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Fastest-growing countries in the world

Fastest-growing countries in the world
1/Pixabay

Fastest-growing countries in the world

As medical technology advances, infant mortality rates decrease, and the world simply becomes more capable of supporting a greater number of people, populations of various countries naturally rise. In fact, a baby is born about every eight seconds, according to the U.S. Census Bureau—and that’s just in the United States.

There are countless factors that might explain what’s driving fast-growing countries, and sweeping generalizations certainly do not apply to every single country, nor does the growth automatically signify a positive development. Nonetheless, it’s difficult to ignore the irrefutable fact that certain places are experiencing a population boom.  

Stacker looked at data from the Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook to compile a list of the 50 countries with the highest rates of population growth. Also included when available are each country’s total population, urban population, poverty, gross domestic product per capita, and population distribution. The population distribution text, which offers insight into how the populations are spread out across the country, is taken directly from the World Factbook.

Read on to find out which countries across the globe are growing the fastest.

ALSO: Biggest countries in the world 

#50. Solomon Islands
2/Cocoa Field Day — Kamal Azmi // Wikicommons

#50. Solomon Islands

Population growth rate: 1.94%

Total population: 647,581

Urban population: 23.7% of total population (3.91% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: $1,965.78

Population distribution: most of the population lives along the coastal regions; about one in five live in urban areas, and of these some two-thirds reside in Honiara, the largest town and chief port

#49. Namibia
3/Michael Paskevicius // Flickr

#49. Namibia

Population growth rate: 1.95%

Total population: 2,484,780

Urban population: 50% of total population (4.2% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 28.7%

GDP per capita: $5,054.77

Population distribution: population density is very low, with the largest clustering found in the extreme north-central area along the border with Angola

#48. Anguilla
4/Stefan Krasowski // Flickr

#48. Anguilla

Population growth rate: 1.97%

Total population: 17,087

Urban population: 100% of total population (0.9% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 23%

GDP per capita: $10,265,113.83

Population distribution: most of the population is concentrated in The Valley in the center of the island; settlement is fairly uniform in the southwest, but rather sparse in the northeast

#47. Luxembourg
5/Cayambe // Wikicommons

#47. Luxembourg

Population growth rate: 1.98%

Total population: 594,130

Urban population: 91% of total population (1.55% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: $106,912.63

Population distribution: most people live in the south, on or near the border with France

#46. Somalia
6/World Humanitarian Summit // Flickr

#46. Somalia

Population growth rate: 2%

Total population: 11,031,386

Urban population: 45% of total population (4.23% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: $591.22

Population distribution: distribution varies greatly throughout the country; least densely populated areas are in the northeast and central regions, as well as areas along the Kenyan border; most populated areas are in and around the cities of Mogadishu, Marka, Borama, Hargeysa, and Baidoa

#45. Cayman Islands
7/Roger Wollstadt // Wikicommons

#45. Cayman Islands

Population growth rate: 2.01%

Total population: 58,441

Urban population: 100% of total population (1.27% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: $38,500.37

Population distribution: majority of the population resides on Grand Cayman

#44. Oman
8/pixabay

#44. Oman

Population growth rate: 2.03%

Total population: 3,424,386

Urban population: 84.5% of total population (5.25% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: $21,005.23

Population distribution: the vast majority of the population is located in and around the Al Hajar Mountains in the north of the country; another smaller cluster is found around the city of Salalah in the far south; most of the country remains sparsely populated

#43. Jordan
9/Tareq Ibrahim Hadi // Wikicommons

#43. Jordan

Population growth rate: 2.05%

Total population: 10,248,069

Urban population: 91% of total population (2.43% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 14.2%

GDP per capita: $3,950.99

Population distribution: population heavily concentrated in the west, and particularly the northwest, in and around the capital of Amman; a sizeable, but smaller population is located in the southwest along the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba

