Hi, and welcome back to the course African development from the past to the present. My name is Ellen Hillbom and I am a Professor in economic history at Lund University. One of the major challenges, but also potentially one of the great assets that the African continent has, are the growing populations and above all, the large number of young people. Today, it is estimated that 60 percent of the African population is under the age of 25. This means that most of the population are, or will soon be in their productive age. While Africa historically has been a continent characterized by land abundance and labor scarcity, more and more areas of the continent are now becoming labor abundant and land scarce. Having so many people who can work to support the old and the children and produce goods and services for economic value, is in many regards, a positive thing. As I have mentioned several times in the lectures, African development has many times struggled because of the scarcity and high relative price of labor. When labor instead is abundant, it should become a relatively cheap factor of production, and this should enable more labor-intensive production. But for labor abundance to be a positive factor, there needs to be income and employment opportunities. If there are no opportunities, the youth instead will feel frustration and cause social unrest or leave the continent to look for a future elsewhere. During this lecture, I will try to sort out trends in population increase over time, as well as current challenges and opportunities. First of all, we know little about historical population size in Africa. The further we go back in time, the more unreliable are the numbers. In fact, they are only more or less intelligent guesstimates. According to the guesses, Africa had a population of 100-150 million people in 1850. A 50 percent variation, depending on which sources we use. It is not until roughly the 1950's that we have more reliable population data. At the time, the population was estimated to be 220 million, and in 2010, the African population was around one billion. We should however, keep in mind that also current population statistics are shaky. Looking ahead, the African population is expected to double and be two billion in the year 2050. This population increase will change the current global balancing population between continents. In 1950, there were two Europeans for every African, but by 2050 there will instead be two Africans for every European and it will not stop there. The African population will continue to increase further to three or even four billion people. This means that the future global population increase will be driven by Africa and maybe as many as four out of 10 people on earth will be African. This constitutes a population explosion that will affect the whole world, not just Africa. The African population is unevenly spread over the continent. There are large differences in both population size and population density between countries. The graph shows population growth in a selection of African countries from 1960-2018. It includes both Nigeria with the largest population of over 200 million people and Burundi with 12 million. Meanwhile, Botswana with two million inhabitants, has one of the smallest populations on the mainland. Statistics on population density calculated as people per square kilometer of land area, shows a somewhat different story. For example, while Burundi does not have an exceptionally large population, it is a small country that has experienced an increase in population density during the last 50 years. Botswana has an opposite case, with a small population on a large landmass, meaning that population densities roughly around three and a half person per square kilometer. Population growth is determined by two factors, mortality and fertility, or how many people die and how many are born. Let us take a closer look at these two factors. Mortality has been declining in Africa since the 1930's. This is explained by better standards of living, improved sanitation, eventually vaccination of children, and the development of health care after independence by the African states and the international donors. Nevertheless, the continent still holds countries with some of the highest rates of infant and child mortality in the world. For example, Sierra Leone, where in 2018, 105 children per 1,000 live births, died before the age of five. Another way of indicating decreasing mortality is by showing increasing life expectancy at birth. In Sub-Saharan Africa generally, life expectancy at birth has increased from 40 years in 1960 to 61 years in 2018. The poorest life expectancy figures are found in countries with high child mortality, such as Sierra Leone, where life expectancy is 54 years. It is the drastic decline in mortality that explains Africa's rapid population increase during the last 50-100 years. Because while mortality has gone down, the fertility levels have declined much more slowly. In 1990, the fertility rate was over six children per woman. In 2010, it was five children per woman. In 2050, each African woman is expected to bear less than two and a half children on average. These are just very general estimates. There are significant differences between different countries. This graph shows, for example, that while South Africa has experienced a fertility decline from six children per woman in 1960 to almost two children per woman in 2018. The Democratic Republic of Congo has hardly experience any long-term decline and still has an average of nearly six children per woman. The country figures also generally hide large within country differences. Commonly, urban families have much fewer children compared to rural families. I will talk more about why that is in the next lecture on urbanization. Much research has put a strong causal link between high child mortality and high fertility. When parents know that it is likely that several of their children will die before reaching adulthood, they will spread their risks by having a large family. The change over time and mortality and fertility patterns is captured in the so-called demographic transition model. It starts in levels of high mortality and fertility, goes through declining mortality and then fertility and end up in numbers with low mortality and low fertility. While African countries are still moving along the different stages, the industrialized countries are all in the last stage, where population growth is stagnant or even declining. Some factors that are holding up the demographic transition in Africa, are continued poor health care for women and children. A majority of the population still living in rural areas and the system of extended family, sharing the cost for raising each child. Experts are debating what the future population increase in Africa is going to mean for the continent and they have both fears and hopes. What they agree on is that it will be one of the most important issues for the development of the continent and that it will affect the future of the whole world.