“The total population in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow at a faster pace than in any other region in the decades ahead, more than doubling from 823 million in 2010 to 1.9 billion in 2050. As a result, the two dominant religions in the region – Christianity and Islam – both are expected to have more than twice as many adherents in 2050 as in 2010.”
Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the poorest regions of the world. While the economy is growing, the rate at which poverty is falling is less than the population growth rate. Nearly all of the population growth in Africa between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the population grows, the religious dynamics of Sub-Saharan Africa will change. The share of residents practicing Christianity, the majority religion of the region, is expected to decline from 2010 to 2050 while the share of Muslims is expected to increase in the same time frame. The changes in religious demographics is occurring alongside the region’s youth bulge (click here for a population pyramid). Understanding religious demographics is key to understanding the challenges faced by the African people.
Question to Ponder: What impact are the region’s two fastest-growing religions having on Sub-Saharan Africa’s overall fertility rate?