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Why Nigeria Has Such Huge Population Compared to the Rest of Africa



By Taofeek Okawake Shittu

The tremendous growth in Nigeria’s population is a weird one, especially for a country ranked 13th in the world in the infant mortality rate chart, for every 1000 babies born, 90 of them do not make it to their first year.

Which makes you wonder, how does a country with such a high infant mortality rate still houses over 190 million people?

Surprisingly, the infant mortality rate has actually dropped by an insane 57 percent. According to UNICEF, as of 1992, the rate was soaring high at 211 deaths per 1000 newborns.

Another good bad stat for you; Nigeria’s maternal mortality ratio was estimated at 1,200 per 100,000 live births in 1995, and at 576 per 100.000 live births in 2013, a 52 percent drop in 18 years. According to the Central Intelligence Agency , the rate rose back up in 2015 to 814 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Point is, we’re dying at an immense rate, but the only equalizer is our immense birth/fertility rate.

Nigeria’s fertility rate is one of the craziest. The fertility rate gives you a figure for the average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their childbearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age.

On average, a Nigerian woman is expected to have 5 babies before menopause. Starting at an average age of 20 years and 4 months old.

Nigerian babies account for almost 40 percent of all those born in West and Central Africa, and more than 23 percent of those born in sub-Saharan Africa.

The birth rate stat in Nigeria is so immense, it is fighting on two fronts (infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate) and winning.
Our newborns die at a ridiculously high rate.

Mothers die at a ridiculously high rate.
Average life expectancy is ridiculously low (59.3 years old).
Our death rate is ridiculously high at 9.6 per 1000 people.

But thanks to our ridiculously high birthrate, we’re on course to surpass the US by 2050 in terms of population.

To put this in context;
The US houses over 20% of world migrants, the highest in the world.

Nigeria’s migration net rate is -0.2%, meaning 0.2% of Nigerians are not even in Nigeria.

The US budget, $4.7 trillion (2019), Nigeria, $28 billion (2019). The state of MD has 184 million fewer people, but with $20 billion more in its repository.

I don’t like to be crude, but;

We’re fucked.

1. NGA – UNICEF DATA. (2019). UNICEF DATA. Retrieved 26 April 2019, from NGA – UNICEF DATA
2. Evaluation of the Maternal, newborn and child health week in Nigeria. (2016). Home page | UNICEF . Retrieved 26 April 2019, from Evaluation of the Maternal, newborn and child health week in Nigeria
3. Africa:: Nigeria — The World Factbook – Central Intelligence Agency. (2019). Central Intelligence Agency . Retrieved 26 April 2019, from
Source: Quora

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