Generation 2030 | Africa

Generation 2030 | Africa

A new report from UNICEF, Generation 2030 | Africa, shows how Africa, already the world’s second most populous continent with over 1 billion inhabitants, is experiencing a demographic shift unprecedented in its scale and swiftness. In the next 35 years, 1.8 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 reach almost 1 billion. read more

All other continents will see relatively smaller increases, if any. By the end of the century, on current trends, Africa will have almost quadrupled its population to over 4 billion, and will be home to almost 40 per cent of humanity.

The Generation 2030 | Africa report provides an in-depth analysis of child demographic trends in Africa, analyzing levels and trends in African population, fertility, births, population density and urbanization for the continent as whole, by sub-region, and country-by-country, and contextualizes some of these trends. Read the full report here.

Key data from the report are animated below for you to explore. See how the levels and trends in population, fertility and births in different continents or regions compare to one another and how they have changed over time.


The world population is increasing but the growth is slowing down

Today, more than 7 billion people are living in the world, almost a tripling of the population in 1950. Even as population growth rates continue to slow in recent projections, by the end of the century 11 billion people will live on earth.

Show Africa's share

… because Africa's total population is still increasing rapidly

Worldwide, Africa is the only region where the population is projected to keep increasing throughout the 21st century. Currently there are 1.2 billion people in Africa, more than five times the population in 1950. By 2050, Africa's population will double, to 2.4 billion, eventually reaching 4.2 billion by the end of the century- just about the entire world population in 1977.

Show Children under 18

Today 1 in 4 people in the world is a child…

of the 2.2 billion children, almost a quarter live in Africa and 60 per cent live in Asia

asia continent shape Asia
africa continent shape Africa
north america continent shape Northern America
south america continent shape Latin America and the Caribbean
europe continent shape Europe
oceania continent shape Oceania

In 2015, nine in ten African babies are born in low- and lower-middle-income economies

More than half of all births in Africa occur in low-income countries and another 40 per cent in lower-middle-income countries.

africa map There are 54 countries in Africa

Three in ten babies in Africa are born into fragile and conflict affected countries.

In 2014, 11 million of the 40 million African babies are born in 20 fragile and conflict affected countries.

* Maps on this site do not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.


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See the population story

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icon_time Change over time
  • Total
  • Under 5
  • Under 18
  • Adolescent
  • 60+

Continents arrow opened

Africa UNECA arrow collapsed

Africa AU arrow collapsed

UNICEF Region arrow collapsed

Top 15 Countries

  • 2015
  • 2050

Countries were ranked using 2015 data. k for thousands, M for millions, B for billions

The seismic demographic shifts that Africa's child population will experience are among the most important questions facing the continent, and indeed vital issues for the world. It is time to acknowledge our shared responsibility to the future of Africa and take the policy decisions required for all Africa's children to finally realize all of their rights. Read more

© UNICEF 2014

Main data source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division.
Classifications: Fragile and conflicted affected states refer to the World Bank “Harmonized List of Fragile Situations FY14”. The detailed classification can be found at here. The national income classification follows the World Bank income classification. The detailed classification can be found at: here. The detailed regional classifications for the averages for the regions and the world can be found in the full report.