Africa’s population will triple by 2100, Nigeria to reach near 800 million
Every global region could see their populations decline by the end of the century. But, in sharp contrast, total population in Africa will triple in the same period, according to a recent report on fertility and population growth.
The expected population contraction will be due to dropping fertility rates with death rates being either at par with or faster than birth rates in several countries, the Lancet report shows.
The varying rates of contraction will be most extreme in countries in Europe and East Asia, along with 20 others, where declines could see their populations halved by 2100.
A population boom in Africa has long been predicted, with earlier estimates showing that more than half of global population growth by 2050 will occur in the continent.
However, the Lancet’s findings cover a longer timeline and also corroborate earlier forecasts which show that Nigeria, already Africa’s most populous country, will drive the boom in Africa with an expected population of 790.7 million by 2100.
Nigeria is estimated to become the second most populous country globally by 2100, just behind India. China, India and the United States, are currently the the three most populous nations, in the same order.
Nigeria’s growth spike will be replicated in other African countries and will see the continent go from having only two countries with populations of over 100 million, as of 2017, to nine by 2100.
The Lancet’s findings also suggest that, by 2100, up to 183 countries will have fertility rates lower than 2.1 births per woman—considered the minimum rate required for generational replacement of the population. While several African countries will have lower fertility rates by 2100, the impending population growth will be due to its young population and the current high fertility rates across the region.
However, experts say population growth should be controlled and managed, since rapid population increases will make it harder for governments to reduce poverty and hunger or boost local access to standard health and education.