#42. Gambia
10/Thukuk // Wikicommons

#42. Gambia

Population growth rate: 2.05%

Total population: 2,051,363

Urban population: 61.3% of total population (4.07% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 48.4%

GDP per capita: $506.01

Population distribution: settlements are found scattered along the Gambia River; the largest communities, including the capital of Banjul, and the country's largest city, Serekunda, are found at the mouth of the Gambia River along the Atlantic coast

#41. Republic of the Congo
11/DBlomgren // Wikicommons

#41. Republic of the Congo

Population growth rate: 2.11%

Total population: 4,954,674

Urban population: 66.9% of total population (3.28% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 46.5%

GDP per capita: $1,574.07

Population distribution: the population is primarily located in the south, in and around the capital of Brazzaville

#40. Central African Republic
12/Afrika Force // Wikicommons

#40. Central African Republic

Population growth rate: 2.12%

Total population: 5,625,118

Urban population: 41.4% of total population (2.52% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: $354.13

Population distribution: majority of residents live in the western and central areas of the country, especially in and around the capital of Bangui

#39. Turks and Caicos Islands
13/Jonathan Palombo // Wikicommons

#39. Turks and Caicos Islands

Population growth rate: 2.16%

Total population: 52,570

Urban population: 93.1% of total population (1.77% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: No info

Population distribution: eight of the thirty islands are inhabited; the island of Providenciales is the most populated, but the most densely populated is Grand Turk

#38. Djibouti
14/Francisco Anzola // Wikicommons

#38. Djibouti

Population growth rate: 2.16%

Total population: 865,267

Urban population: 77.8% of total population (1.67% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 23%

GDP per capita: $2,406.19

Population distribution: most densely populated areas are in the east; the largest city is Djibouti, with a population over 600,000; no other city in the country has a total population over 50,000

#37. Mauritania
15/Ferdinand Reus // Wikicommons

#37. Mauritania

Population growth rate: 2.17%

Total population: 3,758,571

Urban population: 53.7% of total population (4.28% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 31%

GDP per capita: $1,326.30

Population distribution: with most of the country being a desert, vast areas of the country, particularly in the central, northern, and eastern areas, are without sizeable population clusters; half the population lives in or around the coastal capital of Nouakchott; smaller clusters are found near the southern border with Mali and Senegal

#36. Ghana
16/Monocletophat123 // Wikicommons

#36. Ghana

Population growth rate: 2.17%

Total population: 27,499,924

Urban population: 56.1% of total population (3.34% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 24.2%

GDP per capita: $1,653.10

Population distribution: population is concentrated in the southern half of the country, with the highest concentrations being on or near the Atlantic coast

#35. British Virgin Islands
17/pixabay

#35. British Virgin Islands

Population growth rate: 2.25%

Total population: 35,015

Urban population: 47.7% of total population (2.42% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: $31,272.31

Population distribution: a fairly even distribution throughout the inhabited islands, with the largest islands of Tortola, Anegada, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke having the largest populations

#34. Bahrain
18/Antonio D'Alfonso / Wikicommons

#34. Bahrain

Population growth rate: 2.26%

Total population: 1,410,942

Urban population: 89.3% of total population (4.38% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: $24,005.24

Population distribution: smallest population of the Gulf States, but urbanization rate exceeds 90%; largest settlement concentration is found on the far northern end of the island in and around Manama and Al Muharraq

#33. Qatar
19/MOHAMED RIZWAN // Flickr

#33. Qatar

Population growth rate: 2.27%

Total population: 2,314,307

Urban population: 99.1% of total population (2.41% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: $71,857.36

Population distribution: most of the population is clustered in or around the capital of Doha on the eastern side of the peninsula

#32. Yemen
20/Alexandra Pugachevsky // Wikicommons

#32. Yemen

Population growth rate: 2.28%

Total population: 28,036,829

Urban population: 36.6% of total population (4.06% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 54%

