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Describe Africa's demographic trends and features


Describe Africa's demographic trends and features



Over the last one century Africa's population has grown at a rapid rate. The various estimates of the population size of Africa indicate that prior to 1900, the annual growth rate of population was less than l 0.1 per cent; during the period 1900-1950, it was 1.2 per cent; in the period 1950-1970, the growth rate was estimated at 2.8 per cent; in the period 1980-1990, the rate was at 3.2 per cent. These data shows that the recent demographic trends in Africa are characterized not only by unprecedented rapid growth rates but also associated youthful age.
Africa faces a major population explosion in the near future. Africa's population which was estimated at 257 million in 1960 had increased to 482 million by 1983. After 1993 the population of the continent was estimated at 682 million. The average annual growth rate during the decade was 3.2 percent - the highest among Third World regions. In 1983, the ECA, using high variant assumptions, projected that total African population will be about 1.1 billion by 2008, taking an annual growth rate of 3.2per cent during the 25-year period (1983-2008).The associated numbers of urban dwellers will be 472 million; children (0-14), 479 million; active population (15-64), 546 million; and school age 178 million (primary), 152 million (secondary) and 124 million (tertiary).
Even under the medium variant of the population projections by ECA, a2.8 per cent annual growth would bring the total population to 997 million by the year 2008 instead of 1.1 billion based on high] variant assumptions. Thus the prospects of a new and better demographic setting that will not bring about unsustainable pressures and tensions but will rather ensure the progress and prosperity of all African countries seem rather remote during the next 14 years as drastic structural changes in the demographic situation take a long time.
Fertility Rates- In projections to 2030, the African population is expected to peak at 1.6 billion from 1.0 billion in 2010 (Graph 1), which would represent 19% of the world’s population. Asia and Latin America will account for 58% and 8%, of world population, respectively. These projections rely upon assumptions about vital fertility and mortality rates. The fertility rate is assumed to decline at a varying pace by country, and follow a trajectory similar to the one in other major global areas.
Mortality Rates are generally poised to improve over the coming decades as communicable diseases in Africa continue to be addressed, although malaria remains endemic in most African countries and continues to represent a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Much progress is nonetheless expected in child and infant mortality rates: child mortality is projected to decline from 116 per 1000 live deaths in 2010 to 75 per 1000 live deaths in 2030 (Graph 3) thanks to better incomes, access to improved water supply and sanitation, and better health facilities.
By 2030, average life expectancy in Africa is projected to reach 64 years, compared to 57 years in 2010 (Graph 4).The improvement varies across regions. North Africa and East Africa are projected to have the highest life expectation with 76 to 64 years against the lower figure of 56 years in Central Africa. Projected trends of life expectancy vary in countries grouped by income levels between 1990 and 2030.The rise in life expectancy is expected to be higher for low-income countries where it will rise from 14 years between 1990 and 2030; in middle-income countries, the expected increase is 12 years; in the upper middle-income countries, the expected increase is 5 years.
Size and structure of Africa’s population- The bulk of African countries have a very young population. This often implies a large proportion of young adults in the working-age population (over 40 percent), a rapidly growing school age population, and high rates of workforce growth. These dynamics in turn are associated with high levels of unemployment and political instability/backlash. If countries manage the demographic transition wisely, a window of opportunity opens up (demographic dividend) for faster economic growth and human development. While fertility declines yield an immediate drop in the growth rate of children and the elderly population, there is, however, a substantially delayed decline in the rate of growth of the working age population. However, the stalling of the fertility decline could threat to maintain Africa’s population in the ? arc of instability? demonstrated by a non ending youth bulge.
Aging Population- Africa’s demographic trends reveal a growing aging population and unprecedented growth of the youth population. Population aging is expected to accelerate between 2010 and 2030, as more people live to age 65. Projections show that the elderly could account for 4.5% of the population by 2030 from 3.2 % in 2010 (Graph 7). This population faces a different set of challenges: aging is highly linked with long-term physical and mental disability and many long-term chronic conditions that will likely increase the needs for personal care. Yet, average spending on health is low and health care systems in most of Africa are weak, and unable to adequately address these emerging health problems. Moreover, there is a general lack of broad-based pension systems, while other social safety nets are sparse and stretched. There is greater prevalence of poverty, particularly among elderly headed households today than in the past. This is a key emerging policy challenge across most African countries.
francis1897 answered the question on January 12, 2023 at 07:42

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