Urban population - Country Ranking - Africa

Definition: Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices. It is calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverages.

Source: World Bank staff estimates based on the United Nations Population Division's World Urbanization Prospects.

See also: Thematic map, Time series comparison

Find indicator:
Rank Country Value Year
1 Nigeria 90,385,380.00 2016
2 Egypt 41,358,560.00 2016
3 South Africa 36,505,690.00 2016
4 Dem. Rep. Congo 33,868,360.00 2016
5 Algeria 28,953,740.00 2016
6 Morocco 21,407,720.00 2016
7 Ethiopia 20,400,760.00 2016
8 Tanzania 17,958,710.00 2016
9 Ghana 15,424,000.00 2016
10 Sudan 13,459,570.00 2016
11 Côte d'Ivoire 13,001,710.00 2016
12 Angola 12,913,910.00 2016
13 Cameroon 12,877,020.00 2016
14 Kenya 12,626,660.00 2016
15 Mozambique 9,371,886.00 2016
16 Madagascar 8,897,561.00 2016
17 Tunisia 7,645,536.00 2016
18 Mali 7,320,840.00 2016
19 Zambia 6,865,351.00 2016
20 Uganda 6,822,281.00 2016
21 Senegal 6,791,128.00 2016
22 Somalia 5,731,494.00 2016
23 Burkina Faso 5,722,217.00 2016
24 Zimbabwe 5,212,852.00 2016
25 Libya 4,956,188.00 2016
26 Benin 4,826,757.00 2016
27 Guinea 4,667,189.00 2016
28 Niger 3,929,935.00 2016
29 Rwanda 3,548,438.00 2016
30 Congo 3,372,688.00 2016
31 Chad 3,268,876.00 2016
32 Togo 3,077,767.00 2016
33 Sierra Leone 2,981,996.00 2016
34 Malawi 2,976,788.00 2016
35 Mauritania 2,599,793.00 2016
36 Liberia 2,311,525.00 2016
37 Central African Republic 1,853,103.00 2016
38 Gabon 1,729,660.00 2016
39 Burundi 1,300,676.00 2016
40 Botswana 1,298,625.00 2016
41 The Gambia 1,227,667.00 2016
42 Namibia 1,180,963.00 2016
43 Eritrea 937,627.00 2011
44 Guinea-Bissau 909,556.00 2016
45 Djibouti 729,648.00 2016
46 Lesotho 613,544.00 2016
47 Mauritius 499,678.00 2016
48 Equatorial Guinea 489,854.00 2016
49 Cabo Verde 357,119.00 2016
50 Swaziland 286,281.00 2016
51 Comoros 226,046.00 2016
52 São Tomé and Principe 131,235.00 2016
53 Seychelles 51,328.00 2016

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Development Relevance: Explosive growth of cities globally signifies the demographic transition from rural to urban, and is associated with shifts from an agriculture-based economy to mass industry, technology, and service. In principle, cities offer a more favorable setting for the resolution of social and environmental problems than rural areas. Cities generate jobs and income, and deliver education, health care and other services. Cities also present opportunities for social mobilization and women's empowerment.

Limitations and Exceptions: Aggregation of urban and rural population may not add up to total population because of different country coverage. There is no consistent and universally accepted standard for distinguishing urban from rural areas, in part because of the wide variety of situations across countries. Most countries use an urban classification related to the size or characteristics of settlements. Some define urban areas based on the presence of certain infrastructure and services. And other countries designate urban areas based on administrative arrangements. Because of national differences in the characteristics that distinguish urban from rural areas, the distinction between urban and rural population is not amenable to a single definition that would be applicable to all countries. Estimates of the world's urban population would change significantly if China, India, and a few other populous nations were to change their definition of urban centers. Because the estimates of city and metropolitan area are based on national definitions of what constitutes a city or metropolitan area, cross-country comparisons should be made with caution.

Statistical Concept and Methodology: Urban population refers to people living in urban areas as defined by national statistical offices. The indicator is calculated using World Bank population estimates and urban ratios from the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects. To estimate urban populations, UN ratios of urban to total population were applied to the World Bank's estimates of total population. Countries differ in the way they classify population as "urban" or "rural." The population of a city or metropolitan area depends on the boundaries chosen.

Aggregation method: Sum

Periodicity: Annual