By 2050, there will be nearly one billion children (under 18) in Africa. That will include 40% of the world’s under-fives and 35% of the world’s adolescents.
  • Africa already has the highest child dependency ratio in the world, with 73 children under 15 for every 100 working-age adults – nearly double that of all other continents. That ratio is actually set to decline as fertility rates drop and longevity increases.

The UN report also makes a number of important policy recommendations to ensure that these African children reap their demographic potential.

You can find the full report at http://www.unicef.org/media/files/UNICEF_Africa_Generation_2030_en_11Aug.pdf

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