GDP per capita: $915.58

Population distribution: the vast majority of the population is found in the Asir Mountains (part of the larger Sarawat Mountain system), located in the far western region of the country

#31. Gaza Strip
21/Gaza City in 2007 — OneArmedMan // Wikicommons

#31. Gaza Strip

Population growth rate: 2.33%

Total population: 1,795,183

Urban population: 76.2% of total population (3% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 30%

GDP per capita: $1,636.60

Population distribution: population concentrated in major cities, particularly Gaza City in the north

#30. Timor-Leste
22/Dili beach, Timor-Lests — Thomas Halloran // Wikicommons

#30. Timor-Leste

Population growth rate: 2.36%

Total population: 1,291,358

Urban population: 30.6% of total population (3.35% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 41.8%

GDP per capita: $2,103.21

Population distribution: most of the population concentrated in the western third of the country, particularly around Dili

#29. Afghanistan
23/pixabay

#29. Afghanistan

Population growth rate: 2.36%

Total population: 34,124,811

Urban population: 25.5% of total population (3.37% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 35.8%

GDP per capita: $617.15

Population distribution: populations tend to cluster in the foothills and periphery of the rugged Hindu Kush range; smaller groups are found in many of the country's interior valleys; in general, the east is more densely settled while the south is sparsely populated

#28. United Arab Emirates
24/pixabay

#28. United Arab Emirates

Population growth rate: 2.37%

Total population: 6,072,475

Urban population: 86.5% of total population (1.71% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 19.5%

GDP per capita: $62,363.37

Population distribution: population is heavily concentrated to the northeast on the Musandam Peninsula; the three largest emirates—Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah—are home to nearly 85% of the population

#27. Democratic Republic of the Congo
25/Irene2005 // Wikicommons

#27. Democratic Republic of the Congo

Population growth rate: 2.37%

Total population: 83,301,151

Urban population: 44.5% of total population (4.53% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 63%

GDP per capita: $485.23

Population distribution: urban clusters are spread throughout the country, particularly in the northeast along the boarder with Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi; the largest city is the capital, Kinshasa, located in the west along the Congo River; the south is least densely populated

#26. Sierra Leone
26/Erik Cleves Kristensen // Wikicommons

#26. Sierra Leone

Population growth rate: 2.38%

Total population: 6,163,195

Urban population: 42.1% of total population (3.12% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 70.2%

GDP per capita: $632.30

Population distribution: population clusters are found in the lower elevations of the south and west; the northern third of the country is less populated

#25. Senegal
27/pixabay

#25. Senegal

Population growth rate: 2.39%

Total population: 14,668,522

Urban population: 47.2% of total population (3.73% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 46.7%

GDP per capita: $1,094.86

Population distribution: the population is concentrated in the west, with Dakar anchoring a well-defined core area; approximately 70% of the population is rural

#24. Nigeria
28/Kaizenify // Wikicommons

#24. Nigeria

Population growth rate: 2.43%

Total population: 190,632,261

Urban population: 50.3% of total population (4.23% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 70%

GDP per capita: $2,071

Population distribution: largest population of any African nation; significant population clusters are scattered throughout the country, with the highest density areas being in the south and southwest

#23. Equatorial Guinea
29/Denis Barthel // Wikicommons

#23. Equatorial Guinea

Population growth rate: 2.44%

Total population: 778,358

Urban population: 72.1% of total population (4.28% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 44%

GDP per capita: $12,937.49

Population distribution: only two large cities over 30,000 people (Bata on the mainland, and the capital Malabo on the island of Bioko); small communities are scattered throughout the mainland and the five inhabited islands

#22. Rwanda
30/Mighty Travels // Flickr

#22. Rwanda

Population growth rate: 2.45%

Total population: 11,901,484

Urban population: 17.2% of total population (2.86% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 39.1%

GDP per capita: $749.32

Population distribution: one of Africa's most densely populated countries; large concentrations tend to be in the central regions and along the shore of Lake Kivu in the west

