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Explaining Africa’s Rapid Population Growth, 1950 to 2020: Trends, Factors, Implications, and Recommendations

Amadu Jacky Kaba
Published: 1 January 2020
Sociology Mind , Volume 10, pp 226-268; doi:10.4236/sm.2020.104015

Abstract: This study examines the rapid growth of Africa’s population in the post-World War II era. The study finds that Africa’s population increased by over 1 billion, from 228.7 million in 1950 to 1.341 billion in 2020: 431 million in Eastern Africa; 404 million in Western Africa; 247.5 million in Northern Africa; 193.5 million in Middle Africa; and 64.5 million in Southern Africa. There are four countries in Africa with populations of 100 million or more: 214 million in Nigeria; 108 million in Ethiopia; 104 million in Egypt; and 101.8 million in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Of the 1.341 billion people in Africa in 2020, 755.92 (56.4%) million are aged 24 and younger; and 533.5 (39.8%) million are under the age of 15. Some factors cited for this phenomenon are: high birth rates; high fertility rates; childbirth at a young age; low rates of contraceptive use; decline in infant mortality rates; decline in overall deaths rates; decline in maternal mortality rates; increase in life expectancy; and decline in HIV/AIDS related deaths. Some implications cited as a result of this phenomenon include increase in GDP and GDP per Capita in Africa; increase in the numbers of billionaires and millionaires in Africa; increase in political influence of African nations in the international community; and increase in the number of educated Africans, including those enrolled in college and college graduates. Finally, the study recommends that African nations should make the African Union a fully-fledged federal entity to be responsible for providing healthcare for the entire continent. The African Union should also represent all member states in the international community, including negotiating trade contracts or agreements.
Keywords: African Population / Population Growth / Trends / Demography / GDP / Billion-aires / Millionaires

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