The chart above shows the population density of each urban area with a population of over 500,000. The urban areas have been normalized so as to avoid any inconsistencies with how cities and their metropolitan areas are defined by their governments. Each urban area has similar characteristics making this the definitive method with which to compare cities across various countries. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has the largest urban area by population density by far.
- The difference between the urban area with the greatest population density, Kinshasa, and the urban area with the least, Vereeniging, is 26,374 people per square kilometer (68,308 people per square mile).
- Kinshasa has 13.17 times the population density that Vereeniging does.
- The median population density of urban area with a minimum population of 500,000 in Africa is 7,603.50 people per square kilometer (19,692.97 people per square mile) and the mean 8,693.02 people per square kilometer (22,514.81 people per square mile).
- Data is from 2020.
- The methodology for how these urban areas have been defined can be found in the source link below. As of this writing this is the most reliable way to compare urban areas throughout the world.
- Some of these urban areas span several states, and the state that is being used here is the one where the core of the urban area is located. For instance, Milan's urban area spans both Italy and Switzerland, but since the core of the urban area is in Italy it would be listed as an Italian urban area and not a Swiss one.
- All figures are rounded to the nearest whole.
Only 43 of the 58 African states have urban areas with at least 500,000 people. Of these, Nigeria has 24; the Democratic Republic of the Congo has 13; Morocco and South Africa each have eight; Egypt has seven; Angola has four; Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia each have three; Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mozambique, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe each have two; and Burundi, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo, and Uganda each have one.
Four of the five urban areas with a population of over 500,000 people that have a population density of over 2,000 people per square kilometer are located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt has the other one. Seven of the 18 urban areas with a population of over 500,000 people that have a population density less than 4,000 people per square kilometer are located in South Africa; Nigeria has four; Libya and Zimbabwe each have two; and South Sudan, Tunisia, and Zambia each have one.
The Democratic Republic of the Congo has the largest mean population density in its urban areas of over 500,000 people with a mean of 15,721 people per square kilometer (40,717 people per square mile) distributed among its 13 urban areas. Somalia has the second largest mean population density in its urban areas of over 500,000 people with a mean of 15,226 people per square kilometer (39,435 people per square mile) distributed among its two urban areas.
Botswana, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Comoros, Equatorial Guinea, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mayotte, Namibia, Reunion, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Swaziland, and Western Sahara do not have any urban areas with a population of over 500,000 inhabitants.
Demographia. 2021. "Demographia World Urban Areas: 16th Annual Edition." Accessed March 9, 2021. http://demographia.com/db-worldua.pdf.