#21. Egypt
31/David Evers // Wikicommons

#21. Egypt

Population growth rate: 2.45%

Total population: 97,041,072

Urban population: 42.7% of total population (1.86% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 25.2%

GDP per capita: $3,424.32

Population distribution: approximately 95% of the population lives within 20 kilometers of the Nile River and its delta; vast areas of the country remain sparsely populated or uninhabited

#20. Mozambique
32/Hansueli Krapf // Wikicommons

#20. Mozambique

Population growth rate: 2.46%

Total population: 26,573,706

Urban population: 36% of total population (4.35% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 46.1%

GDP per capita: $464.75

Population distribution: three large populations clusters are found along the southern coast between Maputo and Inhambane, in the central area between Beira and Chimoio along the Zambezi River, and in and around the northern cities of Nampula, Cidade de Nacala, and Pemba; the northwest and southwest are the least populated areas

#19. Madagascar
33/Sascha Grabow // Wikicommons

#19. Madagascar

Population growth rate: 2.5%

Total population: 25,054,161

Urban population: 37.2% of total population (4.48% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 70.7%

GDP per capita: $421.49

Population distribution: most of population lives on the eastern half of the island; significant clustering is found in the central highlands and eastern coastline

#18. Liberia
34/blk24ga // Wikicommons

#18. Liberia

Population growth rate: 2.5%

Total population: 4,689,021

Urban population: 51.2% of total population (3.41% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 54.1%

GDP per capita: $456.39

Population distribution: more than half of the population lives in urban areas, with approximately one-third living within an 80-kilometer radius of Monrovia

#17. Iraq
35/Diyar Mohammed // Wikicommons

#17. Iraq

Population growth rate: 2.55%

Total population: 39,192,111

Urban population: 70.5% of total population (3.06% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 23%

GDP per capita: $4,916.81

Population distribution: population is concentrated in the north, center, and eastern parts of the country, with many of the larger urban agglomerations found along extensive parts of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; much of the western and southern areas are either lightly populated or uninhabited

#16. Cameroon
36/Public Domain // Wikicommons

#16. Cameroon

Population growth rate: 2.56%

Total population: 24,994,885

Urban population: 56.4% of total population (3.63% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 30%

GDP per capita: $1,226.25

Population distribution: population concentrated in the west and north, with the interior of the country sparsely populated

#15. Guinea
37/Vince Crawley // Wikicommons

#15. Guinea

Population growth rate: 2.61%

Total population: 12,413,867

Urban population: 36.1% of total population (3.54% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 47%

GDP per capita: $739.74

Population distribution: areas of highest density are in the west and south; interior is sparsely populated

#14. Togo
38/The EITI // Flickr

#14. Togo

Population growth rate: 2.64%

Total population: 7,965,055

Urban population: 41.7% of total population (3.76% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 55.1%

GDP per capita: $602.26

Population distribution: one of the more densely populated African nations with most of the population residing in rural communities, density is highest in the south on or near the Atlantic coast

#13. Western Sahara
39/Bertramz // Wikicommons

#13. Western Sahara

Population growth rate: 2.7%

Total population: 603,253

Urban population: 86.7% of total population (2.61% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: No info

GDP per capita: No info

Population distribution: most of the population lives in the two-thirds of the area west of the berm (Moroccan-occupied) that divides the territory; about 40% of that populace resides in Laayoune

#12. Benin
40/Shubert Ciencia // Flickr

#12. Benin

Population growth rate: 2.71%

Total population: 11,038,805

Urban population: 47.3% of total population (3.89% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 36.2%

GDP per capita: $852.45

Population distribution: the population is primarily located in the south, with the highest concentration of people residing in and around the cities on the Atlantic coast; most of the north remains sparsely populated with higher concentrations of residents in the west

