After a steady surge in global population over the past century, growth rates have been falling around the world. In fact, in some regions — most notably in parts of Europe and Asia — there’s been hardly any growth at all. And even some declines.
There’s one massive outlier, however.
Africa’s population is growing by more than 2% annually, while Asia, which saw similar growth rates decades ago, has slowed to less than 1%, according to figures from the United Nations.
Clearly, Africa is closing the gap in a hurry on the world’s most populated region, as KPMG researcher Simon Kuestenmacher shows in this animated graphic, which is based on the UN data.
“The last 60 years saw the rise of China, while the rest of the century will see Africa quickly moving towards becoming the most populated region on Earth,” Kuestenmacher wrote in a post accompanying the chart. “Have a look at Europe disappearing!”
The UN pointed out that more than half of the growth between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Africa. Specifically, “of the additional 2.4 billion people projected to be added… between 2015 and 2050, 1.3 billion will be added in Africa.”
That compares to 1950, when Africa accounted for a scant 9% of the global population.
Some of the factors driving the growth include high fertility rates among African women, major gains in life spans and big declines in child mortality.