NIGERIA’S population hit 182 million this year, Ghaji Bello, director general of the National Population Commission, was quoted saying Monday by Bloomberg in the capital, Abuja.
More than half the population, he said, was under 30 years of age. Those under 14 years account for more than 40% of the country’s citizens.
At that size, Nigeria’s population is nearly equal to that of the next two Africa population heavyweights – second placed Ethiopia at 99 million and Egypt with 84.7 million.
Nigeria’s population, currently the world’s seventh largest, is the fastest-growing among the 10 most populous countries globally and is projected to exceed the US to become the third-largest with more than 300 million people by 2050, according to the United Nations.
Bello said the population was putting a severe strain on a nation suffering from a slowing economy and declining revenue.
What is additionally striking is that at 182 million, Nigeria’s population is nearly the size of two-thirds of the countries in Africa combined.
The 34 countries are: Malawi, Zambia, Senegal, Chad, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tunisia, Somalia, Guinea, Benin, Burundi, Togo, Eritrea, Libya, Sierra Leone, Libya, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, Botswana, The Gambia, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius, Swaziland, Djibouti, Comoros, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, and Seychelles.