Five Facts on Africa’s Population Explosion

Thanks to Learning Life researcher, Derrick Costa, for helping to draft these five facts.  

1) Earth: 7.2 Billion, and Rising
The world’s population growth rate has been declining for decades, but the actual number of people on Earth is still rising rapidly. The Earth currently has over 7.2 billion people, up from 2.5 billion in 1950, and it is expected to rise to 9.7 by 2050.

2) Africa: 1.1 Billion, and Rising Fastest
Africa’s current population is more than 1.1 billion people, up from 229 million in 1950, and it is expected to more than double to 2.4 billion by 2050. With the total African population growing at more than 2% per year, Africa has the highest population growth rate of any continent on Earth.

3) One Quarter of the World’s Children
More than a quarter of the world’s people (2.2. billion) are children under 18 years of age. Nearly one quarter of the world’s children live in Africa.

4) 9 in 10 Children Born Poorer
Nine out of ten African children are born in low-income and lower-middle income countries, like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Liberia and Burundi. Three in ten African children are born in fragile and conflict-affected nations. According to the World Bank, 20 of the world’s 34 countries suffering conflict and fragile economies are African.

5) Majority Urban by late 2030s
Africa’s longstanding rural image is quickly disappearing. In 1950, 14% of Africans lived in urban areas. By 1980, 27% did. Today, 40% do. By the late 2030s, Africa is set to become majority urban for the first time in its history.


Population Reference Bureau. “2014 World Population Data Sheet.”

UNICEF. “Generation 2030 / Africa.”

Wikipedia. “List of continents by population.”