Special Report

Countries with the Fastest-Growing Populations

Source: Dylan Walters / Wikimedia Commons

15. Uganda
> Projected population growth 2018-2030: 39.7%
> Population 2018 44.1 million
> Projected population 2030: 61.6 million
> 10-year population change through (2007-2017): 40.1%

Uganda has done well when it comes to dealing with health crises. For example, it has contained several Ebola outbreaks over the years. However, this week Uganda is dealing with renewed concerns over that disease, which may have been carried to Uganda from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo. The country may be facing another kind of crisis, as the population of this eastern African nation is projected to climb to 95.6 million by 2050, a near 40% growth. The population is surging because of a lack of family planning, and the government is worried about pressure on resources and rapid urbanization. As of 2018, almost half Uganda’s residents were under age 15, with a mere 3% over 65; by 2050, that older segment is expected to increase by only one percentage point.

Source: mtcurado / Getty Images

14. Gambia, The
> Projected population growth 2018-2030: 40.9%
> Population 2018 2.2 million
> Projected population 2030: 3.1 million
> 10-year population change through (2007-2017): 36.5%

The Gambia is one of the least populous countries in Africa, with a 2018 population of just over 2.2 million. Though relatively small, the country’s population has increased by 36.5% over the past 10 years. The figure is expected to surge by another nearly 41% by 2030, and is projected to break 5 million by 2050, more than double what it is today. Currently, the population density is about 220 people per square kilometer, and undoubtedly there will be less room to roam in the coming decades.

Source: HomoCosmicos / Getty Images

13. Somalia
> Projected population growth 2018-2030: 41.4%
> Population 2018 15.2 million
> Projected population 2030: 21.5 million
> 10-year population change through (2007-2017): 33.6%

Though it ranks at No. 190 in life expectancy (55 years for men; 58 for women), Somalia ranks fifth in birth rate (43 births per 1,000 people), and the population has climbed by more than one-third in the past 10 years. More than 60% of the population of this coastal East African country is below age 25, and the national headcount is expected to jump by more than 40% by 2030.

Source: borchee / Getty Images

12. Tanzania
> Projected population growth 2018-2030: 41.6%
> Population 2018 59.1 million
> Projected population 2030: 83.7 million
> 10-year population change through (2007-2017): 36.7%

Tanzania borders the Indian Ocean, between Kenya and Mozambique. Its inhabitants are spread out over an area more than twice the size of California. Roughly two-thirds of the population is under age 25, making it likely that the birth rate will remain high for years to come and may be partially behind the near 42% projected population growth. Tanzania’s growing population also includes migrants and refugees. The nation has enjoyed domestic stability and is home to two of Africa’s biggest tourist attractions – Africa’s highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, and national parks such as the Serengeti.

Source: oversnap / Getty Images

11. Mali
> Projected population growth 2018-2030: 41.8%
> Population 2018 19.4 million
> Projected population 2030: 27.5 million
> 10-year population change through (2007-2017): 35.6%

With an annual birth rate of 45 births per 1,000 residents, Mali is in a three-way tie with Angola and Chad for the second-highest birth rate on Earth. The population in the West African nation has surged by more than one-third over the past 10 years, a rate that is expected to soar to more than 40% by 2030.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.