Top 20 Most Populated Countries in Africa, 2022




Africa is the world’s second-largest and second-most populous continent on earth. With 1.3 billion people, the continent accounts for about 16% of the world’s human population. Its population is the youngest amongst all the continents; with a median age of 19.7.

Within the continent, Nigeria is the most populous country, followed by Ethiopia. Egypt, DR Congo and Tanzania completes the top five.

Top 20 Most Populated Countries in Africa, 2022

Most populated countries in Africa

1. Nigeria (Population: 216,522,900)

Nigeria, also known as the giant of Africa, is the most populous country in Africa with a population of over 216.5 million.

According to the United Nations, Nigeria has been undergoing explosive population growth and has one of the highest growth and fertility rates in the world.

By their projections, Nigeria is one of eight countries expected to account collectively for half of the world’s total population increase come 2050. The UN also estimates that by 2100 the Nigerian population will be between 505 million and 1.03 billion people.

2. Ethiopia (Population: 120,812,698)

Ethiopia is the second most populous landlocked country in the world. The country is home to 120.8 million inhabitants and is the most populous country in East Africa and the 2nd-most populous in Africa after Nigeria.

Its total population grew from 38.1 million in 1983 to 109.5 million in 2018 and then 120,812,698 in 2022.

Currently, the population growth rate is among the top ten countries in the world. The population is forecast to grow to over 210 million by 2060.

3. Egypt (Population: 106,156,692)

With about 106.1 million inhabitants as of 2022, Egypt is the most populated country in North Africa and the third most populous country on the African continent. Its population grew rapidly from 1970 to 2010 due to medical advances and increases in agricultural productivity enabled by the Green Revolution.

4. DR Congo (Population: 95,240,792)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a country in Central Africa. By area, it is the second-largest country in Africa and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of around 95.2 million – rapid increase from 39.1 million in 1992 despite the ongoing war—, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the fourth most populous country in Africa and officially the most populous Francophone country in the world.

5. Tanzania (Population: 63,298,550)

With a population of more than 63.2 million, Tanzania is the second most populated country in East Africa and the fifth most populous country in Africa.

6. South Africa (Population: 60,756,135)

South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, the country is the most populous nation in Southern Africa and the sixth most populous country in Africa.

The country is populated with peoples from diverse origins, culture and languages. About 81% of the population are Black South Africans, the remaining population consists of Africa’s largest communities of European, Asian, and Multiracial ancestry.

7. Kenya (Population: 56,215,221)

Kenya is a country in Eastern Africa. Its capital Kenya’s capital and largest city is Nairobi.

With a population of more than 56.2 million, Kenya is the seventh most populated country in East Africa.

The country has a young population, with 73% of residents under 30.

8. Uganda (Population: 48,432,863)

Uganda has a population of over 48.4 million, of which over 8.5 million live in the capital and largest city of Kampala.

Uganda has the fifth highest total fertility rate in the world, at 5.97 children born per woman (2014 estimates) and its median age of 15 years is the lowest in the world.

9. Sudan (Population: 45,992,020)

Sudan has a population of 45.70 million people as of 2022 and occupies 1,886,068 square kilometres, making it Africa’s third-largest country by area, and the third-largest by area in the Arab League.

10. Algeria (Population: 45,350,148)

At the outset of the 20th century, the population of Morocco was approximately four million but today the population hovers slightly over 45 million, 28.1% of whom are under the age of 15.

Algeria covers an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), making it the world’s tenth largest nation by area, and the largest nation in Africa.

11. Morocco (Population: 37,772,756)

With a population of roughly 37.7 million, Morocco is the fourth most populated country in North Africa and the eleventh most populous country in Africa.

12. Angola (Population: 35,027,343)

Angola is a country on the west coast of Southern Africa. It is the second-largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world, and the seventh-largest country in Africa.

Angola has a population of 35,027,343 inhabitants according to the world population review. The population is forecast to grow to over 60 million people in 2050, 2.7 times the 2014 population.

As of 2022, the total fertility rate of Angola is 5.4 children born per woman, the 6th highest in the world.

13. Mozambique (Population: 33,089,461)

Mozambique has a population of around 33 million and is the fifth most populous country in East Africa.

Based on current projections, Mozambique’s population will surpass 100 million by 2078 and will reach 122.8 million by the end of the century.

According to the latest survey, the total fertility rate was 4.9 children per woman, caused by early first pregnancies and the low use of contraceptive methods.

14. Ghana (Population: 32,395,450)

With over 32.3 million people, Ghana is the second-most populous country in West Africa, after Nigeria and the fourteenth most populated in Africa.

The median age of Ghanaian citizens is 30 years old and the average household size is 3.6 persons.

