A lot has been said and is still being said about the rate of population growth in Africa. In fact the most recent (2017), and much cited iteration of the UN population report predicts that by 2050 global population will grow by around 2.2 billion people and more than half of that growth will come from Africa; where population will swell by an estimated 1.3 billion people. That's a lot of people!
Now there are many that believe that this pace of population growth spells doom for the Continent's economic future; a prediction that is drawn from the commonly accepted notion that the "miracle" economic growth experienced in South-East Asia, was in pertinent part due to the successful caliberation of population growth. Now whether this notion holds true in the African context remains the subject of much heated debate in academic and policy circles, and a great many researchers have made it their business to prove the association between population growth and economic development.
We at BDA are fascinated by this topic and being the data lovers that we are, have decided to join the fray and provide a way for the rest of the world to follow these phenomena and draw their own conclusions. To that end we are mining and analyzing key demographic data which we will publish via an analytics dashboard that will allow anyone that is interested in this debate to see how Africa's population story has unfolded and is projected to unfold in the coming decades. We will not bore you with the details of our regressions and probabilistic projections but we will provide Github links to all code we generate. For now, check out these two Tableau visualizations for a sense of how Fertility Decline, a key population growth parameter has evolved in Africa versus the rest of the world, and stay tuned for what we predict will be a riveting look at the future of African demography!