• Tuesday, June 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

10 African countries with the lowest population at the outset of 2024

Ibadan’s growing population, a stimulant for modern retail penetration in Nigeria

Low-population brings lower housing costs, reduced congestion, and simpler administration.

Despite challenges in economic and social domains due to limited human capital, it fosters innovation, sustainability, and community resilience.

Booming African economies, such as Cape Verde and Mauritania, exemplify success with a relatively low population.

Although discussions in Africa often center on the challenges of high population density, such as unemployment and resource scarcity, the benefits of low-population regions are sometimes overlooked. These regions can foster sustainable development.

Additionally, a smaller population can create a more manageable environment for governance, potentially leading to enhanced quality of life and promoting environmental stewardship.

According to World Population Review, here are 10 African countries with the lowest population at the outset of 2024 as of February 9.

Seychelles – Population: 108,263 – Global Rank: 197th

Seychelles takes the top spot for the African country with the lowest population. Despite its small size, Seychelles is known for its stunning beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and unique biodiversity. The limited population allows for a close-knit community, but it also poses economic challenges, emphasizing the importance of sectors such as tourism and fisheries.

Sao Tome and Principe – Population: 235,137 – Global Rank: 187th

Situated in the Gulf of Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe is an island nation with a rich colonial history. The country’s low population contributes to a slower-paced lifestyle, and its economy relies heavily on agriculture, particularly cocoa production. Maintaining a balance between economic growth and environmental sustainability becomes crucial as the nation develops.

Western Sahara – Population: 593,408 – Global Rank: 172nd

Western Sahara, a region with a longstanding political dispute, has a relatively low population. The nomadic lifestyle of many inhabitants and the challenging desert environment influence the demographic dynamics. Addressing the political situation is paramount to unlocking the region’s potential and improving the livelihoods of its people.

Cape Verde – Population: 601,973 – Global Rank: 171st

Cape Verde, off the northwest coast of Africa, faces the dual challenge of limited resources and vulnerability to climate change. The small population fosters a sense of community, but economic diversification and sustainable development are crucial for long-term stability and growth.

Comoros – Population: 861,384 – Global Rank: 163rd

Comoros, an island nation in the Indian Ocean, struggles with economic challenges, including reliance on agriculture and susceptibility to natural disasters. With a small population, the country must focus on education, healthcare, and economic diversification to improve living standards and achieve sustainable development.

Djibouti – Population: 1,146,108 – Global Rank: 160th

Djibouti, strategically located at the crossroads of Africa and the Middle East, has a relatively small population. However, its geopolitical significance has led to infrastructure development, including ports and military bases. Balancing economic growth with social development is crucial for Djibouti’s future.

Eswatini – Population: 1,217,098 – Global Rank: 159th

Formerly known as Swaziland, Eswatini is a landlocked kingdom with a small population. The country faces challenges such as economic inequality. Efforts to diversify the economy and improve healthcare and education are essential for sustainable development.

Mauritius – Population: 1,301,978 – Global Rank: 157th

Mauritius, known for its economic prosperity and multicultural society, has a relatively small population compared to its African counterparts. The country’s success lies in economic diversification, strong institutions, and a focus on education and innovation.

Equatorial Guinea – Population: 1,738,819 – Global Rank: 152nd

Equatorial Guinea, despite its oil wealth, has a population that is modest in size. The challenge lies in managing resource wealth effectively to benefit the entire population, addressing social inequalities, and promoting sustainable development.

Guinea Bissau – Population: 2,178,487 – Global Rank: 148th

Guinea Bissau, with its diverse ethnic groups and colonial history, faces political instability and economic challenges. A relatively small population provides an opportunity for targeted development initiatives, focusing on governance, infrastructure, and poverty reduction.