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Long term population dynamics in Africa: A perspective from the urban structure

Reiko Hayashi, Ministère de la Santé et de la Prévention, République du Sénégal

Although African historical population data are scarce, there has been much debate. In the absence of direct population census, indirect quantitative data can be used. Size of cities is an important indicator of total population when defined as top x cities’ population. The long-term African population is reconstructed from rank-ordered city population and compared to existing estimates. The preliminary estimate suggests that there was significant population stagnation from 1600 to 1700 for all Africa and higher medieval population of the North Africa. In historical times, most cities in Sub-Sahara Africa were concentrated in fewer regions, such as West Africa (Mali-Niger- Nigeria) and Sudan-Ethiopia. However, this pattern of distribution had changed since 1900. From 1950, the biggest city of Africa is Cairo, but its growth slowed down in comparison to total population growth. Among the most populous cities, the growth of Lagos, Kinshasa and Khartoum is notable.

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Presented in Poster Session 1