15. Madagascar (Population: 29,178,077)

The Republic of Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, approximately 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa.
In 2022, the population of Madagascar is estimated at 27.1 million, up from 2.2 million in 1900. The annual population growth rate in Madagascar was approximately 2.9 percent in 2009.

Approximately 42.5 percent of the population is younger than 15 years of age, while 54.5 percent are between the ages of 15 and 64.

16. Cameroon (Population: 27,911,548)

Cameroon has a population of 27.9 million inhabitants according to the world population review. The country also has a life expectancy of 60 years (58.6 years for males and 61.3 years for females).

Cameroon’s population is almost evenly divided between urban and rural dwellers. Population density is highest in the large urban centres, the western highlands, and the northeastern plain.

According to the World Fact Book, Cameroon has a fertility rate of 4.6 with a population growth rate of about 2.56%.

17. Ivory Coast (Population: 27,742,298)

Ivory Coast, also known as Côte d’Ivoire, is a country on the southern coast of West Africa. Its largest city and economic centre is the port city of Abidjan.

The country has a population of 27.7 million people and is the seventeenth most populated country in Africa.

Ivory Coast’s first national census in 1975 counted 6.7 million inhabitants. In 1998 the country’s population increased to 15,366,672, 20,617,068 in 2009, and 27,742,298 in 2022.

According to a 2021 survey, the fertility rate was 3.53 children born per woman.

18. Niger (Population: 26,083,660)

Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa with a predominantly Muslim population of about 26 million.

Niger covers a land area of almost 1,270,000 km2 (490,000 sq mi), making it the second-largest landlocked country in West Africa, after Chad. Over 80% of its land area lies in the Sahara Desert.

With a current growth rate of 3.3% (7.1 children per mother), Niger also has one of the highest growth rate in the world.

19. Burkina Faso (Population: 22,102,838)

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa. Previously called Republic of Upper Volta, it was renamed Burkina Faso by President Thomas Sankara. Its citizens are known as Burkinabè, and its capital and largest city is Ouagadougou.

Burkina Faso has a population of about 22.1 million people.

The total fertility rate of Burkina Faso is 4.27 children born per woman (2022 estimate), the twenty second highest in the world.

The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2020 was 44.4%, 53.2% of the population was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 2.4% was 65 years or older.

20. Mali (Population: 21,473,764)

Mali is a landlocked country in West Africa and the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of over 1,240,000 square kilometres.

In the early quarter of 2022, Mali’s population was estimated to be around 21.4 million.

Top 5 Most Populated Countries in North Africa

Most populated countries in North Africa

1. Egypt (Population: 106,156,692)

With about 106.1 million inhabitants as of 2022, Egypt is the most populated country in North Africa and the third most populous country on the African continent. Its population grew rapidly from 1970 to 2010 due to medical advances and increases in agricultural productivity enabled by the Green Revolution.

2. Sudan (Population: 45,992,020)

Sudan has a population of 45.70 million people as of 2022 and occupies 1,886,068 square kilometres, making it Africa’s third-largest country by area, and the third-largest by area in the Arab League.

3. Algeria (Population: 45,350,148)

At the outset of the 20th century, the population of Morocco was approximately four million but today the population hovers slightly over 45 million.

Algeria covers an area of 2,381,741 square kilometres (919,595 sq mi), making it the world’s tenth largest nation by area, and the largest nation in Africa.

4. Morocco (Population: 37,772,756)

Morocco is the northwesternmost country in the Maghreb region of North Africa.

With a population of roughly 37.7 million, Morocco is the fourth most populated country in North Africa.

5. Tunisia (Population: 12,046,656)

Tunisia is the smallest nation in North Africa and one of the few countries in Africa ranking high in the Human Development Index, with one of the highest per capita incomes in the continent.

According to the World population review, as of 2022, Tunisia has a population of 12,046,656 inhabitants making it the fifth most populous country in North Africa.

The government has supported a successful family planning program that has reduced the population growth rate to just over 1% per annum, contributing to Tunisia’s economic and social stability.

Top 5 Most Populated Countries in East Africa

Most populated countries in East Africa

1. Ethiopia (Population: 120,812,698)

Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world. It is home to 120.8 million inhabitants and is the most populous country in East Africa.

Its total population grew from 38.1 million in 1983 to 109.5 million in 2018 and then 120,812,698 in 2022.

Currently, the population growth rate is among the top ten countries in the world. The population is forecast to grow to over 210 million by 2060.

2. Tanzania (Population: 63,298,550)

With a population of more than 63.2 million, Tanzania is the second most populated country in East Africa.

3. Kenya (Population: 56,215,221)

Kenya is a country in Eastern Africa. Its capital Kenya’s capital and largest city is Nairobi, while its oldest, currently second largest city, and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa.

With a population of more than 56.2 million in the 2019 census, Kenya is the third most populated country in East Africa.

The country has a young population, with 73% of residents under 30.