#11. Tanzania
41/Vincent van Zeijst // Wikicommons

#11. Tanzania

Population growth rate: 2.75%

Total population: 53,950,935

Urban population: 33.8% of total population (5.22% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 22.8%

GDP per capita: $956.61

Population distribution: the largest and most populous East African country; population distribution is extremely uneven, but greater population clusters occur in the northern half of country and along the east coast

#10. Ethiopia
42/neiljs // Wikicommons

#10. Ethiopia

Population growth rate: 2.85%

Total population: 105,350,020

Urban population: 20.8% of total population (4.63% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 29.6%

GDP per capita: $756.91

Population distribution: highest density is found in the highlands of the north and middle areas of the country, particularly around the centrally located capital city of Addis Ababa; the far east and southeast are sparsely populated

#9. Zambia
43/Mike Rosenberg // Flickr

#9. Zambia

Population growth rate: 2.93%

Total population: 15,972,000

Urban population: 43.5% of total population (4.23% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 60.5%

GDP per capita: $1,601.55

Population distribution: one of the highest levels of urbanization in Africa; high density in the central area, particularly around the cities of Lusaka, Ndola, Kitwe, and Mufulira

#8. Burkina Faso
44/MartinGrandjean // Wikicommons

#8. Burkina Faso

Population growth rate: 3%

Total population: 20,107,509

Urban population: 29.4% of total population (4.99% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 40.1%

GDP per capita: $655.97

Population distribution: the population is concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country; the east, north, and southwest are less populated

#7. Mali
45/László Szalai // Wikicommons

#7. Mali

Population growth rate: 3.02%

Total population: 17,885,245

Urban population: 42.4% of total population (4.86% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 36.1%

GDP per capita: $838.68

Population distribution: the overwhelming majority of the population lives in the southern half of the country, with greater density along the border with Burkina Faso

#6. Niger
46/Roland // Wikicommons

#6. Niger

Population growth rate: 3.19%

Total population: 19,245,344

Urban population: 16.4% of total population (4.27% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 45.4%

GDP per capita: $410.07

Population distribution: majority of the populace is located in the southernmost extreme of the country along the border with Nigeria and Benin

#5. Uganda
47/Andrew Regan // Wikicommons

#5. Uganda

Population growth rate: 3.2%

Total population: 39,570,125

Urban population: 23.8% of total population (5.7% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 19.7%

GDP per capita: $666.92

Population distribution: population density is relatively high in comparison to other African nations; most of the population is concentrated in the central and southern parts of the country, particularly along the shores of Lake Victoria and Lake Albert; the northeast is least populated

#4. Burundi
48/Stefan Krasowski // Flickr

#4. Burundi

Population growth rate: 3.25%

Total population: 11,466,756

Urban population: 13% of total population (5.68% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 64.6%

GDP per capita: $295.90

Population distribution: one of Africa's most densely populated countries; concentrations tend to be in the north and along the northern shore of Lake Tanganyika in the west; most people live on farms near areas of fertile volcanic soil

#3. Malawi
49/Frank Douwes // Flickr

#3. Malawi

Population growth rate: 3.31%

Total population: 19,196,246

Urban population: 16.9% of total population (4.19% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 50.7%

GDP per capita: $326.16

Population distribution: population density is highest south of Lake Nyasa

#2. Angola
50/David Stanley // Flickr

#2. Angola

Population growth rate: 3.52%

Total population: 29,310,273

Urban population: 65.5% of total population (4.32% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 40.5%

GDP per capita: $4,230.60

Population distribution: most people live in the western half of the country; urban areas account for the highest concentrations of people, particularly Luanda

#1. South Sudan
51/Mr leroy playpus // Wikicommons

#1. South Sudan

Population growth rate: 3.83%

Total population: 13,026,129

Urban population: 19.6% of total population (4.1% annual rate of change)

Population below poverty line: 50.6%

GDP per capita: $223.78

Population distribution: clusters found in urban areas, particularly in the western interior and around the White Nile

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