An astonishing demographic swing expected in Africa - CNBC Africa

An astonishing demographic swing expected in Africa

Special Report

by Trust Matsilele 0

Unicef says an astonishing demographic swing is expected in Africa in half a century. PHOTOS: digitaljournal/unicef

The projected growth is being attributed to high-fertility rates and rising numbers of women of the reproductive age.

According to the report, given current trends, over the next 35 years nearly two 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 almost a billion children.

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The study also reveals that four in 10 of the world’s people will be African by the end of this century.

About 1.8 billion births will take place between now and the middle of the century in this continent alone.

“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,” reads the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) report.

By the middle of the century one in every four people in the world will be African.

“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,” noted the report.


“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.”

(READ MORE: Transformation and growth for Africa)

One of the report authors David Anthony says this projected population growth in the continent might see a rising number in the continent comparable to other continents.

“The assumption is that these people will still be living in the continent though immigration dynamics will be a factor,” said Anthony.

“Each African women has high fertility levels with an average of 4.5 children while the global average is 2.5 children,” he added.

Anthony added that Africa’s current productive women population is at 280 million, noting that this is set to increase to about 600 million by the middle of the century.