4. Uganda (Population: 48,432,863)

Uganda has a population of over 48.4 million, of which over 8.5 million live in the capital and largest city of Kampala.

Uganda has the seventh highest total fertility rate in the world, at 5.36 children born per woman (2022 estimates) and its median age of 15 years is the lowest in the world.

5. Mozambique (Population: 33,089,461)

Mozambique has a population of around 33 million and is the fifth most populous country in East Africa.

Based on current projections, Mozambique’s population will surpass 100 million by 2078 and will reach 122.8 million by the end of the century.

According to the latest survey, the total fertility rate was 4.81 children per woman, caused by early first pregnancies and the low use of contraceptive methods.

Top 5 Most Populated Countries in West Africa

Most populated countries in West Africa

1. Nigeria (Population: 216,522,900)

Nigeria, also known as the giant of Africa, is the most populous country in West Africa with a population of over 216.5 million.

According to the United Nations, Nigeria has been undergoing explosive population growth and has one of the highest growth and fertility rates in the world. By their projections, Nigeria is one of eight countries expected to account collectively for half of the world’s total population increase come 2050. The UN also estimates that by 2100 the Nigerian population will be between 505 million and 1.03 billion people.

2. Ghana (Population: 32,395,450)

With over 32.3 million people, Ghana is the second-most populous country in West Africa, after Nigeria.

The median age of Ghanaian citizens is 30 years old and the average household size is 3.6 persons.

3. Ivory Coast (Population: 27,742,298)

Ivory Coast, also known as Côte d’Ivoire, is a country on the southern coast of West Africa. Its largest city and economic centre is the port city of Abidjan.

The country has a population of 27.7 million people and is the third most populated country in West Africa.

Ivory Coast’s first national census in 1975 counted 6.7 million inhabitants. In 1998 the country’s population increased to 15,366,672, 20,617,068 in 2009, and 27,742,298 in 2022.

According to 2012 government survey, the fertility rate was 5.0 children born per woman, with 3.7 in urban areas and 6.3 in rural areas.

4. Niger (Population: 26,083,660)

Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa with a predominantly Muslim population of about 22 million.

Niger covers a land area of almost 1,270,000 km2 (490,000 sq mi), making it the second-largest landlocked country in West Africa, after Chad. Over 80% of its land area lies in the Sahara Desert.

With a current growth rate of 3.3% (7.1 children per mother), Niger also has one of the highest growth rate in the world.

5. Burkina Faso (Population: 22,102,838)

Burkina Faso is a landlocked country in West Africa with an area of 274,200 km2 (105,900 sq mi). Previously called Republic of Upper Volta, it was renamed Burkina Faso by President Thomas Sankara. Its citizens are known as Burkinabè, and its capital and largest city is Ouagadougou.

Burkina Faso has a population of about 22.1 million people and they belong to two major West African ethnic cultural groups—the Voltaic and the Mandé.

The total fertility rate of Burkina Faso is 5.93 children born per woman (2014 estimates), the sixth highest in the world.

The proportion of children below the age of 15 in 2020 was 44.4%, 53.2% of the population was between 15 and 65 years of age, while 2.4% was 65 years or older.

Top 5 Most Populated Countries in Southern Africa

Most populated countries in Southern Africa

1. South Africa (Population: 60,756,135)

South Africa, is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, the country is the most populous nation in Southern Africa and the sixth most populous country in Africa.

2. Zimbabwe (Population: 15,331,428)

With a total population of over 15 million, Zimbabwe is the second most populous nation in Southern Africa. According to the United Nations Stats, the life expectancy for men was 60 years and the life expectancy for women was 63 years of age (2012).

3. Namibia (Population: 2,633,874)

Namibia has a population of 2.6 million people and the lowest population density in Africa.

Whites makeup between 4.0 and 7.0% of the population. Although their proportion of the population decreased after independence due to emigration and lower birth rates, they still form the second-largest population of European ancestry, both in terms of percentage and actual numbers, in Sub-Saharan Africa (after South Africa).

4. Botswana (Population: 2,441,162)

A country of slightly over 2.4 million people, Botswana is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. About 11.6 percent of the population lives in the capital and largest city, Gaborone.

Formerly one of the world’s poorest countries — with a GDP per capita of about US$70 per year in the late 1960s—it has since transformed itself into an upper-middle-income country, with one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

5. Lesotho (Population: 2,175,699)

Lesotho is a landlocked country enclaved by South Africa. Lesotho has an area of just over 30,000 km2 (11,600 sq mi) and has a population of about 2 million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru.

Lesotho has a population of approximately 2,175,699 and it’s the 5th most populous country in Southern Africa. The population distribution of Lesotho is 25 percent urban and 75 percent rural. Population density is lower in the highlands than in the western lowlands. The country also has a substantial youth population numbering around 34.8 percent.





Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.

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