After the global population inches towards a whopping 8 billion after increasing by 74 million in just a year, studies are showing that by 2050, a quarter of the world’s people will be African. The 8 billion mark will be passed in 2022 and by 2050, earth will be inhabited by 9.5 billion humans. This staggeringly defies claims by the likes of Elon Musk who claimed that the already low and declining birthrate is one of the biggest threats to civilisation.
Europe, North America and east Asia’s fertility rates are generally below 2.1 births per woman – the level at which populations remain stable at constant mortality rates. Italy has the lowest birthrate in the country’s history, with South Korea also having its fertility rate stuck below one birth per woman for decades.
This is what Musk alluded to, but it seems as though the billionaire was not taking into consideration Africa. The populations of more than half of Africa’s 54 nations will double by 2050, a product of sustained high fertility and improving mortality rates. The continent will become home of at least 25% of the world’s population, compared with less than 10% in 1950. To compare, Asia’s population will have multiplied by a factor of four in this timeframe. Africa’s will have risen tenfold.
40% of all Africans are kids under the age of 14 and the median age in most African countries is below 20. 450 million children will be birthed by African mothers in the 2020s. It is predicted that it will rise to more than 550 million in the 2040s. The estimations were compiled in a Guardian article by Edward Paice, the author of ‘Youthquake – Why African Demography Should Matter to the World.’ Paice argues that Africa being left out of demographics by the likes of Musk continues to show how misunderstood Africa is by the Western world.
The Census Bureau is estimating that, worldwide, 4.3 births and two deaths are expected every second. The likes of the US are expecting to experience a birth every nine seconds and a death every 11. But Paice points out that the sheer weight of numbers must change the way how we view African populations. The growth will impact geopolitics, global trade, technological developed and all areas of life. He urges everyone, from governments to individuals, to familiarise with the continent’s diverse demographic in order to no longer marginalise such a culturally rich continent and its peoples.